Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a month since Peanut and I planted our garden. As expected, some things are growing well and other things… aren’t. This year is all about learning what works and what doesn’t, and hopefully after the season ends I’ll have some good knowledge to build on next year. So, with that, here’s how things currently stand:
The lettuces (one pot of red leaf and one of mixed leaf) are doing well. I worry that they’re a little crowded in the pots, but they must be happy enough because they’re consistently producing plenty of nice, tender leaves. I’ve plucked quite a few salads from these pots and the lettuces grow right back. At this rate it’s looking as though I won’t have to buy salad greens all summer, and I couldn’t be more delighted about that.
The herbs are a mixed pot… errrrrr, bag. I knew when I planted the mint I knew there was a chance it would try to take over the entire pot, and that does appear to be what it’s attempting to do. It’s probably claimed a third of the pot for itself and the rest of the herbs are trying to hold onto a little of their own. The parsley is doing okay, but not great; the dill and rosemary appear to be fighting back and hanging on; but the poor basil has, I think, bolted. I probably should have planted the mint in its own pot – next year, I will – and now I’m trying to figure out how to rescue the basil. I’m not sure if moving it to its own pot will do the trick at this point, or if it’s a losing battle. The good news is, mint is my favorite herb.
The strawberries are growing decently well. Every couple of weeks, we seem to be getting a little handful. (These were eaten, so we don’t have anything right now, but I’m sure we will soon.) We’re not going to get enough at any one time for me to make a dessert out of them – we’d need a few more plants for that, I think – but it’s fun to have them growing out there and to pluck a few now and then.
The tomatoes are not doing very well. The stalks have grown much taller, but that’s the only progress I’ve seen. There are several stalks with yellowing leaves and we’re just starting to see a couple of buds – and no little green fruits. I’m sad that these seem to be struggling, and again I think I may have planted them too close together. Pruning the stalks, and possibly thinning them out, is high on my list for the next few days. Hoping that will have some effect.
As for my gardening buddy, she’s still really enjoying the activity. I’m careful to space out the tasks on which I include her – I don’t make her help with more complicated stuff, and I don’t drag her out to water with me every day – because I don’t want her to get burnt out on gardening. She probably joins me in watering every three or so days, and the rest of the time I do it myself. And I always bring her out to pick with me when I’m grabbing some lettuce or herbs – she loves helping me fill up the colander. As expected, she enjoys picking (and eating) the strawberries most of all – it’s a challenge to get her to wait until I’ve washed the berries before she takes a big bite. So cute!
All things considered, this garden is doing about as well as I expected it to. I have never been a green thumb, and I’m hoping that a little experience will change that. But the fact that I’ve gotten several salads out of this garden, that I have enough mint to last a lifetime, and that Peanut and I have an activity we’re enjoying, is enough for me to call the experiment a success so far. Further updates to come as the season progresses!
Do you have a garden this year? How’s it doing?