Yesterday, I did the dirty (work). I hauled the soil, which had been in unsightly piles on my driveway, into the backyard to this patch (see below). I'd already picked most of the weeds in the area, and the tall weeds are set to be weedwacked by my husband this weekend.
After hauling the dirt and making nice raised rows, I planted my tomatoes. I had purchased two (they were $1 each, I couldn't say no), but the rest were from seed.
While starting my tomatoes from seed is work in mid-spring, the benefits are reaped now. I have FIFTY-TWO TOMATO PLANTS.
Good Gosh. FIFTY-TWO. I mean, what was I supposed to do? Toss out the "extra" plants? Um, no, I don't think so. Especially in Oregon, when tomatoes sometimes are but sometimes are not prolific. And especially since they're being put in the ground in late June (may not have a great growing season).
But still. FIFTY-TWO. I could label each plant by an alphabetic letter, and I'd work through the alphabet TWICE. Insanity. (As a note, I kinda want to do that, just so I can have a plant labeled "ZZ."
A few were looking a bit droopy after transplanting yesterday, so, after hand-watering each plant well, I set the sprinkler out there to gently water for about an hour. I did it again for about 15 minutes this morning. When I let the dog out a few minutes later, I finally ventured over to see how the droopy plants were doing. Verdict? FIFTY-TWO alert, happy, growing tomato plants.
Part of me asks myself: What have I done?! But really, tomatoes, for me, epitomize summer. They say that the olfactory (your nose) memories are the strongest, and when it comes to tomatoes, I agree. There is NOTHING like the smell of a tomato plant and a fresh-picked tomato. It reminds me of summer. And of happiness.
Speaking of happiness, the blueberries are right behind the tomatoes. And look at those pops of blue!
Yesserrie, we have blueberries. It is very difficult to wait until they are 100% ripe. They taste pretty darn good with a teeny bit of green (the blue ones in this photo are about 3 days away from "ripe" picking, but they taste yummy now too).
And, I'm also pleased to report that ALL OF MY OTHER SEEDS are sprouting. Every type of plant I planted has at least 70% of the seeds coming up.
My yin yang beans are slowing coming up (they were slow to arrive, for some reason). They are on the left side of the box, below.
In the middle of the box, there are my sunburst squash. With vines for beans going up and over each side of the box, I have room for squash down the center of the box.
And, on the far right side of the box, there are my green, yellow, and purple pole beans!
On the right side of this box, my triofono violetto beans (purple pole beans) are poking up.
And my eggplants are doing well also! They're the bottom two plants here.
I have also added to my pepper pack. There are three gypsy peppers, one chocolate bell pepper, and one Anaheim chili plant.
I decided to break down a while back and I bought two pumpkin plants, good for baking and making into pie filling (or any other cooking pumpkin recipes). I say "broke down" because we have a place where we can buy this type of pumpkin for 25-50 cents apiece. But, I'm planning on the peas not being around for too much longer, which means I can train the pumpkin vines to go into where the peas are. Might as well use the space, right? I may end up getting one more plant, for that purpose. Either a butternut or another pumpkin.
My cucumbers are almost complete. I need 2-3 more plants, preferably lemon cucumbers. I need to also see if it's possible to freeze tzatziki sauce. That would solve the possible influx of cucumbers I may have. But, I can always make pickles!
My find of the day yesterday? SIX GROUND CHERRY PLANTS. Just when I had given up on having any this year. Oh my. Oh my oh my. I literally squealed in the nursery. They are all healthy, and I am so excited. I should note that all my plants were labeled as $2 apiece, but I had a buy one get one gift certificate, so they became $1 apiece. In my mind, at least.
And, to add to my excitement, my YARD LONG BLACK SEEDED BEANS are coming up. I've wanted to grow these for a while, so this is super-exciting.
On the right side of this bed, my rattlesnake and purple pole beans are also coming up! They're doing REALLY well, actually.
And, in between my two rhubarb plants, my additional bed of sunburst squash are doing well too. In fact, I was able to thin them out (I put two seeds in a few holes, and then had 100% germination and had to thin), and move them to another spot successfully!
On the right side of this bed, my scarlett runner beans are coming in full force. They are near the deck so (hopefully) we will have great views of the red flowers.
My croockneck squash are popping up. YUM.
My eastern delight squash is also doing really well (see right side of this bed).
And, finally, my okra are coming up!!! I got clemson spineless okra, so here's hoping they are good.
And remember, in addition to the above there are:
Lettuce, spinach, basil, arugula, cauliflower, yellow/white/red sweet onions, walla walla onions, red onions, fingerling potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, 4 types of carrots, broccoli, 3 types of peas, garlic, chives, rosemary, mint, sage, oregano, plums, apples, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, cornelian cherries, jostaberries, red currants, and cherries.
I love summer. And I still have more to plant.