Friday, August 15, 2014

Vegetable Garden: Successes And Failures

Hello! Summer may be winding down, but the weather for much of it has seemed more like fall. I can only imagine the disappointment of  visitors hoping for beach time, only to be confronted with cool lakefront air and water temperatures. 

It hasn't always been much warmer inland either. Consequently, the warm weather crops in my vegetable garden have been growing slowly. This really hit home when we went out of town on vacation the last week of July. Typically I come home from summer vacation to lots of produce ready to pick. This year, alas, the garden looked like it had barely grown at all in our absence. Yes, there'd been another cool spell while we were gone. 

But for a number of reasons, the pots of produce growing on our deck have fared better, such as:

Because of their small size, cherry tomatoes ripen more quickly than their bigger cousins, of course. I have two Sweet 100 plants, both of which I'd started from seeds. It's been fun seeing my little seedlings mature into plants taller than me! Loads of cherry tomatoes are on each plant. 

Close up of my Thai Hot Pepper plant. This is a plant that was purchased at the local farmer's market last season. It had gotten chewed up at one point last summer by some unnamed critter, so never got did much after that.  My husband suggested bringing it in for the winter, thereby giving it another chance this year. 

I can't say that the Thai Hot Pepper plant liked its indoors habitat over the winter, but at least it didn't die on me. It sprouted new growth soon after being returned outdoors. And in spite of not liking the cooler summer weather either, it's set fruit of several peppers. It's likely that not all the peppers will ripen before the first frost looms, but at least we know that we can bring the plant in again for another winter's stay! 

One of the plantings on my deck has actually enjoyed the un-summer weather:

Above, several parsley plants in one pot. Parsley can be slow to germinate from seed, but it's worth the wait. It's nice to stroll out to the deck to pluck some for a recipe, but it's grown so well I'll have to freeze some too. Frozen parsley isn't as good as the fresh stuff is, but beats the dried version hands down! 

Did read in the local paper today that the cooler temps this week have been a boon for the student athletes going through practices in preparation for fall sports. This is very true, but I'd still rather it felt more like summer - and I think my vegetable garden would agree!


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