Our garden has settled into mid-summer abundance this year without shocking us at every turn like last summer’s garden. This summer’s garden is our second child, and we’ve got the shocking lack of photos of its every move to prove it.
But nevertheless, this year’s garden, like a second child, is making itself noticed.
First of all, there’s the zucchini. We didn’t try zucchini last year, but this year we put in three plants and watched in awe as they grew elephantine leaves and shot smooshy orange blossoms out in all directions. Each plant is producing little zukes like crazy. Today I picked one that was vaguely supermarket-sized, but most of them are much smaller—not sure why.
Last year’s cilantro never really got anywhere. This year’s went out in a blaze of glory, growing huge and amazing for several weeks and then bolting overnight. I cut it all the way back hoping to regenerate some big leaves, but mostly it’s just a sad mess. Lesson learned: plant cilantro early, because it’ll grow really well right up until it gets hot, at which point, seriously, just let it go.
Generally, the herbs are all doing well, some overwhelmingly. We planted way too much parsley, if you ask me. That thing’s out of control. Even some that we worried about early on, like the Thai basil, have sprung back to life.
We’ve just harvested our first few jalapenos, and are eagerly awaiting some cubanellas. No ripe tomatoes yet, but in a few weeks there should be beefsteaks, romas, golden jubilees, and cherry tomatoes (now that I’ve cut the zucchini leaves back a little to give the cherries some room to breathe).
My personal triumph is that here and there among the garden you can find marigolds, which are thought to repel some tomato-attacking pests as well as pesky rabbits. I’ve never had much luck growing flowers from seed, so I’m very excited about this. Although, apparently, Marigolds have the stamina and endurance to survive an entire life cycle under the care of a 5 year old! So, perhaps I should stop bragging.