Actually, some things have gotten their third and fourth buzz cuts already. I tell you, things are just bustin’ out all over in the little garden patch in my backyard. I am really, really having a hard time taming the Sage ‘BRUSH’…pun intended. This thing is getting bigger by the millisecond, and if it has it’s way, will soon take over the whole space. That is the ginormous Sage Brush in the middle of the pic below, it literally is 3 feet high and almost as wide.
The Tomatoes are right behind the Sage in growth spurts. Zero to 3 feet tall in the time it takes you to say ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ or sing the Do-Re-Mi tune from the Sound Of Music (yes, I am a Julie Andrews movie fan). Both the Cherry Tomatoes and the Tom Tomato plants are FULL of flowers and there are already a few fruits developing on them.
The Ground Cherries are popping their fruits off left, right and centre. Not really a ‘Cherry’, Ground Cherries are actually related to Tomatillos and Gooseberries. The flavour is tart and almost pineapple-y. They are enclosed in a husk and are about a half-inch in diameter in size. They are ready when the husks turn yellowy-brown and the fruits drop to the ground, hence their name. I love them added to a salad, gives a nice, tart zing to your plate.
My one, lonely Green Tomatillo plant exploded this past week. I could not believe how much it grew in 5 days. It is covered in flowers and soon I will be making the luscious Tomatillo Salsa I posted about last week.
I have already snipped my way through the herbs several times now in the last month. Bunches of Parsley, Sage, Oregano and Lavender are all hanging in the basement to dry. The Basil is attempting to bolt and I have snipped off its flower heads to keep leaf production going. Basil doesn’t dry very well, so best to keep it growing as long as you can.
The Cilantro that I allowed to bolt a few weeks ago has certainly not disappointed. There are a million little seeds developing which will soon be Coriander, either to be used culinarily ground up or kept as seeds for further plantings.
My Peppers are *just* starting to get their first flower buds, they went into the ground almost 3 weeks after the tomatoes due to chillier weather back in the beginning of June. They have a long way to go though before I can harvest any for the myriad of canning production lines I have planned, most notably, my Pickled Serrano Peppers and Mango Pico de Gallo.
The Red & Green Leaf Lettuce is producing steadily too. I keep cutting off leaves as I need them daily but have thinned a small section to allow them to grow to full size. The Mesclun Salad Mix is all but done, most have bolted and I have been pulling out of the larger ones and keeping the smaller ones to cut for salads.
After the past 3 years of having a mint plant in the ground and hiring José the Mexican Gardener with his machete to keep it at bay, I ripped it out this spring and planted a few cuttings into a large pot. Once a week I snip the runners that try to escape the pot. If left to its own devices, mint would soon envelop the world in its pepperminty leaves, suffocating all life as we know it (or making everyone a mint julep lover). I am the saviour of the world from the evil mint… or at least my own backyard, you can never let your guard down with a mint plant around.
Except for the Sage ‘Brush’ plant, all my herbs are in pots this year. Which saves room in the actual ground for tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos and whatever else I fancy growing this year.
New this year is a bed of cedar mulch. Combined with an automatic sprinkler setup to water every 2nd day for 45 minutes, the garden has not dried out in the hot, sunny location and has the added benefit of keeping the weeds down.
Stay tuned to see what happens in July, and judging by the amount of the flowers on the tomatoes, I will be looking to offload quite a few of them to unsuspecting family, friends and neighbours…