Community Garden Plot – Update

First Fresno Harvest - Patio Garden

Howdy, all!

Summer is just around the corner, and both my patio garden and the community garden plot I share are growing like gangbusters. (The plot seems to grow weeds better than anything else, but we’re making it work.)

You may remember that on Earth Day, I wrote about using ollas, an ancient form of super effective irrigation, employed to keep my patio plants’ thirst quenched while using a minimum of water. Well, we’ve desperately needed to do the same in our shared plot, so last week I trotted to the hardware store for some supplies.

These are medium-sized pots, not nearly large enough to service our entire garden, but it’s a start. My plan is to add a few more every week until we’ve got ample coverage.

This season we’ve got a bunch of different lovelies growing. We’ve got our year-round guests, the blackberries, sage, and a rose bush, which never fail to thrive. We also have our permanent swath of strawberries. They grow like crazy, but we’ve had trouble with potato bugs nibbling on them before we can pick them. To counter this last year, my gardening partner planted onions throughout the patch, which seemed to help a lot! At this point, though, while they’ve grown past the stage where they should be dug up and made into something delicious, I just can’t bring myself to do so just yet. They’ve gone to seed, and are absolutely gorgeous! I’m hoping they’ll provide a new crop of tiny onions to help guard our berries, and in the meantime, they’re attracting bees, which is never a bad thing. (Except at picnics when they refuse to stay out of the sangria.)

We’re having the usual success with our kale and chard; we can’t eat it fast enough. And then there’s the dreaded zucchini. Would you believe I actually found myself craving it recently? That’s a known sign of the coming zuke-pocalypse, and sure enough, I pulled and cooked my first baby fruit this past weekend.

Our pole beans got off to a slow start, but they seem to be doing their darnedest to catch up.

We planted three different kinds of tomatoes, including this roma:

You can see that it’s far pointier than it ought to be, almost like a big, fat pepper. My research tells me that this tends to happen when there is infrequent/insufficient watering. With drought conditions persisting and strict water regulations still in place, I’m not surprised at that. I planted one of my ollas at the base of the romas in hopes it will help the poor plant get more consistent moisture. I put some ollas at the bottom of my heirloom beefsteaks, too, which have failed to grow much at all, in spite of the fact that all of their siblings on my patio garden have shot toward the sky. I suspect lack of water there, too, and hope the ollas will solve all of our tomato-related problems.

The one plant that hasn’t seemed to suffer from malhydration is our tomatillo!  I’ve had to stake it about three times now because it just keeps growing and adding more fruit. In fact, we’re probably going to need to think the fruit if we want to get anything usable off of it. After all, the poor plant only has so many resources to go around!

They sure are pretty, though!

That’s it for now. I’m going to try to get some good pics of the happenings on my patio for my next update. In the meantime, here’s an adorable shot of our latest addition to the other garden.

Soho loves to soak up some rays on a warm afternoon.

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