Garden Update: Mid-July

by mzumtaylor on July 20, 2012

in Gardening

I was planning to do a garden update in the middle of June, but then June got away from me, and now it’s July. :\ So I’ll do a July update instead!

The Good


Two of my tomato plants have taken off.

The one in the container is a roma tomato, and it’s already got a few new, green tomatoes. The one in the hanging basket is a cherry/pear tomato hybrid, and it, too has some baby green tomatoes.

I don’t know what the deal is the little scrawny tomato in the container. It (theoretically) has enough water, nutrients, and space, so I don’t know why it’s not as big and busy as the other two. Ah well.

Swiss Chard/Kale

We’ve enjoyed several rounds of baby swiss chard and kale, which we’ve added to our salads. I’ve got each pot down to just a few plants each, and in the next weeks I’ll harvest the rest of the babies, and then each pot will only have one plant, which will hopefully get big and be delicious when steamed and served with butter.


The parsley’s doing really well, although I’m not sure what we’re going to do with it. I was originally thinking to make my mom’s “Poor Man’s Pesto” with it, but I’m not sure there’s enough for that.

The Sad


I tried planting carrots three times. Each time, they’d germinate, show their little seedling tops, and then die. My guess is the 100+ degree days we had in June didn’t do my poor garden any favors. After the third round of carrots died, my suggested I use shade cloth next year. I think that advice would have been more useful a month or so ago, but I’ll know for next year.

Pole (string) beans

I planted nine pole bean plants, and had seven of them germinate, which is pretty good. Then the aforementioned heat wave came, and killed every single one of them. :( The remaining two seeds started to germinated and stick their heads above soil, but then it was hot again, and even those little seedlings died. So, no pole beans this year.


There are no two ways about it; cucumbers will not stand to be transplanted. The two I transplanted died, despite being well hardened off before I planted them outside. The two I direct seeded did really well… until the heatwave. Now there’s one late germinator that’s hanging on, so we may yet have cucumbers this year.

The Neutral

Bell peppers

I killed my first round of pepper plants (not sure how), but my mom had two extra which she donated to the cause. They’re in the neutral category because they’re not wilting or dying, but they aren’t growing either, and neither plant has any baby peppers on it.


Half of my mint plant is weird and wilty the other half looks really good. I’m not sure what that’s about. I do know that one of these days, I’m going to have to make fresh mint sweet tea.


Only five of the 15 seeds of basil I planted germinated, and one of those died as a seedling during the crazy heatwave. They’re still not big enough to do anything with, but when they are, maybe I’ll mix them with parsley and make basil that way.


I planted 15-20 cilantro seeds. We have one cilantro plant, singular. :\ Well, it’ll still taste good.


I re-planted radishes when I replanted carrots. Because of their super-fast germination time, most of them were big enough by the time the heat-wave hit that they didn’t all die immediately. We’ll see if anything comes of this new batch. I’m not going to hold my breath.


They say that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Because of random collection of uncontrollable factors that face gardeners every year, to the rest of the world we probably seem crazy, but sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, so we all just keep trying, year after year.

This year was a bad year for gardening. Even people with well-established gardens (like my mom) are having a hard time getting things to grow properly. At least I know it’s not just me. I’ll enjoy my tomatoes (I hope), and try again next year.

Gardening is possibly the only are where trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results doesn’t necessarily mean you’re insane.

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