In the course of the past three weeks since I last wrote about my little potted garden on my porch, I’ve managed to kill a few plants as well as add in a few others. If you remember correctly, I have a black thumb that I’m attempting to turn green. This years little crop includes jalapeno and red peppers, two kinds of tomatoes, mint, basil, rosemary, cilantro, onions, cucumbers, spinach and tomatillos.
Did you know that tomatillos grow to be seven feet tall? Considering mine is almost my height, this doesn’t surprise me. But it was news to me, nonetheless. (I’m kind of scared that once it gets taller than me, it’s going to come after me in the night. REVENGE OF THE TOMATILLO! Next great thriller, I’m telling you. No?) Did you ALSO know that tomatillos, like humans, need another tomatillo to make babies? Or in their case, little green fruit? I DID NOT. So I had to go out in search of a mate for my dear plant and of course everywhere was sold out. I finally found one a local nursery. That one is not quite as large and in charge as the other one (we know which one wears the pants in this relationship. I crack myself up.) and doesn’t seem to be growing at an immensely fast rate as the other one, but I’m sure it’ll catch up.
My cucumber was the little surprise, considering I thought it had died the minute I transplanted it. It hugged the ground and shriveled up and apparently just went into shock. Because now that sucker is growing like a weed and those leaves are huge. I have to find some string for it to climb before it decides that my tomatillo plant is a good alternative. My spinach, grown from seed, is doing really nicely and my jalapeno plant has three little peppers on it already!
My tomato plant finally decided to grow within these past couple weeks of intense heat; I was hoping it would start getting jealous of the tomatillo which probably grew a foot in the first week and luckily, it worked.
There have been a few fatalities…namely the snapdragons which immediately died upon transplanting and did not recover quite like the cucumber. The begonia, despite being moved inside out of the sun, died a flattened out pancake look despite no one sitting on it. I did manage to resuscitate some magnolias which had taken a wind-blown leap off my balcony, went without water for two weeks and now are thriving in place of the snap dragons. I gave those snapdragons some major TLC and they die but the plants I abuse and abandon are bushy and healthy. Take that for a spin why don’t ya?
I was looking back at pictures I took when I first started this garden and I’m actually pretty impressed with how big everything has gotten. I’m loving the flowers but am even more excited about being able to eat vegetables from my garden. I may even try to make pickles out of my cucumbers (I got the smaller variety that are good for that sort of thing). I KNOW. WHO AM I? I’m so ambitious.
I’m learning a bit from my little gardening endeavor but the real challenge will be to get my tomato plants to produce fruit that I actually can eat. Last year, the bottoms of my big tomatoes rotted out before they were even ripe and the small tomatoes didn’t do too much better. Tips? Advice?