Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vacation Days

I'm watering two additional plots this week as many gardeners are on vacation.  One has allowed me to enjoy some of her ripe tomatoes while she is away.  What a treat!  Nothing is more delicious than that first homegrown tomato of the season, dressed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  The two in the back were "payment" for my services.  I'm harvesting a pint or two of cherry tomatoes a week from my own plot.  And of course the broccoli leaves continue for Mao Mao and I.  I've added the chopped leaves to pasta, pizza, rice, eggs, and even pierogies.

The sunflowers have topped out at about 9' this year.  The tallest is supporting a very vigorous cucumber vine that has its sights set on the fig tree.  So far the flowers have all been a classic yellow with large brown center.  The mixed red variety I planted has had trouble catching up under the shaded canopy of jumbo leaves.  I might clear out the largest in August to see what happens.

The plot is just packed with foliage and flowers.  Everything is big and bushy and green and competing for space and sun.  As usual, I misjudged the capacity for some things to branch out when given the chance.  One misplaced tomato plant is stunting the growth of another.  Two misplaced pepper plants are wondering why it's been such a dark summer.  You never know what will thrive.  Every season is different and full of surprises and disappointments.  This year the broccoli has been a steady producer, loving its shaded corner of the plot.  Next year the hot peppers are getting a front row seat to the sun. 

The vegetable garden is never perfect, no matter how many times I read the seed catalog descriptions, draw planting diagrams, and consult the plant succession tables.  There are so many variables to consider.  Fun, fun, fun!

No comments: