Summer Harvest

When I was a little kid, I remember having a cherry tomato plant in the back patio of our family’s apartment. I LOVED that thing and have always wanted to grow my own tomatoes when I had the space and the time to do it. We don’t have a backyard in our current house but we do have a very sunny deck. When it was time for planting season, I asked my handy hubby to help me put together a (sub)urban vegetable garden so I could grow my own summer fruits and veggies.

I knew this year was going to have mixed results, as this is my first time growing anything, and it was going to take a little trial and error to figure out which plants grow well in containers. Here’s a few pictures of my setup:
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I’ve got individual planters and a two long planter boxes. I learned really early on that the bigger the container, the better the plant will grow. I made the mistake of putting some of my plants in containers that were way too small, which I think stunted plant growth.

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The plants I’m growing are:

    • Zucchini
    • Three types of tomatoes: Sweet Hybrid 100, Patio Tomato, and Yellow Pear Tomatoes
    • Renault Strawberries
    • A thornless raspberry bush (purchased from Costco)
    • A Garden Salsa pepper plant
    • Maxibel french green beans
    • Two types of cucumbers: the classic cucumber and Boston pickling
    • Genovese basil

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I have an irrigation system set up with an automatic timer, which I would HIGHLY recommend. I had the lofty goal of hand watering my plants but as the summer gets hot, I found my plants getting a little wilt-y from the heat, and suffering when I was gone for more than a day or two. An automatic drip system has worked out superbly.

Of all my plants, my zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers seem to be doing the best. The green beans did well…until the zucchini leaves took over the sun real estate space, under which my green bean plants are now living.  My poor cucumber plants have gone through a lot, so it produced a few cukes and then petered out.
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My fruiting plants are doing so in full force, and I was able to make a lovely garden salsa using my tomatoes and peppers. Salsa is an amazingly simple thing to make and it makes a great snack with some tortilla chips, or as a condiment for a morning omelet.
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My zucchini plants are starting to pick up steam…I’m definitely going to have to find more zucchini recipes soon!