The Tomato Tree

I can’t believe that we’re already sweltering away into the middle of July!   As I sit inside, enjoying the AC, I thought I’d give a quick update on our Garden‘s progress.

That’s Me Hiding Behind The Tomato Tree

Let me start by saying that if crabgrass were a cash crop, I’d be rolling in green right now (pun quite intended).  Seriously — some parts of the garden, the crabgrass is so thick, I can’t even remember what I’ve planted.  It seems like the hotter it gets, the faster it grows.  And, of course, the hotter it gets, the less likely I am to stand outside weeding.   Anyway, on a more positive note, the runaway hit of the season is our tomato tree.  This was a little seedling that we got as a freebie at the Roger Williams Park Zoo on Earth Day, back in April.  My daughter carried it all day and managed to break almost every branch.  Even though we were instructed to wait until Memorial Day to plant it, I figured its only hope was to go into the garden early.  So, in it went the first week in May.  By July 4th, it was bigger than me!  I’m pretty sure some of the tomatoes will be ripe by next week.  Yum!  The tomatoes that we started from seeds didn’t fare so well.  I think their biggest hurdle was that they never got watered regularly when they were tender seedlings in our sun room.  … Something to do with a disagreement my husband and I had over who was responsible for watering them…  But, we got lucky, because a whole slew of ‘volunteer’s popped up all over the garden.  They must have been seeds from all the tomatoes that dropped of the vines last year.

We are also having good luck with our squashes, which is wonderful after last year’s disappointment (the rainy summer of 2009 caused all over our squash to get fungus and die back early).   Here is a picture of our first zucchini of the season!

First Zucchini Of 2010!

Happy Zucchini Plant

And, I can’t wait until the pumpkins start coming it!  As usual, the greens are a big success.  If you are new to gardening, I definitely recommend growing greens of any kind.  They are soooo easy to grow, its almost like instant gratification.  Between the early spinach, kale, arugula and other mixed greens, I haven’t had to buy salad greens in two months.  In fact, I’m actually getting sick of kale, but it just keeps on growing.

Unstoppable Kale

Here is a picture of a yummy salad using only stuff we grew — kale, zucchini, chives, and spring onions.

Yummy Salad

I’m also pretty happy with my herb garden.   So far, we have tarragon, chives, rosemary, thyme, mint, basil, oregano, flat parsley and cilantro.  Of course, it would be more visually appealing if I managed to get rid of all that crabgrass.  I just bought some lemon balm,  curly parsley, and stevia  plants to add.

The ‘volunteers’ sprouting up from our compost bin were also a pleasant surprise.  We have a few enormous squash vines (I have no idea what type of squash, but hope to find out soon!) and a veritable shrubbery of tomato plants.

Look What Grew In The Compost

Our ‘experimental’ corn and okra seem to be doing OK, too.  I call them ‘experimental’ since I’ve never grown either of them before and really have no idea how to grow them.  The corn was definitely ‘thigh high by the 4th of July’ and is sporting tassels, so I think we might end up with a few ears.  The okra had a rough start dealing with bugs but seem to have caught its stride.  The jury is still out on whether it will bear fruit…  Speaking of fruit, did I mention I almost killed my blueberry plants and apple trees?  Yeah, I went crazy spraying them with soapy water because I read it would kill bugs (they were infested with little green worm).  Well, it killed the worms, but all the leaves fell off!  The leaves eventually grew back, but no fruit on any of the bushes or trees.  Lesson learned — use VERY diluted soap/water solution.

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