Well, you know I’ve been spending a lot of time outside when it’s been 3 weeks since my last post. Here are a few pictures from our garden. Things have finally started to flourish!
Sweet peppers basking in the morning sun.
After receiving a trim a couple of weeks ago, our twelve little homegrown sweet peppers have really taken off . They have doubled in height, and have quite a few flowers – and one little pepper on the California Wonder plant! I staked them with bamboo skewers to give them a little extra support on windy days, but for the most part, these are pretty solid plants. I can’t wait to start eating fresh peppers, they make such a great little snack.
8 tomato plants snuggled together.
Holy tomato plants, Batman! So, this year I decided to try to see exactly how much I could squeeze into my small growing space. I ended up planting 16 tomato plants. I staked four plants to the corners of my square cages, and kept pulling the plugs whenever I noticed them. I have to say, these are the nicest tomato plants I have ever grown. They are really strong, tall, and so far producing quite a bit of fruit. I’m looking forward to trying the yellow tomatoes – a new variety for us.
Its a race to the top!
We had a bit of trouble with our local neighbourhood bunnies. They decided to nibble all the leaves off of our low bush bean plants. It was our own fault, really – we mowed the lawn and they had nothing to eat. Luckily we also planted Blue Lake pole beans, and since bunnies can’t climb or fly, those beans should be safe. The beans have now gotten so tall that they fall over, then climb up themselves. We have harvested about a handful so far, and they are just as tasty as they were last year. One of the things I love so much about beans – they are incredibly easy to grow from seed, and easy to save the seed. They are probably the cheapest, highest yielding vegetable I grow. And they’re great for you, too!
Curly Kale, ready for harvest.
The kale is usually our earliest producer, and this year was no exception. We have already gotten three batches of kale from this patch, and it’s ready for another harvest. The kale chips are delicious. We are having fun experimenting with different flavours.
Zucchini climbing a tipi.
I have a confession to make. I have never grown zucchini before. I love eating it – fried, raw, steamed, on a kebab, on a burger… and I hear it is incredibly easy to grow and yields high, but I simply never got around to growing it. With my focus this year being on high yielding plants, I decided to get a good climbing variety, and so far have produced very strong plants with beautiful flowers. We’ve squashed a few cucumber beetles from a neighbouring cucumber plant, and are now ready to watch it deliver!
Nasturtiums invite bees and butterflies to the garden.
Nasturtiums, so delicious, so beautiful, so incredibly useful! Not only do they provide shade and cover for good bugs, and attract bees and butterflies, but they are also completely, entirely edible. We use the leaves and flower buds in our salads. I hear you can use the root too, but I haven’t been that adventurous.
Thai basil flowers.
And now, on to the flowers and seeds!
Our Thai basil bolted, producing the most beautiful, delicate purple flowers. This basil was grown from seed we collected from last year’s basil.
I love collecting seed – it’s minimal effort for free seeds – gardening is slowly getting cheaper for us. We also have regular sweet basil, which looks as if it’s about to bolt as well. We will be collecting seeds from both.
Leaf lettuce didnt stand a chance.
The poor leaf lettuce that we started in the early spring didn’t stand a chance. We sowed it when it was cool, and a week after they sprouted, we received a surprise heat wave and they bolted immediately. So, sadly, there is no fresh lettuce for us at the moment, but hey, at least we get more seeds!
And I’m just going to leave this picture of a fly on a yellow zinnia here. Happy gardening, everyone!
A fly on a yellow zinnia.