Confession: I gave serious consideration to planting only tomatoes and basil this year. Why waste time on the other stuff when all I really want is bruschetta, right? Well, when my schedule suddenly opened up last month, I thought I may as well make good use of my time and dirt.
But you know what I did? I planted 12 tomato and six basil plants in my front yard (more on that later), and a few obligatory cucumbers in the back garden. And that was about it. It wasn't until last week that I got any seeds sewn.
The good news? The seeds are sprouting and the veggies I planted just a couple weeks ago are growing like weeds. I write all this to say: It's NOT too late to start a veggie garden. Grab starter seedlings from a local nursery for plants like tomatoes, peppers, squash--produce that needs a good while to mature. But for beans, leafy greens, herbs, radishes, there's plenty of time to start from seed.
If nothing else, promise me you'll get a couple big pots and grow basil and tomato. They're the best thing about summer, I'm sure!
|The smartest gardening thing I ever did: Planting herbs on my front porch. Walking from the kitchen to pinch cilantro, basil, thyme and oregano is easy even after dark.|
|Cucumbers a week or two after planting. This year I put marigolds in the garden box as opposed to keeping them in separate pots. Marigolds help ward off harmful bugs like aphids.|
|Since these little flowers kicked off, I may get some faux fleurs to adorn the pots.|
|Fingers crossed these heirlooms actually produce something this year. Last year's crop was abysmal. |
|You want to know what true love is? That little plant in the far right corner of the box. Although I hate yellow squash, it's a Mr. T fave.|
|My first squash!|
|See how fast things grow? Just a few weeks between this photo and the ones above. Sadly, my backyard garden is heavily shaded during the afternoon which deters growth.|
|Itty bitty cherry tomatoes.|
|Cucumbers starting to creep.|
|A week later and the cucumbers are long enough to trellis.|
|Zucchini and beets from seed over here. We'll see if these survive. A neighborhood cat keeps digging up the box.|
|An incredible sight to my eyes: Bountiful tomatoes! This snap is from my front yard garden. More on my tomato secrets soon.|
|Sprouts in less than a week. Radishes grow super fast!|
|This is me being a grown up.|
|SPROUTS! (Pardon me, I still get really excited at the miracle of greenery emerging from little brown seeds.)|
|Do note that cucumbers will try to take over and hold on to everything with sticky curly runners. I usually plant them near a trellis to maximize space.|
|Tomato, the first!|
|A few more days and I'll be bragging about my first tomato sandwich of the season.|
|If you plant squash, give it room!|
|Garden runts: Peppers.|
|T's first squash should be ready tomorrow.|
|Contemplating stuffing the blossoms with chevre and lightly frying. Anyone have a good recipe?|
Other Green Thumbs posts:
Season Five to-dos
Aerobic gardening dos and don'ts
Garden pests and problems
Kick-off and sprouts!
The number one rule of gardening
Labels: backyard, basil, container, cucumbers, easy, front yard, garden, Gardening, herbs, marigolds, personal, photography, photos, radishes, Sacramento, square-foot, squash, tomatoes, vegetables, veggies