A Garden Update

8:00 AM

It is definitely time for another garden update! If you didn't catch my first one, you can check it out here. I looked back on it just before writing this post and WOW my plants were tiny. The above picture is a shot of my beans. They have grown so much. I am so glad I decided to plant beans this year because they have produced really well. I have beans coming out of my ears -- which is exactly what I wanted to happen! 

I've been loving this green bean recipe from the Kitchn, though I do double the garlic, of course. I always double the garlic.

There's my cat in the background, hanging out in the garden.

She obviously helps out a lot.

I have still not harvested any of the larger tomatoes. I have harvested plenty of cherry tomatoes, but the celebrity and pink brandywine ones are taking forever to turn red. I think that it's mostly my fault. I planted them really late in the season. But they are loaded with giant green tomatoes, so it's only a matter of time.

Okay -- I have got to share this trick. See the top zucchini? This has happened to me before, and after the first one turns out like that, every single one that comes after it is just the same. But this year I did a little research and found out that this happens when the flowers are not pollinated. I think this problem is connected to the bee problem (if you haven't heard about that, you can read about it here). Midway through the season, the bees just disappear!

Luckily, though, I'm just growing two zucchini plants, so it was easy to take a long, thin paintbrush and just pollinate them myself! A few days later (literally days), I harvested that model zucchini you see on the bottom from the same plant! I was totally mind-blown. As a science-minded person, dabbling in a little plant science in my own backyard was super exciting for me.

You can read about how to pollinate your zucchini plants in more detail here. Basically, zucchini plants produce male flowers and female flowers. You can tell them apart by the stem. If the stem is thin, it's a male flower. If the stem is thick, like a mini zucchini, it's a female flower. Simply use your paintbrush to transfer pollen from a male flower to all of the female flowers!

I also wanted to share about the greatness of tomato stakes. I do have tomato cages around all of my tomato plants, but my plants have grown too tall for them and were drooping all over the place. These tomato stakes are from Home Depot. A whole pack is only a couple dollars. I took some baker's twine and secured the really tall stems to the stakes. Not only will they be able to grow better, but it also makes my garden look a lot neater.

Okay, last garden hack! I technically shared this one in my last garden post, but I wanted to mention it again. I totally love my new soaker hose. It has worked so so well all season long! I have not given watering a single thought throughout the whole summer. And I hate watering. In the past, it has always led me to practically resent my garden by the end of the season. But this year, I can spend all of my garden time doing the part of gardening that I love -- harvesting! And, as a result, I have enjoyed my garden more than ever, right up to the end of the season!

In fact, I've loved my garden so much that I'm considering planting a fall garden! I have never gardened in any season but the summer before, and I am super excited to try it. Since I won't be living at home full-time this fall, it may not work out in the end, but I am hopeful! I'm still going to be working in my hometown on the weekends, so I'm going to try and squeeze in a little fall garden. And, of course, I'll be sure to post updates here, as well as any more tips and tricks I learn along the way!

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