Time is passing by so quickly. The garden is growing like crazy and I can’t seem to keep up with all of the delicious tomatoes! I did not realize how tall san marzano tomatoes can grow! They have grown well past their cages and have drooped all the way to the ground without snapping their branches. I enjoy the evening watering. Finding the hidden grass hoppers and praying mantis as I douse my garden with cool water.
It seems that the first big batch of tomatoes will be used for salsa since the additional ingredients are in season at the big box stores. The second round are growing big and bright green. This batch I think I will can. This is my first year water bath canning. The roma and san marzano tomatoes will be turned into delicious sauces for pizzas, pastas, and any other dish that calls for them.
I have been keeping my garden journal full of updates weekly to know the precise time of its maturity. This will be incredibly helpful as I plan my fall garden and next year’s garden. Since my space is limited in the garden box, I want to capitalize on non-invasive and root veggies. Clyde’s Garden Planner has been a wonderful teacher to help me figure out how to garden seriously. The chart can be adjusted to your frost dates and even lists companion veggies. So that is what has been my go to for gardening this year.
Lettuce, radishes, and spinach will be all that I plant in the coming weeks. I don’t have enough room in the garden bed for much more than that. My jalapenos and tomatoes will produce until the first hard frost and the kale much farther than that. The garlic and broccoli looks like they have stopped growing. I blame the heat. My wish is to ride it out until the fall in hopes of getting a broccoli head. Everywhere I have read says to plant garlic in the fall for a spring harvest. I did the opposite and I am beginning to regret my decision.
For Dollar Store seeds, I am not disappointed. They have served me well, but will probably not last years and years. I just ordered my fall seeds from Baker Creek Seed Company in Hannibal, MI. Their heirloom seeds are famous and responsibly sourced. My Dollar Store seeds will not have that kind of longevity.
Seeds are an investment. The Fair Trade World Project is bringing to light the every growing battle of big corporations buying out small farmers all across India. Many farmers will give everything up just to keep their seeds. This is such a foreign concept to us 21st century gardeners in America. The seeds are abundant and so are the hardware stores with flowers spilling out of every isle. We are so fortunate. I have a small box in my pantry with all of my seeds and I look forward to seeing my collection grow over the years to pass down to my children one day.