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Kyle On: Our Summer Harvest

Wed, July 12, 2017

Last year was our first attempt at a summer crop, and it was a learning experience to say the least. After a growing season last summer, figuratively and literally, we made a few updates to our garden this summer for a more fruitful harvest {here’s hoping!}.

We’ve had many successes {and quite a few failures} this harvest. Warren installed irrigation in our raised beds earlier this year which has helped tremendously since last summer I got so busy and just couldn’t find the time to hand water them enough. Our tomatoes are growing quite strong, and we’ve enjoyed a few ripe ones so far. I love seeing each variety ripen to a different color. Our purple eggplant is doing great also. We’ve had a few squirrels walk away with a couple, but usually Milly, our pup, does a pretty good job at keeping them away.

It may be too early to say, but I think I have mastered growing herbs {probably because they’re the easiest!}. Having fresh herbs on hand always adds the perfect touch to a home cooked meal.

Last year our biggest success was peppers. They have not grown quite as well this year, but we have still enjoyed making salsa and pickling a few jalapeños!

As for the failures… our squash and zucchini were total busts. Just like last year, they gave way to squash borers and I haven’t found a way to keep them at bay besides the really yucky task of handpicking them off. These may have to be a permanent farmers market pick up instead. But hey, at least we tried right?

By the time our squash and zucchini died, so did the strawberries. They were tucked too far underneath the squash and zucchinis to get any sun, a lesson to take away for next year! And sadly, our homegrown watermelon was not ready to enjoy for the Fourth of July, but I am hoping it will be ready soon.

To be honest, our summer harvest started off much stronger than where it is today. I’ve been out of town so much, and Warren and I were able to tend to it much more when I was home more often. It also doesn’t help that is has rained every single day here in Tallahassee for the past month and a half {if not longer!}. This makes it a little trickier to get out there and get my hands dirty.

Each crop I learn something new, but I wish there was a cheat sheet for a beginner gardener! I do my research online but it’s never concise enough… any suggestions?

- Kyle

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