gardening update: june + july

I was outside last night like I am every night, watering what’s left of my little garden and thinking about how I can hardly ever keep plants alive. Whether indoor plants or outdoor ones, even the “easy” ones. It’s actually quite frustrating. Sometimes though, I feel like there are things that happen which are beyond my control. Those things being the weather and bugs. They adversely affect any good things that might be happening in the garden.

To quickly recap, my mom planted a few things in our raised bed back in the middle of March. We actually were still having some pretty cold days back then (hard to believe now in the thick of the summer heat!) but it was nothing that affected the plants and April was a nice, cool spring month. There were 3 varieties of tomatoes, a few different peppers and then some herbs and marigolds for pest control.

After our May rains, June arrived with the accompanying heat which has only intensified since then. I left off last time with saying that I was going to get some fresh potting soil, since roots were starting to be exposed and getting a bit yellow.

June 6
Today, I finally added some much needed fresh potting soil to garden bed and clipped off all the yellow leaves from the tomato plants. The peppers are doing pretty well, just a few days later after the soil has been added. Overall, I’m excited that everything is still alive and green, though I know that it’s only just starting to get hot now. The true test will be a month from now when temperatures hit triple digits consistently. Pink mariglobe heirloom tomato
Bell pepper
Something is munching the leaves of all my plants. I’m still sticking to my initial suspect, the pill bug. Without using chemicals, there isn’t much I can do about it. At least, not to my knowledge.
Red cherry husky tomatoes

June 13
I just have two pictures snapped on this day, documenting the solitary heirloom tomato that’s still growing bigger and a couple different bell peppers.

June 16
A couple days later, I take some better pictures of the entire garden. There’s not much difference than the previous days. I’m watering the plants at least once a day, sometimes twice. Two tomato plants are staked because they’re getting tall and one of the stems broke off. Thankfully it didn’t have tomato blooms on it.

June 22
By now, I thought that my tomato plants would’ve yielded more than a handful of tomatoes. I’m kind of at a loss but then again, try to remind myself that this is only my first year (at least in a long time) attempting gardening so I let go of my expectations. Haha, how’s that for a deep gardening thought. Below, the first picture is still of that solitary pink mariglobe heirloom tomato, hanging on for dear life. Side note: our grass is still green!
Still the same handful of red cherry husky tomatoes on the plant. The leaves aren’t looking so great.
The peppers (this is just a picture of one) are doing well, plants look green and healthy.

July 4
I took these pictures early in the morning, on the day our flight left for Florida. I knew we would be gone for the next 10 days and was already worried about how the garden would fare. Our irrigation system can be left on a timer to run during specified times/days, but the sad part is that it doesn’t reach the raised bed area enough to be a good watering for the plants. I’m crossing my fingers that it doesn’t get too hot while we’re gone and that perhaps, it even rains a little. I picked some of the peppers and tomatoes, the ones that were closer to being ripe than not. They’ll do just fine and finish ripening inside the house while we’re gone. Something is slowly eating away at the mint plant and it’s not me.
Less and less leaves, on the red cherry husky tomato plant.

July 16
We’ve been back for two days now after being gone for 10 days and things aren’t looking as bad as I expected, even though they don’t look that great. The plants definitely got heat “shock” (is that a thing?) and no, it didn’t rain while we were gone either. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to salvage them, no matter how much I water from here on out.

I don’t have any more pictures from the rest of July, but the plants all pretty much look the same way now except the tomatoes. Sadly, the tomato plants are pretty much toast (literally…they’re brown) and I certainly don’t expect any more tomatoes harvested from them. At this point, I’ll just write one last update after the end of summer which is right around the corner. The question I’m asking myself now is if I’m brave enough to try my hand at some fall/winter gardening. I’ll be sure and write about my decision next time!

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3 thoughts on “gardening update: june + july

  1. mom says:

    Learning to garden is a process…sometimes hit and miss even when you read up on it. There is such a thing as a micro-climate and even if you read that a plant will grow in your area, it might not do so well in the micro-climate of your yard. Or there could be a plant that isn’t supposed to do well in your area, yet it thrives when you try it. I still have a plot I planted in my garden, in the wrong spot evidently, that all it grows is weeds and oak leaves that drift down. I have tried winter veggies, summer veggies, sweet potato, peppers, flowers…and nothing seems to thrive there. I blame it on the shade cast by the oaks.

    Last year I discovered that right up against the back of my house is a great micro climate for sun-loving plants and I had a beautiful harvest of pumpkins, but this year I was so busy with work that I failed to stay on top of that pesky moth and it’s larvae ate up most of my pumpkin plant. However, I was able to harvest some pigeon peas, which were an experiment.

    Don’t get discouraged with gardening. Think of it as a work in process, sort of like our lives, think of it as a good challenge.

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