While quite a few plants in the garden are still going strong -- namely the tomatoes, peppers, heartier herbs, rainbow chard and non-food plants -- most of the others have lived our their natural lives, and with the coming of fall, it's time for a little renewal in the garden.
Our two-week trip to Milwaukee, New York and DC led to the accelerated demise of several of the plants, namely the wall-planted strawberries that had been a bit of a challenge all summer anyway. But now they are dead dead dead.
And while the bushy Italian basil plant is not dead, taking a two-week break from pinching off all the flowers made it rapidly go to seed, meaning those leaves are no longer very tasty.
After months of getting a lot of TLC, the okra plant just made it clear that it was not meant to thrive in our SoCal climate (and our total lack of summer this year clearly did not help). So after several months, I salvaged two measly pods and decided to give up on the plants.
Fortunately, that made room for new basil plants, now housed next to a new crop of lettuce which will hopefully do a bit better than my last attempt, given that fall temps should be cooler.
But before I uprooted the okra, I did pluck out the rogue tomato plants that had started to sprout in there when the crows ravaged my tomato crop and spread seeds across the whole garden.
The broccoli really never liked the heat of the summer (preferring to flower instead of producing heads of broccoli), though it did produce some nice seed pods, so I decided to uproot the old broccoli and repurpose its pot for all of the rogue tomato plant seedlings.
Of course, now it is ideal broccoli weather, so I started some new broccoli seedlings, along with some Brussels sprouts seedlings next door.
In the happy surprise category, there are two bits of good news. The calla lily that I had uprooted a few months back, only to discover that the plant had made bulbs that looked like alien mushrooms, has now started to grow back. Fingers crossed that I will actually get some blooms out of it! (And yes, that's a rogue tomato in the lower right of the pot, but it has since gone in with the other rogue seedlings.)
The best news of all, though, is that I'm finally getting a little action from my cucumbers (not the first attempt this year). Check out one of the littler ones...
But the little guy is dwarfed by the one larger Japanese cucumber that's finally looking edible. Check out the comparison in size from one day to the next!
Okay, sure, there may be a little camera trickery in there. But I swear it's growing! And that will make the multiple attempts at growing cucumbers worthwhile -- if I can just eat one of them!
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