Boom! Thanks to several days of rain interspersed with some beautifully sunny, summery days, my small raised bed kitchen garden has exploded. When I look back at my post from May, I can't believe how, well, empty things looked:
Today, I can pick lettuce, romaine, chard, beets, onions, peas, basil, cilantro, zucchini, and nasturtiums from the garden to eat. We've been hauling in handfuls of lettuces and tender onions for wilted green salads with warm bacon dressing.
Hello, helpful butterfly!
Tomatoes are well on their way. I've been pruning them to a single stake and their main stems are tied once at about 18". They'll be tied to the stakes again soon as they grow a bit higher and need the support. There are blossoms on every plant and I am hopeful for fruit.
Thanks to the density of the plants, I haven't had to do much weeding. My toddler and I do make it a chore on occasion to pull little weed seedlings from the rich soil, but it has not been a daunting task at all. I'll check back in later this summer with more on weeds, as they might really take off as temperatures rise.
A few plants didn't make it (R.I.P., cabbage, peppers, and lemon squash). Next year, I will likely start cabbage from plants, not seed. Otherwise, I have very little regret about starting everything from seed: it has been a fulfilling experience. I suspect that once we have used up the lettuces and pulls all of the still-growing carrots, the garden will be filled by primarily the large squash and tomato plants. This insight will definitely come in handy when planning next year's garden.
How is your garden growing? Have you, like us in the midwest, had a lot of rain helping you out?
(Image credits: Regina Yunghans)