Sunday, July 25, 2010

El Jardin

Last year, I tried in vain to grow a quad of tomato plants in un-tilled, un-limed, unfertilized Georgia red sandy clay.

Two of the plants died. The remaining two barely clung to life. One plant gave me one tomato. The other, gave me two. They were small, and their skins were like leather.

My friend, Bubba, who has a heckuva green thumb, sat me down and explained some of the finer points of gardening to me.

In January, I ordered some heirloom seeds from Baker Creek ( ). Bubba and the Architect tilled my garden plot and we laid down some organic garden soil. It was too late in the season at that point to lime, and I didn't fertilize, but my garden is doing immensely better than last year's attempt.

I was unaware that melon (whose variety I don't know- it was labeled "Melon-18") needs its own county to grow. Yeesh. I kept pulling it back into itself to make sure it didn't run off into the neighbor's yard.

My solitary stevia plant has been almost completely overrun by the melon. Oops.

I have six tomato plants now, each with about 3-7 tomatoes.

The largest at the moment, and the prettiest, is this Golden Monarch, just about ready to be picked (I'll likely grab it later today or tomorrow).

I have a couple red Beefsteak tomatoes about ready to ripen, but the near-ripe ones are fairly small. I forgot to cull a couple baby tomatoes off that vine when they first formed on that particular plant.

I was told that you tend to get get larger tomatoes if you remove one or two as they form on a bunch.

I had planted a pair of cucumber plants, but they lasted half a week before they disappeared.

Yes. Disappeared.

Not wilted and died. Disappeared.

I'm not sure what happened. Do rabbits eat baby cucumber plants?

I do know that they eat basil. I had two plants. Though both had been nibbled on, one has been completely decimated.

...putting up the rabbit fence probably would have been a good idea...

Last night, I picked what was left on the viable plant for a pasta dish I planned on making for my friends:

I had only a fraction of what I needed for the recipe, but my friend Kitty came to the rescue with some of her basil from her patio garden.

You get an overwhelming sense of pride when using your own personal plants in your cooking.

I can't wait to have a bigger garden next year...

(pics © me )

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