2014 Garden Update: Summer Solstice

Tomatoes and carrots, together in harmony.  Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2014.
Tomatoes and carrots, together in harmony. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2014.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about my container garden, so indulge me while I briefly update those who enjoy reading about such topics.

While last year was mostly disappointing in terms of gardening, this year I’m bouncing back.  It hasn’t all been successful.  I think I started too late and some plants appear stunted.  I’ve been having some difficulties with my lemon tree, but I’m hoping to turn that around soon.  Now that I’m on vacation, I have more time to research plants!

Difficulties aside, I have a lot to celebrate.  Most of the tomatoes I planted from seed have made it, and a majority are thriving.  I decided not to buy carrot seeds this year, as I was largely unimpressed with how they grew last year.  I did, however, decide to try some companion planting with the seeds I had left.  Why not?  One of my most healthy tomatoes is living in harmony with some very happy looking carrots!  Perhaps I should give carrots another shot next year and continue to plant them with tomato buddies.

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Potato plants! Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2014.

Another success (so far) has been a new plant for me.  Each year, I try to expand my gardening knowledge and experience with a new crop.  This year, I finally took the plunge on growing potatoes in containers.  I did a lot of research beforehand and decided that I would use big bins instead of investing in grow bags.  The result has been fantastic except for one tote which got too much water during a very wet period (due to runoff from the roof).  Otherwise, they are thriving.  I just hope that there’s as much growth below the surface!

I’ve also grown some very happy basil plants from seeds.  This is my third year growing basil and I’m finally doing it right. I learned, through research and experience, that basil thrives through frequent pruning.  This year, my basil is prolific.  I just harvested some and am drying it as we speak.  I don’t have enough for pesto (yet), but I am slowly restocking my dried herb pantry!  I’ll have plenty of ingredients for delicious pizza in the colder months.

Meanwhile, everything is growing.  Soon there will be vibrant flowers on the scarlet runner beans (another new one for me) and tomatoes…  I hope everyone else is having a good gardening season!

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