Field Notes: Summer Veg Garden 2014

Field Notes: Summer Veg Garden 2014

I am happy to report we finally are producing ripe, beautiful tomatoes in the garden! This is an exciting moment. One of my absolute favorite things about summer are fresh tomatoes. I am so excited to make that trek to the garden every morning to find a few for my omelet.

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I planted this year’s summer garden the beginning of May in my two raised beds planted plus large pots in the back near the pool. The beds always do a little better since they are consistently watered by my drip system.

Field Notes: Summer Veg Garden 2014 // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-39H)

A third pot was purchased this year so we could grow squash in the back. (That’s me excited to find the right “squash pot” at IKEA.) He sits between my tall tomato pots I’ve been using for a few years. So far it’s been an awesome addition. Nate and I needed a break from eating a million monster zucchini this summer so I went with a container squash instead. The size and quantity are easier to handle – although I will say that I prefer the gooseneck type of squash a little better. Maybe next year I can find a plant that has both qualities.

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I try to water the pots as well as I can, but I already noticed a little tomato rot so I am not doing as well as I hoped.

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Here’s the full list of what was planted and notes on how each is doing:

In the raised beds along the side of our house

(4-6 hours of sun with timed drip system)

  • Blue Lake Long Beans – producing
  • Japanese Eggplant – nothing so far
  • Beefsteak – producing
  • Cherry – producing
  • Tomatillo – a few flowers so far
  • Serrano – just starting to make peppers
  • Cucumber – died
  • Thai Basil – not as great as last year, but doing ok
  • Oregano – going crazy
  • Rosemary – doing well
  • Peppermint – the butterflies and other insects love this guy

In containers in the backyard

(6+ hours of sunlight and watered manually)

  • Porch Tomato – a few green tomatoes on it. bottom rot on a few.
  • Container’s Choice Tomato – a few green tomatoes on it
  • Japanese Eggplant – only one eggplant so far
  • Papaya Pear Squash – producing

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To summarize the notes above, our raised beds still have issues with bugs and spots which I think it largely due to the amount of sunlight they get. There isn’t much I can do on this point and luckily besides looking a little funky – the garden is thriving. Our pots definitely look better than the raised bed cousins, but the manual watering has caused issues like bottom rot. It’s a hard trade-off. With their placement next to the pool, I can’t use a drip line. So either I need to get better at watering or I will need to move them so I can install an automatic system. Either way, I am pretty pleased with this year’s crop. We have a lot of variety and an abundance of the veggies we can’t get enough of.

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SO what am I making with all these veggies? Well, most of the time we grill them with a little salt and pepper or use them in salads. In the next few weeks, I hope to make my favorite tomato soup recipe once we all the tomatoes are producing. It is so good and I can’t wait to make batches to freeze. If all goes well, I will share it on the blog as well.

Happy Monday Everyone!

June Recap 2014

June 2014 Recap

This month’s recap took me longer than most. I feel so much has happened since the beginning of June that it was hard to narrow my nine items down. My final selection is a little bit of everything.

1. Finding peonies at Trader Joe’s the morning of Dagny’s bridal shower.
2. Feeling like I have a handle custom design work
3. Attending my cousin Molly’s high school graduation
4. Picking plums from the garden
5. Scoring four mid-century chairs (and later the matching table)
6. Entering into World Cup mania (Nate and the cats after his World Cup birthday)
7. Having mega fake eyelashes as a bridesmaid
8. Successfully getting Nate on a plane
9. Finally having Hawaii time