And so begins our sixth month of gardening this year. I have to say that it’s been really interesting for me to track our progress in blog form. Not only does it serve as a nifty reminder of how far we’ve come, but it has also forced me to take a closer, more careful look at the patterns of growth and the way that things like the weather, pests, and location have an effect on how well the garden does. I’ve had gardens before, but I have never felt so attached to them as I do to this one, and I can’t help but watch it progress with wonder.
How incredible is life, even in this simple, green (and, in the case of those jalapenos, red) form? I feel like the plants’ triumphs are my triumphs, and their failures…? Well, Nature can be a bitch sometimes, can’t it. There’s nothing for it but to chalk it all up to experience and move on.
One of those triumphs had me punching the air throughout the week and saying, “I was right! I KNEW it!”
That, without a doubt in the world, is a tomatillo husk. It’s the one I was so hyped about last week, the one I thought just *had* to be the start, finally, of some kind of harvest. And it is. Not only that, but inside that husk is a tiny, green marble that has been growing steadily all week. =does a happy dance=
But wait, there’s more.
Those are also the start of tiny tomatillos, and they’re far from alone. All of a sudden this week, they’ve been popping up all over. It seems the forums I read online were correct: they really take off in August, and before you know it, you’re overrun with them. Better start devising recipes involving tomatillos!
Another point of excitement for me is our one remaining black bean plant. All of the other beans, both red and black, died off months ago, and we really couldn’t figure out why. Bro had scattered them around the garden, giving them homes in all manner of locations with varying degrees of sun exposure. He did so because we wanted to know where they would grow best, but we never got that far. One by one they all just died, except one lone, little black bean. For months it looked like it might follow its brethren, but then one day, a couple of weeks ago, I noticed it was looking green and healthy, and had even started to grow.
Look at it now!
It’s so big, it’s tough to single it out with the camera and still get it all in one shot. Even better, it’s covered in miniscule purple blossoms.
Aren’t they gorgeous? I’m super curious to see how many of those flowers turn into bean pods, and just how many beans they’ll produce. I can’t imagine that one plant will yield enough to do much with, but it’s still thrilling to think we’ll have gotten something after all those months of watering.
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned in recent blog posts, everything has been thriving in the summer heat. This small Hungarian Sweet has so many huge peppers that it started to topple over. I was forced to stake it upright using a pair of chopsticks.
The Malabar spinach is coming along nicely. It’s hard to tell from this picture, but both of those plants are about four inches tall, now. Bro assures me that it particularly loves the heat, and that it should start growing like crazy.
The spinach has a couple of different pot-mates, but the one in our next picture has perplexed me from the moment it poked its leafy head out of the ground.
See, we have trees around our apartment building that, naturally, go to seed once a year, and they produce something which looks very similar to this, so I was convinced it was some kind of weed. Bro insisted it was from a lettuce pack he’d sprinkled in the pot, but I remained skeptical, unwilling to eat any of it in case it was secretly poisonous. Then, this week, I was making a salad from a pre-packaged bag of greens, and stumbled upon this:
Bro was right! After doing a bit of research, I learned that what we had was baby romaine. It looks nothing like what I think of as romaine, so I never would have guessed. This entire time I’ve had a lovely little potential salad ingredient under my nose, while I refused to eat it. D’oh!
And that’s it for Week Twenty-One, really. I’ll report again next week. Can’t wait to see what the next seven days brings!