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"Not Broken, Just Bent": Garden Update

This has been such a difficult week, with so many emotions to process.  There was great sorrow mixed with gratitude for the life we have.  There was even more sadness after learning of the devastation in West, Texas; then there was relief today and the ability to finally tear myself away from constant news coverage.  I don’t have many wise words to share about the events this week, but what has helped me get through the week is spending time outside, watching things grow; seeing life springing up.  There is something deeply meditative about spending time in the garden.

The past two weeks have actually been pretty hard on the garden.  Twice we’ve had strong windstorms coupled with a drop in temperature.  The wind really did a number on the plants in the aquaponic bed–I’m not sure why, but it might have to do with it being elevated to waist height.  The morning following the storm, I went out to check on everything and found the tomato plants were really bruised and battered, the peppers had withered and the squash leaves were torn and bruised.  I pruned most of the damaged vines and leaves but it was sad because they were really growing and flowering well and some vines that were full of flowers had to be removed.  This week, there was another windstorm but not nearly as damaging as the prior one.  It was a little bit of a setback, but the plants are beginning to bounce back.  
Mint and Thyme growing like crazy

Even the fish seem to be growing!
The tomatoes in the traditional soil bed are doing really well.  All of the plants except one variety, the “Early Girl” are in bloom and have set fruit.  The “Early Girl” tomato in the aquaponic garden hasn’t bloomed either, so I’m not going to worry about them yet.  
“Sweet 100” tomato in traditional soil garden
“Sweet 100” tomato in aquaponic garden
The elusive “San Marzano” tomato
This past week, I noticed that the beautiful petunias were getting ravaged by caterpillars.  I started pulling them off by hand, but quickly realized that this was a losing, uphill battle and instead bought some organic pest control for the ornamental flowers.  Since it seems that the dinner bell has rung for the pests, I decided to pretty up the vegetable garden with some marigolds.  I have always heard that marigolds repel certain insects that prey on vegetables and keeping last year’s pest problem in mind, I decided to plant the marigolds in the empty spaces in the cinderblocks as a kind of force field.  I’ll let you know if it’s successful, but in the meantime, it is really pretty!  I think I’ll pick up a bunch more this weekend to fill the rest of the holes.
May the Force repel caterpillars!
I’m really excited about the little cucumber plants.  I have totally outed myself as a City Mouse.  Every day, I’ve been looking at the cucumbers, wondering if they will ever fruit.  I kept seeing flowers, but no cucumbers, or so I thought.  Then one day this week, I was looking really closely and finally saw them and squealed “pickles!!”  Apparently, I’ve never seen cucumbers growing on the vine before and didn’t know what I was looking at and yes, I do know it’s not called a pickle plant!  
Can you see the “pickle”?
The zucchini and yellow crookneck squash has been blooming as well, and like the cucumbers, I just noticed the baby squash growing behind the blossom!  Very exciting!   
Zucchini Squash blossom in traditional soil garden
Zucchini Squash in aquaponic garden
This entry was posted in: garden


Hello and thank you for visiting my blog, Salty Sweet Life! My name is Tracey and nothing makes me happier than cooking for my friends and family. Food is my passion, whether I'm trying out a new restaurant, delving into a cookbook or mixing up a cocktail.

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  1. Pingback: “W & P” Mint Julep from “Shake” | Salty Sweet Life

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