08 August 2010

Garden update - early August

I think I'm in need of fertilizer. I added some of the organic kind, hoping it will boost some of my plants, many of which seem to be suffering as badly as I am in this heat.

The good news is that I finally have bell peppers coming in - two tiny buds and one medium-sized one are making an appearance. There is also evidence of two pickling cucumbers and the start of green beans. I've also continued to have a steady supply of lettuce, green onions, thyme, oregano and basil. Plus, I just harvested a bunch of carrots -- many are tiny, so I've just planted less of them to give them more space.

(small harvest of carrots - soon to be integrated into vegetable stock)

(pickling cucumbers)

(bell peppers)

(bush beans)

Not all my plants are doing so well, though. One of the tomato plants looks like it's barely making it, the leaves are curling and no flowers have appeared. My other two tomato plants are also struggling, though they're producing flowers at least. But their leaves are dying at a rapid rate. The cilantro looks terrible, and I had to get rid of 75% of it because it was dying in the heat. The parsley also seems to be stunted, but hopefully the fertilizer will give it some life.

(we have fruit
- but it's small and scarred. Tastes good, though! That's one of my compost bins in the back.)

(These tomato plant's leaves look terrible)

(What's left of my cilantro, which is quickly going to seed)

I also started some late summer/fall crops, including spinach, chives, and kale. Keeping my fingers crossed!

(kale, spinach, and chive seedlings)

Next year, I will hopefully have a decent amount of compost to use as additional fertilizer. My worm bin seems to be thriving, and I noticed that my small outside compost bin is progressing beautifully. I bought 2 more 5-gallon buckets so I can start additional composting. Hopefully they'll be ok over the winter months. Is it ok to leave compost bins outside once winter hits?


  1. For some reason, I've only just discovered you! I look forward to doing a little catching-up.


  2. I'm so glad! I love love love your blog and read it faithfully, especially since we're both South Philly gardeners. :)

  3. Your garden seems doing great for its first plants. I like the way you mulch your garden. The tomatoes and the banana pepper are so healthy and yummy in the photos. I just hope that my tomatoes can grow big as yours.

  4. I’m a bit curious in your tomatoes. The leaves are really dry. Do you use soil compost? It is better than spraying some fertilizers. They say that a healthy plant is because of its healthy soil. I hope that it can help you. Soil compost is better than tap soil and I am already a witness of it.

  5. Hi Melanie,
    You're right, the leaves are very dry. I've had terrible luck with tomato plants, though at least they're producing fruit. Since I'm growing in containers, I have to be careful that the soil can drain easily. I used organic potting soil, and I've fed it with worm castings, compost, and organic fertilizer. The weather in Philly has been oppressively hot, and I think that may have something to do with the tomatoes' appearance.

  6. yeah, the weather in Philly is kinda extreme nowadays. That no matter what soil you have, the sun will dry it up. LOL. Same goes with my tomatoes. They are starting to dry up and the fruits are starting to turn yellow earlier than expected. BUt it is worth it. At least I can still cook the tomatoes for dinner. LOL