Back in the spring, I was head over heels to plant my new garden, to watch it grow and see the harvest. Well, it’s now the end of the summer and things didn’t quite go as I’d hoped.
I had a great lettuce harvest in late spring. For that I’m thankful. The carrots and beets?
While they looked great above ground, the carrots and beets never really matured. Both were teeny tiny and just strange.
Then we went to Italy & Spain for a couple weeks. While we were away enjoying the sunny 70’s of the Mediterranean, Atlanta got a lot of rain. The garden grew. The green beans got fat – which apparently removes all of the flavor. The cucumber vine blossomed and quadrupled in size. The jalapeno peppers proliferated. The lettuce bolted. And the tomato plant tumbled over…
My heart sank when I saw the lush tomato plant on the ground. Really how did it get that big?! Stems bruised, cage still intact, we went to Lowe’s for some stakes and ties to pull her back up. All of the fruit was still attached and the plant thrived. There were at least 12 large tomatoes on the plant. And then…
The squirrels pulled every last tomato off the plant. (The picture is fuzzy because it was raining and it was taken indoors with my phone.)
With all of the beets and carrots pulled up and the okra plant looking feeble, the tomatoes were my last real hope. I wanted to be mad but every time I’d see this picture, I’d laugh. And here’s the thing… the squirrels don’t even eat the tomatoes. They just pull them off, take a bite and throw them to the ground.
This was my first garden. It was exciting to use some of the food in the kitchen. But I will be honest. The little carrots were not the tastiest I’ve eaten. As a first time gardener, I obviously have a lot to learn about the soil, composting, rotation and what works best in Georgia. But I also understand that the historic rainfall we had this summer may have hindered my little garden’s progress.
Today, I still have a few sweet peppers out there. The first 2 were delicious in an omelet, black bean salad and black bean burgers.
The end of summer doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the growing season here in Georgia. I’d love to plant some kale, collards, turnips and lettuce for a fall and winter harvest. Though I’m tempted; I am hanging up my gloves for for now. I’ll be back.
If you just tuned in, you may be interested in these stories on how it all began