Garden Update, July 2017: The I Have Questions Edition

Well, it’s been about a month since the last update, so it’s time to go back to the garden and share progress.  As you can see, things are definitely growing.  This is the most successful garden I’ve ever had – tomatoes and herbs galore.  But this year is about learning, and I have so! many! questions!

Question.  What the heck is going on with the tomato plants?  I’m getting a pretty consistent flow of ripening tomatoes and I harvest them every few days to keep ahead of the squirrels.  But the foliage itself is really patchy.  I still can’t decide if it’s verticillium wilt or if it’s just the sun burning out the leaves.

Like I said, the tomatoes themselves are growing.  But the leaves are not nearly as lush as I was expecting and a lot of them are brown.  I’m pruning almost as many leaves as I am harvesting tomatoes.  It’s very strange, and I also wonder if I’m getting as many tomatoes as I would if the leaves were all big, bright and healthy.

That said, I am getting tomatoes.  This is still the best my tomato plants have ever done.  I’ve never had them actually fruit before!  (Except for one year in Elma, when the rabbits ate my entire paltry crop as soon as it ripened and I never got any.)

Enough about the tomatoes.  (Although if anyone knows what the deal is with the crispy brown leaves, please do lay it on me.)

Question.  What am I going to do with all of these herbs?  The basil went nuts after I transplanted it and I now have a pesto factory on my hands.

The mint is finally growing, too, and I have to harvest and use some of it before it bolts.  I was expecting this from the mint, but not from the basil.  Seriously!  Recipes, please!  Especially for mint – worst case scenario, I can make and freeze ten pounds of pesto.  But what am I going to do with all of these mint leaves?

The other herbs are getting after it, too.  The parsley isn’t looking quite as robust as I’d expected, given that I once had a parsley plant survive the Buffalo winter outdoors.  But I definitely have enough parsley for all the tabbouleh I’d ever want.  And as for the rosemary and thyme, well, they’re off to Scarborough Fair.

It’s all very exciting, but now I have to figure out some recipes.  Gotta use this homegrown produce!

Question.  Why will my son eat tomatoes outside, right off the vine or out of the colander, but won’t touch a vegetable indoors?

He was shoving them in his mouth by the handful, saying, “Mmm-MMMMM!  Mmm-MMMMM!  Mmm-MMMMM!”

Well – there’s nothing like a vine-ripened tomato, just picked and still warm from the sun.

How are your gardens growing this year?  Does anyone know what’s up with my tomato plants?

7 thoughts on “Garden Update, July 2017: The I Have Questions Edition

  1. It’s so awesome that your garden is growing! It’s crazy how lush it looks compared to where you started. What are you doing with all those tomatoes (are you able to eat them all)?

    • I know!!! It’s so exciting. So far I have kept up with the tomatoes, but I did have to cook down a batch into quick tomato and herb jam (which is one of my favorite tomato preparations anyway). That’s destined to become a tomato tart this week – checking an item off my summer bucket list! And hopefully in a few days we will have another harvest. It’s been about a week since we picked tomatoes and we’re getting our second burst ripening now. Yay!

  2. What a lovely crop! I know nothing about tomatoes, though we have grown them before. I hope whatever the problem is doesn’t affect your harvest. I grow a couple of herbs (mint, cilantro, rosemary), but I’ve never figured out what to do with them. I make a lot of mint tea, and I use mint in my biryani (but only a coupe of leaves at a time). I really grow it for its flowers. I know that sounds strange, but it attracts bees, and our garden is really for the pollinators (it’s our post-election, “Hope in the Dark” project).

    • I love the idea of a pollinator garden, although I don’t think I could ever grow one. (I don’t talk about it much, but I have a very old, very deep-seated, very strong fear of butterflies.) Kudos to you for doing such an important project though! My mint has flowered and has been attracting some bees, which is cool to see and makes me feel like I’m doing my part.

      The tomatoes are growing, but my problem is I don’t actually know if my harvest is being impacted or not. I’m getting tomatoes. Am I getting as many as I otherwise could have? No idea! This year is all about learning.

      • We love watching the bees buzzing around the mint. It seems to attract honey bees, while our anise hyssop (similar to mint) attracts bumble bees and other pollinators. My kids were very afraid of all types of bees before this project–we had a horrible episode with yellow jackets once–but they’re slowly growing more comfortable around the gentler pollinators. I don’t think they’ll ever like bees as much as I do, but that’s okay.

  3. Pingback: Garden Update: The Slightly Tart Edition (August 2017) | Covered In Flour

  4. Pingback: 2017: A Year in Review | Covered In Flour

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