Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A Fun Ride ...

... comes to an end 

The garden has just about yielded it's last tomato.  By the time we get back from GS-1's wedding it will probably be a complete wasteland.

I embarked on this adventure with minimal experience and a lot of hope.  My big Christmas present from Santa was this VegTrug from Gardener's Supply.

We finally got it set up and ready to plant on Memorial Day weekend.

DH mixing the soil recipe
I was so proud of my little garden ...

June 2
I planted three Bradley tomatoes, three cherry tomatoes, three green peppers, two cucumbers, and one each of basil, dill, rosemary, and thyme.  Plus three marigolds.  I had no clue I was stuffing the trough close to, if not beyond, capacity.

We had a lot of rain right off the bat and everything thrived beyond expectation.

June 18
Then we had a dry spell and I thought we'd lose everything.  Water and fertilizer to the rescue!

June 23
Just a week later everything was thriving again and I had to stake the tomatoes.  There were blooms on everything, a tiny green pepper had started to form and the herbs were going crazy.  By early July things were looking good.

July 10
And by the end of July I enjoyed my first harvest.

Lunch, July 31
Still, everything continued to grow like Topsy, producing handfulls of cherry tomatoes and a couple of Bradleys every day.

And the weirdest cucumbers in the world.

But by the end of August the garden showed signs of exhaustion.

August 23
Yesterday I discovered something had been feasting on the leaves ...

and enjoying a few cherry tomatoes along the way.

This morning I saw a wren wrestling with something in the trough and this afternoon I discovered the culprit.

Tomato Hornworm
I smushed him after this photo.

All we have left is a batch of cherry tomatoes and one cucumber vine that looks to be producing "normal" cucumbers.

It's been an adventure; I've learned a lot.  I may plant a cool weather crop when we get back from the wedding.  Or I may just plant mums and start again next spring ...


  1. my tomatoes were invaded by that same green nasty caterpillar or whatever it is - I would take one off only to find 5 more on the same plant!! I finally gave up as every day it was the same old thing - more nasty green bugs. My cucumbers did that last year too I don't know why

  2. Congratulations on a successful season!

  3. I think you did great with your garden experiment! I've given a similar new raised bed garden plot a try this year, too - with mixed results. But it's been fun to give it a try!

  4. Nothing better than home grown tomatoes! Glad you had such success with your new garden.

  5. My first encounter with a hornworm was one that the wasp had laid eggs in . . . not only the gross caterpillar but one with big white bumps along its back. I realize now that the wasp eggs are a good thing, but still, ewwwww . . . Our garden is full of weeds but there are tomatoes and a couple of cukes among them.

  6. Congrats on your 1st garden venture. As a seasoned gardener, I think you did fantastic! I encourage you to plant some spinach and lettuce for fall salads! Kale and chard as well. Rather than harvest the entire plant, pluck off leaves and let it grow until a hard frost takes them out.

    Some lessons on your results:
    *The funky cucumber shape is related to uneven watering.
    *Next year plant marigolds in the bed. Space them 12-18 inches apart. I haven't seen a hornworm since I learned this in the 90s.
    * Buy a few bags of really good compost now before it's gone. When you're done with the garden, pour the compost on the top about 4" deep. Let it do it's work all winter and you'll be ready to plant next year!

    Again, CONGRATS on your first harvest year!!!! Isn't is magnificent to grow your own food?

  7. Fantastic yields for your first foray into vegetable gardening, Libby!!

  8. The first time I tried to grow tomatoes in California, nobody warned me about the tomato hornworm. It scared me to death and I ran away screaming. LOL. Luckily, we don’t get them here in Utah (at least not in the Salt Lake Valley). But it seems as though you had a good garden year. Ours is still going strong, and probably will be until early-mid October.

  9. And what a ride it was! You harvested quite a bit from that "little patch"! You have inspired many...and I'm sure Santa's sled will be filled with them this year! ;-) Enjoy the wedding!

  10. We did raised beds ... six small ones ... and it's so nice! Don't you love being able to tend your garden without having to get on your knees to do it?!? The peppers, squash, cucumbers, potatoes, and tomatoes have played out, but the herbs are still going strong! I need a day to harvest them! Your garden looked perfect; let us know if you do the cool weather crops! :)

  11. What a fun and successful experiment!


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