Due to recent baby-having events, this summer's garden is smaller and more focused than I've had in years past. I didn't plant the larger, lower bed at all this year. It's just too much work to prepare the soil and plant that big space. Instead, I'm focusing on the uppermost, medium-sized bed, as well as my usual container crops.
Rather than experimenting with new things, this year's garden is (mostly) focused on crops I've grown successfully in previous years. I have the summer staples of tomatoes, peppers, green beans and squash all growing vigorously from seeds I purchased online from Botanical Interests.
The pole beans have taken off nicely, as beans usually do, and have already reached the top of the tripods I made for them. Dakota brought me some long poles from his shop, so perhaps the beans will climb even higher. The pumpkin plants are spreading into the space between the beans, in classic summer garden style. Although I haven't done well with winter squash in the past, I decided to try pumpkins this year because I think it would be really cool for my son to be able to pick his Halloween pumpkin from his very own backyard patch.
I am also trying okra again, despite past failures. Okra really should grow nicely in my bright, sunny garden, so we'll see. I've started the okra in small pots, and so far I have three seedlings, which I hope to plant in a couple of weeks. I'd love to eat fresh-picked okra in August, so I've got my fingers crossed that this year I'll finally get my wish.
Of the three tomato plants currently growing in containers, I have one pear tomato, one cherry variety and one that I'm not sure of. I noticed a volunteer tomato plant growing in my strawberry pot, and, considering that time is short this year, I decided to scoop it out and see what it might produce. It's just starting to make baby tomatoes, so I should know in a few weeks.
Alongside these new crops, I have three eggplants and four pepper plants from last year that survived the winter and are making fruit for a second year. I have to watch them closely for pests and disease, but so far they seem to be doing well. In my garden, I've found peppers prefer a bit of shade for part of the day, and then they'll make me lots of colorful fruit.
So, that's it for this summer. I have given up on growing corn. I just don't think I have enough space or rich enough soil to be truly successful. I'm also taking a year off from zucchini, after last summer's embarrassing failure. Besides, I can get zucchini for $1.99/pound at the grocery store or farmers' market, so it hardly seems worth it to grow my own.