Hi ya! Welcome to the recap of our seventeenth week of Garden 2012!
Last week I was excited to report that our little patio garden seemed to be perking up after a period of slowed growth. Well, this week seems to have brought with it a full-on resurgence! Not only are the Hungarian sweets blooming again, as I noted previously, but so are the Jalapenos, the Fresno, and most of the tomato plants. It’s like spring has sprung a second time in our garden, and it’s such a wonder to watch. Check it out for yourself!
Look at those crazy tomatillos! They’ve grown so much, and they’re constantly in bloom, but so far we’ve had no fruit. Considering they’ve been blossoming non-stop for almost two months now, I decided to do a bit of Googling and see if there was anything we could be doing better. Based on what I read, it appears not. A lot of gardeners reported having a similar experience to ours and getting concerned, and then suddenly, months into the season, suddenly being overrun with tomatillos. Oh, I hope that’s what happens with us. I so very much want to be overrun by something we’re growing. So far the best we’ve done is a handful of this or one of that, just enough to throw into a recipe. Like these lovely tomatoes below:
If anything is going to overrun us, the jalapenos just might make a decent go of it. In addition to the two large plants and umpteen peppers we’ve got going, I just discovered this:
We have another jalapeno plant, and it’s blooming like crazy! I know it may sound silly, given how often I’m out in the garden, observing the plants, but I honestly thought it was just another Hungarian sweet that hadn’t produced anything. Imagine my surprise when I saw that baby pepper and its telltale dark green hue. If this little guy produces anywhere near the same as our other jalapenos, we may be overrun, indeed!
Another mystery seems to have cleared itself up this week. Judging from the shape, size, and clustering of the fruit growing on the mystery tomato, Bro and I pretty much agree it must be some variety of cherry.
It’s not a Red million, so that means it’s not a shoot taken from one of our other plants. As I’ve mentioned before, Bro scattered a bunch of seeds and forgot to mark them, and my guess is that he must have had some cherry tomato seeds in there. However it got there, it’s definitely making its presence felt. It shot up seemingly out of nowhere, and had quickly surpassed most of our other plants in becoming the most prolific we’ve got in the garden. Go Mystery ‘Mater!
Not to be outdone (or at least not to be kept out of the game entirely), we’re finally seeing some tiny blossoms on the Big Rainbow tomato, the last of our tomato plants to do much of anything. They aren’t quite mature enough to open just yet, but it’s heartening to know that they’re on their way.
Remember me saying that I thought the Abe Lincoln tomato had started some new fruit? Looks like I wasn’t wrong.
I must have misjudged the other blossom, but I was right about this one. Look how far it’s come in just a week!
I finally gave up trying to keep the basil from going to seed. I kept going out and topping certain plants, but it was determined to thwart me. I swear, it would wait until I left for work, and then it would produce bud after bud. Ah well, the leaves are tougher now, but still have decent flavor. And darned if the delicate petals aren’t purty.
Bro planted some Malabar spinach a while back. He was super excited about it at the time, but as the seeds took longer and longer to germinate, he forgot about them. Surprise! It looks like we have a couple of pretty plants growing alongside that mystery leafy thing. (We have a lot of mystery shrubs, don’t we. I must encourage Bro to mark things more carefully next time!)
Another item that Bro planted and then forgot about was thyme. I adore thyme; it’s one of my favorite herbs to use with poultry, in gravies, etc. Thyme is yum. For whatever reason, however, we just can’t seem to keep thyme plants alive. We’ve several theories, have tried giving them more sun, less sun, more water, less water, etc., and so far nothing has worked. So of course some of the seeds that Bro haphazardly flung about took root.
We’ve had this tiny little thyme shrubling holding its own valiantly at one end of a tray of basil. Unfortunately, it hasn’t really got much room to grow, and with a rogue tomatillo moving in on its turf, I felt compelled to make a rescue attempt.
As you can see, I repotted the little dear. I decided to implement one of my theories about keeping thyme alive (which, trust me, may be the completely wrong thing to do ; we shall see). Apparently, in the wild, thyme is known to grow out of rocky, craggy places. To me, that says the soil is probably riddled with pebbles and not just full of cushy dirt. So I put a bunch of our stone mulch at the very bottom of the pot before filling it with potting soil. I also mixed a few rocks into said soil here and there. I’m hoping that with less spongey earth to soak up and hold water, theoretically drowning the roots, that it will do better than our other thyme plants have fared. I did mulch the top of the soil, too, so that the dirt doesn’t dry out *too* much. We’re going for balance here. I’ll let you know how we get on.
That’s pretty much it for this week. Aren’t you just thrilled to bits? As I bid you adieu, wave goodbye to Bernie the praying mantis, nearly as big as the leaf he’s sitting on now. Don’t worry; you can’t see it, but he’s waving back.