I’ve never been what you might call a Green Thumb. I’m actually quite successful at killing houseplants and pretty much anything I plant in my yard. Have been my whole life. As a matter of fact, it’s kind of a joke in my family…how I couldn’t keep a houseplant alive if my life depended on it.
But when it comes to my vegetable garden, I’m pretty dog-gone proud of myself! My vegetables are growing beautifully and I’m harvesting something every day. Actually, my garden has sort of gone crazy. I’ve already harvested all of my peas, green beans, yellow wax beans and lettuces. I’m currently picking zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, little cherry peppers and a couple of small beets.
I’m also starting to harvest these interesting little items I planted — Lemon Cucumbers. They’re an heirloom variety and they are quite unusual. They’re the color of lemons, about the size of a tennis ball, yet they taste like a cucumber. Very juicy, too. We’ve enjoyed them in salads, mostly. But the other day we made 10 jars of homemade pickles (to be blogged after we’ve taste-tested them!), and one of the jars includes wedges of the Lemon Cucumber.
One of the funny things about this garden is that the squash, watermelon, cucumbers, gourds and pumpkins are taking over. I have vines going everywhere and every day I’m out there shifting them around, trying to keep them from getting all tangled with one another! In one of my raised beds, I have my 4 tomato cages with tall plants. But the other day I went to check on them and here was this baby crookneck squash hanging up in the tomato cages. I thought, what on earth is that all about?! I started digging through it and found that one of the vines of the ornamental gourds I planted had wound its way across the bed and up into the tomato cages. I tried to direct it out of there, but it was holding on tight and I didn’t want to break it off.
The other thing going absolutely nuts in my garden is the watermelon. I’ve never planted it before so I didn’t know what to expect. The vines are very long and I swear they grow a foot a day! On the day this picture was taken, I had 14 watermelons growing on the three plants. I told my mom about it and she said the nutrients in the vine can’t possibly feed all of those watermelons and I may not get any of them to grow big enough to ripen. She said I needed to pick some of them and toss them.
Okay, I tried. I really did. I picked three of them that had just started growing and put them in my compost pile. I couldn’t bring myself to throw out any of the bigger ones. They’re my babies! I felt horrible just tossing them away! Sigh. A few days later, I did end up picking the biggest one to see if it was ripe. It wasn’t.
All in all, we are loving this size garden. It’s just right for a family of five. The kids enjoy helping out (especially Brady, who goes out there first thing every morning to see what’s changed from the day before). And there’s nothing better than enjoying fresh foods right from your own backyard. Awesome.