In My Garden

After months and months of craving homegrown tomatoes, it’s finally time to harvest. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one interested in this fruit. The black birds are robbing me of my surplus (intended for homemade marinara sauce).

And they aren’t just going after the ripe ones…

They are ruining these, too (–the tomatoes, not the adorable, perfect baby toes!). The birds take a few “bites,” realize they aren’t as tasty as the red ones, and move one to maul another one.

Very. Frustrating.

I might have to use some netting. But who has time? I feel like I’m doing good to keep it watered and weeded. We’ll see. I’m determined to go out there early in the morning to pick anything that is even semi-ripe. Hopefully that will help. The early bird gets the tomato.

Do you recognize this herb? It’s my all-time favorite: cilantro. Cilantro makes everything better! It’s already too hot for this culinary delight, but I have a lot of these little volunteer sprouts in the garden. I know they won’t survive in the heat, but I’m going to let them go as long as they can.

Back to tomatoes…

Have you grown the little pear tomatoes? I’ve grown the yellow pear tomatoes many times (mainly because they look good), but this is my first year to grow the red ones. Um, I’m not impressed. I think half of them split before they are completely ripe (why don’t the birds just eat these?). I’m seriously considering ripping them out and planting a row of zinnias with some leftover seeds.

Speaking of zinnias, I planted some on Sunday. They sprouted on Tuesday. That’s one of the reasons zinnias are awesome–talk about instant gratification!

Note: Once it’s warm, it’s even better to just sow the seeds directly in the ground, but I’m afraid either the chickens will ruin them or I’ll forget to keep the ground moist.

This one is still wearing its little seed cap. I can’t wait to watch it grow. Watching and waiting for something grown from seed is so much more rewarding for me when it finally blooms. Every time I grow something from seed, it makes me feel like a kid again–just waiting for each seed to poke its sleepy head from the soil and checking its daily progress–makes going out in the heat worth it. I should grow from seeds more often. It’s also cheaper.

Did I mention I have a bucket of seed packets that have never made it to the soil? Oops. (That might belong in “The Ugly Truth” category.)

At least I planted these! I also planted some basil (because the basil I bought and never planted is almost dead).

Look at how it grew in just a few days (I planted it on Sunday, too).

I’ll be cutting it for salad and pesto before I know it.

I know I’m bouncing all over the yard, but look at the hydrangeas… They will get their own post one day soon.

They’re already starting to change colors. I highly recommend Endless Summer hydrangeas.

And now, for those of you (me) who need a cute baby fix:

My bouncing baby boy! Are you growing veggies this year? How are you dealing with birds or other garden bandits? I’m open to suggestions!

Happy growing this weekend!


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7 Responses to In My Garden

  1. Christi says:

    Hi There… found your blog via Robyn Farmer. I live in Brenham (in town) too. I love to garden, and can relate to so many things you wrote about. I have had my share of losses due to the birds as well. Same scenario… barely pink tomatoes, ruined. I finally went to Lowes and bought two packages of netting…unwrapped it, and just draped it right over the plants and tucked in under near the base. Took me about five minutes, and I have not lost a tomato since. I have a little guy as well, so I know how precious our time can be.

    We are hoping to build a coop sometime soon, and get some chickens, so I love reading about your chickens too.

    Have a great weekend.

  2. Kacee says:

    I have never grown the red pears but I have grown the yellow pears- they split as well, not all the fruit but most. I still eat them if they aren’t bad. That’s a bummer about the birds, they are getting our strawberries. Next year we are putting up an electric fence (for deer and rabbits- killers of my green beans) and hopefully netting for the strawberries, we are moving them this fall so I am considering them a bust this year.

    • Natalie says:

      Hi, Kacee! I hope the electric fence works on the deer and rabbits! Are the deer eating your other plants, too?

  3. Pingback: Cut Hydrangea Blooms | The Shady Acre

  4. Chrissie says:

    Tomatoes already? I’m jealous! Ours have just barely started growing fruit! But it’s been an unfortunately cold year in the PNW.

    Love your blog!

    • Natalie says:

      Thanks, Chrissie!
      I wish I could send you some of our heat! If it makes you feel any better, your tomatoes will probably still be producing fruit long after ours have given in to the summer temperatures. We’ve already had so many 100+ days, and that is hot even for us at this time of year!

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