As summer ends and we enter fall, my garden has started to wind down. Only a few things are still growing, so this will probably be the last update for the year.
My zucchini never made it. It might have been too wet for them, I’m not quite sure, but I never saw a single baby zucchini. A few of the plants grew quite large and there were a lot of flowers, but nothing happened after that point.
My cucumbers were probably the plant that impressed me the most. As I mentioned before, I had gone to Target at the beginning of the summer and bought those little $1 cucumber seeds. I didn’t think much of it, but figured even if nothing happened it was only a dollar. I planted them in a small pot and watched the roots take hold in the soil. I transplanted them into a bigger pot, but it wasn’t breathable, and I was on the verge of drowning all of them before I transplanted them outside. Even then, I thought maybe two of the five or so plants would grow (and then I accidentally killed one of those two!). Well, three of them grew, and though I did not get to try any of my cucumbers, we probably would have had some of them if not for the squirrels and chipmunks. The plants for my cucumbers got so big, and even now there are baby cucumbers. In the past week or so, however, all the leaves died, so I doubt the little cucumbers are going to do anything, but it was exciting to watch them grow. Also, because they are the only thing in my garden I planted from seed (the rest were small plants when I bought them) I feel the most pride from my cucumbers. Now we know – little seeds bought at Target can grow into real veggies you can eat!
The cantaloupe are interesting. Like the cucumbers, I had a few starting to get sizable when they were eaten. I thought they were done, but just the other day I saw a new one trying to brave the weather. The plants are still flowering and are still green, though they do look like they have seen better days. I’m not sure that this last one will amount to anything, but it’s still fun to watch it grow.
The first thing to grow in my garden was actually my bell peppers. Within a few weeks of planting, they developed a small pepper. It never got very big before it fell off and died, but it gave me hope for the rest of the garden. After that first pepper, the plant seemed to die down. It got a little bigger, but it definitely wasn’t growing as fast as the other plants. Throughout the summer, I’ve had 4 peppers, including that first one. None of them have grown large enough to eat, but it’s been fun to watch them. They come one at a time on the stalk, getting bigger every day. The most recent one actually weighed the whole plant down, and the recent storm didn’t help it.
And finally, my tomatoes! I had the most tomato plants – five – and from the beginning, they’ve been the backbone of my garden. I got a tomato cage for each one, though all of the plants outgrew their cages. I’ve had little tomatoes grow into big tomatoes, but like the other vegetables in my garden, something was eating them. I had a friend who likes to garden come visit, and she suggested instead of letting the tomatoes ripen on the plant, to pick them and put them in a brown paper bag to ripen inside my house, where they would be safe from hungry critters. The first one I had turn red, the day I was going to pick it it was gone. So I hoped for the next one to try out this trick. This time, it actually worked! Recently it seems like less things have been eating my garden, and I got to watch a tomato start to turn red. I picked it before it was fully ripe on the vine, and I brought it in my house and followed my friend’s instructions. Every day I would check on the progress of my tomato, until I determined that it was ready to come out of the bag. Though it wasn’t very big, it was beautiful, because it was the first tomato, and only produce, to come from my garden. My dad ate this tomato, and he claims it was the best tomato he has ever had. He might have been exaggerating a little bit for my benefit, but I was mostly happy that he got to eat one. It makes planting the garden worth it, even if it only produced one edible tomato.
However, the tomatoes are still growing, and since that first one I’ve picked two more. These two have also been ripening in my house and are about ready to eat. There’re more baby tomatoes on the vine, so who knows? We could have more tomatoes this season yet!