We had such a dry summer this year that my garden did not do as well as it should have. Since I don’t have any irrigation set up yet and half my crops were in containers this year, even daily watering just wasn’t enough to get the kind of production I was expecting. I still did very well compared to my first two summers when there were zero gardens here and everything needed to be done from scratch, so I’m not complaining.
Now that it’s cooler and the rains have finally decided to fall on us again, a lot of my garden is exploding with new growth. My cilantro looks like the grocery store variety for the first time ever, I have about a billion Red Russian kale seedlings popping up all over the place, the arugula is back in full force after seeding itself, and the celery and artichoke plants are growing as fast as they can. The optimistic tomatillo plants have more flowers than leaves, the nasturtiums are twining everywhere, the Lacinato kale is huge and the leeks are putting on girth.
My lone habanero plant did well, and I have been collecting little orange peppers and hanging them to dry. I got a handful of poblanos and a bunch of jalapenos as well, and I’m going to bring my plants inside before it gets frosty and try to keep them alive over the winter. I foresee a fungus gnat infestation in my future… Hope I’m wrong!
A few plants have departed, the tomatoes are long gone and their skeletons have been picked clean by chickens and ducks. The okra is brown mush after a pitiful harvest of of about six pods, and the cucumbers are toast. The Mammoth Russian sunflowers in the ground did pretty well and were cut down. I’ve saved a few heads for growing more.
I discovered this year that rabbits LOVE eating sunflower plants, so I’ll be planting a large crop of them next year, along with the black oil type. Even the dead brown sunflower leaves seem to be considered a treat and they store well along with being cheap, easy to grow and drought tolerant. It’s also neat to see their heads turning to look at the sun all day long.