The excitement of starting my diminutive (but fast-growing) garden back in June has given way to some late summer doldrums. The cucumber vines are withering, leaves on the once-lush green tomato vines are either shriveling or turning yellow (or both), and carrots and lettuce planted in July have failed to grow.
All is not lost, however. While the tomato plants are looking a little humble lately, I'm excited to see the actual fruit are finally growing. And the little finger eggplants have been very prolific, growing at least two to three eggplants per week.
Another surprise comes from the bean plants I planted in July. I thought I got in the game way too late, for the bush bean plants have looked pretty puny, and the pole beans, while quickly climbing to the top of the wigwam, had few leaves (and those that did grow were looking a little drab). Nevertheless, on closer inspection, I discovered that the beans were growing. There will probably be only a handful, but its more than I was expecting.
The cucumber vines have now slowed down (I think one of them is on its deathbed). But, before the wilting started, cucumbers were growing fast and furious. Below, a sample of the harvest as presented by my daughter in my best Saveur-style composition.
I haven't planted anything for fall. Is mid-September too late? I thought I might as well try planting some spinach and more salad greens since I have plenty of seeds. If you have ideas, please let me know in the comments.
The roll call, box-by-box (and row by row, left to right):
· The Cherokee tomato plant has grown a couple of fruit.
· The green zebra tomato plant keeps growing taller, but no sign of fruit yet.
· After a bountiful July, one of the cucumber plants started to shrivel and die, while the other is sporadically growing cukes.
· Red chard, while still alive, looks puny and almost the same as it did a month ago.
· Basil is getting woody. The lower leaves are withering and turning yellow. Some of the leaves are being eaten by bugs, but the plant is still producing.
· The pole beans have climbed up to the top of the wigwam and flowered. They don't look too healthy, yet they are actually producing tiny beans.
· Arugula continues to grow, though slowly.
· I planted more frisee here, but nothing has come up.
· The Asian green salad mix continues growing, but is not large enough to snip.
· Vintage wine tomatoes are growing.
· Brandywine vine is growing some huge tomatoes.
· Hillbilly tomato plant also has about four large tomatoes now.
· The finger eggplant has been very productive, growing two to three eggplants at a time.
· More radishes coming along here.
· The yellow bush beans I planted in late July have grown about a foot and don't look so good. But, like the pole beans, I discovered there are tiny little beans growing.
· The spicy/globe basil will not stop growing.
· Beets never showed up.
· Seeds for carrots went in here, but they seemed to have failed.
Stay tuned for more updates, or follow along as I post photos of the garden's progress on flickr.