Baby tomatoes

Baby tomatoes

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Gardening at the Little Lake House

Well, I'm more than a month in and things are really starting to take off! I have baby plants and larger plants, have been picking lettuce and kale already, and a few herbs. Garden season is off to a nice start in 2014. We have been getting plenty of rain- which is a huge help. And sunshine, loads and loads of warm, sunny days, humidity, warm breezes. Let's take a look at what is growing. Almost every summer I try something new and this year it is almost exclusively container gardening. With a very large wraparound deck, I have plenty of space for plenty of containers and I love growing my own food.
Cherry tomatoes and peppers are thriving in the sunshine.
Tomatoes- They are doing fantastic so far. The cherry tomato plants have been in the soil the longest and are the biggest plants right now. They are looking great! I see baby tomatoes in there too! So exciting! My four San Marzano plants are off to a good start, have settled into the soil well, they love the rain, and are loving the sunshine. Still a little on the small side so I haven't caged them yet, but that will happen soon. A growth spurt is coming, I can feel it. The Mr. Stripey single plant I got it is doing so/so. It's a little "stemmy" having suffered some leaf loss. The other two that I thought for sure were goners have had a sudden resurgence so I'll probably plop them in the flower bed and call it good!
Mixed baby kale plants
Peppers- The serrano chilies are growing like crazy as well. They loved the hot days we had recently. Little flower buds are starting to form and it won't be long til I have baby peppers! The habanero peppers are also doing ok- they are not quite as big as the serrano plants but I'm sure they will catch up. Their leaves look glossy and shiny and very healthy. A few more weeks of sunshine and they will be standing tall.
A couple weeks ago the plants were noticeably smaller
Sweet corn- Yes, I know I said I'd never grow sweet corn but I heard of people growing it in containers and I have to try everything at least once. It's doing great! I did have to add tomato cages to their containers because the wind was beating them up a little but now they are doing great. Leaves are nice and bright green, strong stalks, getting close to a foot tall.
The tomatoes have overcome the slight frost damage from early May
Lettuce and kale- I've been picking! They are growing beautifully. I have Black Seeded Simpson lettuce and mixed organic kale and both are doing awesome. Lots of salad and nibbling has been going on! It won't be long and the lettuce will bolt, but having never grown kale before I'm not really sure if I can grow it all summer- I'll find out!
Today these corn plants are nearly a foot tall and supported by cages!
Herbs- This year I am limiting the herbs that I am growing. I haven't had a very good basil crop for a couple summers so I have tons of basil planted, lots of pots of thyme, and my old chives that come back very year. Also new this year is a Japanese herb called red shiso. I've never tried it but I've done my research and it's going to be a great addition to salads, Asian dishes and sushi. It will be interesting to see how it grows. 
I keep picking that lettuce and it keeps filling out
Zucchini- Boy oh boy did I plant zucchini! Ten plants to be exact. I might live to regret that....... but I have some relish recipes to try (maybe some winners at the fair?) and I can always throw some zucchini bread in the oven. Last summer I found myself with leftover tomatoes and a couple zucchini, so I cubed everything and tossed with a little garlic and canned and it turned out delicious. I've used it for pasta sauces and smothered steak recipes.
I love chive blossoms. This particular plant is over 30 years
old and has been transplanted in gardens at several houses.
It came from my mother's garden years ago.
Other vegetables- I have a large shallow Rubbermaid-type container filled with soil for growing things in shallow soil. I'm trying a crop of Parisian Market carrots- they are small, round carrots, maybe the size of a big radish. These are also a new vegetable to me so we will see. Mexican Gherkins are also something new I have planted- these cucumbers grow on small vines and produce cucumbers that look like  teeny tiny watermelons. I think they will be wonderful pickles and hopefully a blue ribbon winner at the fair!
Not the best backdrop but a little fire in the chiminea is so nice
Flowers- I don't normally plant a lot of flowers, but I do have a few. Marigolds and zinnia, started from seed, are growing nicely in pots that will fill the bakers rack and nestle among the vegetable plants. And since we all know a gardener is never truly done......I just might find a few more interesting things to plant. But for now, it's time to kick back and relax by the fire.......

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