Garden Update: July

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My vegetable garden’s been in the ground for about eight weeks. We’re having one of the wettest, coolest summers on record, and as a result, this year’s garden is noticeably smaller and less fruitful than last year’s. It’s a bummer, but there’s not much I can do about it other than fertilize. Who knows, it might take off in September!

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First, the good news: the tomatoes are cranking up! I’ve harvested a few cherry tomatoes and a couple of Romas, and the Better Boys are starting to come in. My dad set up my Florida weave system for me. I intended to use heavy metal stakes (the kind they use for traffic signs), but they’re expensive, and I already had this PVC pipe, which works just as well and won’t deteriorate. Anyway, I keep adding twine as the plants grow. So far, so good.

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First big tomato!

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The middle part of the garden is struggling. My squash plants drowned almost immediately. I’ve lost several bell pepper plants (including a replacement for one original plant), and the ones that remain are barely clinging to life. True to its usual form, only the jalapeno is actually bearing flowers. My eggplant’s flowers keep falling off, but it looks healthy and I think it may get going soon.

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The cucumbers are thriving and flowering all over the place, but no actual cukes yet.

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In other plant news:

♥ I have a handmade wooden planter in a shady spot near my front door. This year, I splurged on three Kong coleus (colei?) for the planter. They keep getting bigger and more gorgeous, with lavender cone-like flowers in the middle. I love looking at them.

♥ My gardenia bush got fried by our cold winter. Loss of a plant generally isn’t a big deal, but to me, this is no ordinary gardenia. I planted it the week my ex-husband left, and over the years I’ve felt a symbolic bond with it. It’s my version of Valancy’s rosebush. In fact, it’s come back from the mostly-dead once before. Once it was clear that last winter probably did it in, the only thing I could do to help it was cut it all the way back to the roots. Still, I had very little hope. So I was surprised and thrilled a couple of weeks ago to see these tiny leaves shooting out of the roots! It may take a long time to branch out or flower again, but LIFE REMAINS.

♥ About a year and a half ago, I planted tiger lily bulbs in my front garden bed. We had them at the house I grew up in in Hickory Hill, and they just say home to me. Well, last month they finally bloomed!

Nature makes me want to dance! And so does this dress.

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About Brenda W.

Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister’s iced tea.

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5 Responses to Garden Update: July

  1. Emily E says:

    Our garden is flourishing this year! Mostly thanks to your advice. :) Plus, I put rabbit pellets in between the rows as fertilizer and that seems to have helped too. We grew most things from seeds using our AeroGarden and that seems to have been helpful too.
    We’ve had an abundance of snap peas (since replaced by peppers), yellow squash, okra, peppers of many varieties, cucumbers, and rhubarb. Our tomato vines are absolutely covered with tomatoes, though mostly still green. Our zucchini has tons of blossoms but no fruit yet. :( (Our CSA has not had many zucchini either so I wonder if i’ts the odd weather affecting them.) It looks like a jungle out there!

    According to Daniel’s grandmother (who is a farmer) it often takes three years for things to really take off. She has a cute saying for it but I can never remember how it goes. But that seems to be the case with most everything we have planted at this house- it takes about 3 years before we see it take off.

    • Brenda W. says:

      Yay!!

      My dad has talked to several people whose gardens flat-out died after the heavy rains, and I’ve heard others say they planted early (which would have been fine any other year) and had to start over completely. It’s just not the best year for the plants so far.

  2. I’m sorry your garden is a little slow this year. The weather has been so weird, hasn’t it?

  3. Pingback: What I’m Into: July 2014 | Don't Stop Believing

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