Another month of my first year gardening independently is on the books!
August has now come and gone. A lot happened and in so many ways the garden and I grew. That’s one of the biggest perks to gardening. It’s never just your garden that grows and develops. You will find yourself growing so much too!
During August my garden began to shift from my early season crops like squash and gourds to tomatoes and okra. Both are producing really well now and have shown me just how much can grow in a small space. I find myself having to constantly cook okra, because my plants are constantly putting out new pods. At any one time I can have half a dozen on each plant.
I also began carrots in August. They began to sprout and since I’ve watching in eager anticipation for them to grow and develop. I personally love carrots. Whether they’re boiled, fresh, or turned into soup, they are just so good! They’re also an amazing fall crop, because they are cold tolerant. This comes in handy as I begin to approach Delaware’s first frost. It won’t be until around Halloween, but even now it’s in the back of my mind.
My herbs are also doing well. I started new seeds in my herb box and I can’t wait to see how they do this fall. I planted cilantro, parsley, and lemon basil. I really like lemon basil in curries and pasta so fingers crossed I get a good harvest. I’m also really looking forward to the cilantro for tacos and salsa. Canning salsa will be so much fun this year!
However, August was not without it’s challenges. I had seedlings fail. I had seeds fail to sprout. I had my tomatoes completely over run the greens and okra I tried to sprout. I had my fair share of complications. The important thing for me however, is to just keep pressing forward. I’ve done a good job of that. Never give up on your garden or yourself.
This month I was very glad to see the squash bugs go. They are always a huge nuisance and really gave me a run for my money. Now I face few pests. Aphids are always a concern when growing okra and tomatoes, but I’ve dealt with little complications from them. I did experience a few army worms attacking my tomato fruit, but those are individuals and can easily be taken care of.
One thing I have overwhelmingly learned is how much tomatoes love rain. Possibly even a little too much! They can really explode in growth with heavy rains. I’ve also been lucky to not have been experiencing almost any splitting or blossom end rot. I’ve had just a couple Principe Borghese cherry tomatoes split, but outside of that my tomatoes have done very well. This shows me my garden is retaining a good level of calcium without me having to amend it. This can be attributed to a good amount of organic material and not having excess drainage.
I look forward to later this year when I plan to test my garden’s soil compared to surrounding, non-amended, soil to see what impacts I’ve had already. The changes will likely be minimal since it is my first year, but I look forward to seeing where things are headed regardless.
This month I also harvested my first slicing tomato! It was in no way pretty (it had taken quite the beating while growing), but regardless it made it. It served it’s purpose and became food. That’s what really matters. If you want to read more about my stance on food and it’s expectation to look perfect check out this post.
I also learned and grew a lot this month. This month I had to learn how to say good bye to one crop whose time had waned. That isn’t very fun, because you have to accept that there will be no more harvest from that crop. It’s also a little bittersweet for me, because it means that the seasons are changing. It’s no longer the blazing hot July it was last month. The weather is cooling done and other plants are flourishing.
Change is inevitable, but it doesn’t mean we miss the past any less.
However, there is always going to be another warm season. There will always be another July and there will always, always, be more squash plants. They’re even growing in mine and my mom’s compost pile right now! Even if it’s not next year that I garden again (because of some plans that I’ll talk about in a later post), there will eventually be another warm season to enjoy.
For now, I take in all I can with the end of my warm season. The rich, red, tomatoes. The beautiful okra plants. The starts of things like greens and root crops. The wonderful little critters I have inhabit my garden. I take it all in and I enjoy it, because there will come a time when this too wanes.
Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog! Whether you stay for a day, a week, a month, or a year, I appreciate you. -Kate