Tomatoes Forever

A month ago, I wrote about how nicely our garden has been filling in this year. A few weeks later, it’s now become a crazy jumble that needs a serious pruning. The zinnias are popping up as fast as the weeds, and everything is in full bloom. Of the edibles we planted this year, the tomatoes are really stealing the show. Green zebra heirlooms, San Marzanos, golden cherry and grape varieties – it’s a bonafide tomato party!

Our decision this year to plant the tomatoes in MUCH BIGGER self-watering planters has really improved the process. The tomatoes are much more productive, we’re watering less frequently and they’ve managed to survive more weekend trip neglect than ever before. Though we really don’t have a lot of space in the front garden to grow produce and the footprint of the new planters dominates the available space, I still think it was a good choice. Not only have our recent hauls been satisfying, they’ve been really colorful too:

an afternoon harvest

tomatoes!
green zebra heirloom tomatoes

And what’s an edible garden without loads and loads of herbs? We get so much direct sunlight all day, every day and the herbs are loving it. As usual, we’ve grown lots of basil from seed to go with the tomatoes (and delicious, delicious fresh mozz). This year we decided on a few different kinds — sweet basil, spicy Thai basil, and a new-to-me Japanese lettuce leaf basil that features huge aromatic leaves perfect for pretty much anything. I’m still hoping to try my hand at making lettuce wraps with them!

Rounding out the herb garden are two types of rosemary, creeping and English thyme, Italian and golden oregano, common sage, lemon balm, lemon verbena, and summer savory. This year – it’s second year – the lavender also went bonkers. Planted right by the stairs for all passers-by to enjoy, it has been showing off its graceful purple blooms for more than two months now. I’d love to learn how to shape it into a dried wreath this fall.

lovely, lovely rosemary
lettuce leaf basilsweet, sweet lavender
golden oregano
growing thyme from seed

Last, but certainly not least, are my strawberries. I’ve never had a lot of luck with strawberries but each year aspire to try something different to improve my haul. Marie’s are always so much more fruitful and jealousy-enducing, but thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s produce. Or something like that. Anyway, my plants are FINALLY putting out runners, so maybe I’ll encourage them to propagate into new pots so I can try again next year. Womp, womp.

strawberries!

I can’t wait to get out and do some work this weekend. Time to pull out the pruners and clean it up a bit.

Do your weekend plans include any gardening? I’d love to hear!

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