In general, I've been very hands off with the garden this year. Lots of unexpected things have come up and I just haven't had the time to be as attentive as I'd like. I am, after all, a rather lazy gardener with purposefully low expectations. That being said, at the beginning of the month there was only one tomato each on the Brandywine and Amish Paste plants. So, I decided it was time to give pruning a try. The idea behind pruning is that you get more good nutrients going towards producing fruit by cutting off some of the excess foliage which is taking away that energy and fuel. I ended up removing most of the lower branches as well as most all without flowers all around the plant.
Both the Amish Paste and Brandywine tomatoes are now bursting with fruit! Guess that's a win for pruning.
Next to the tomatoes, the Walla Walla Onions are just about ready to be picked - in fact, we already used one for a garden produce topped pizza! Those wilted brown leaves to the right are from the beets which are just not doing so well. I'm not sure if it's because they're getting too much shade from the tomatoes or if the tomatoes are eating up all the good nutrients in the soil. Either way, next year I'm planning to pair the tomatoes with some easy growing greens instead of a bed of root crops.
In what I used to call the "third" bed, our squash and pumpkin plants are finally starting to take off after a very slow start. The green globe in the foreground is a Sugar Pie Pumpkin and that yellow globe in the background is a Red Kuri Squash.
In the back patio, our six different varieties of basil are doing well. We've been using the Genovese, Cinnamon, and Lettuce Leaf for pizza toppings and the Lemon and Lime varieties in sushi and salads.
Our cucumbers are doing so well they've even begun to scale the walls of the patio - perhaps we'll have some fruit hanging down over our heads. Even if we don't, there will be plenty of pickles to make.
This is the biggest pepper plant we've grown since moving to Seattle, so this year I'm very hopeful about having useable jalapeno and maybe even some tiny Thai peppers.
Up until yesterday, that was going to be the end of my garden update for you. I'd end by saying we'll finally be doing a bit more harvesting during the month of August. But then this happened...
We decided (and finally had the time on a day the weather cooled off enough) to go ahead and move that first bed which was never planted earlier in the year. Before I get into what I planted, I just need to give a major thanks to my husband. Moving a raised bed is a lot of shoveling, digging, leveling, and more shoveling. What probably would have taken me 10 hours with a hurt back and blisters - took him about 3 1/2 hours. Rockstar.
Now the bed is no longer located above a pipe that needs replacing (hopefully...) and is good to go for growing. Since this was a very last minute decision, I didn't put to much time into planning the layout. In the shady end I planted Red Russian and two varieties of Tuscan Kale starts, Little Gem Lettuce seeds, and some mixed lettuce starts. In the sunnier half, I planted some Chioggia Beet starts, Chive starts, and Snap Pea seeds.
What's next? I'm thinking it's time to name the beds in order to keep them straight. Any ideas?