My little vegetable garden is starting to pick up some steam… Here’s a little blog-filler list of what I’m growing and how they are doing in this weather.I went for quantity and variety for the learning experience… I’m growing so many different things that at least ONE plant has to be successful to satisfy laws of averages.

The vegetables were planted almost a month ago.  My only “design” goal was to have key ingredients for a salsa “factory” in my backyard.  The pots are all plastic with good drainage (I drilled some holes in one of them… seemed a little suspect).  I used some styrofoam peanuts I’d been storing for an added layer to support drainage and used some fairly cheap potting soil which I beefed up with some time-release fertilizer…

When it’s hot, I’m having to water these things daily since the soil dries out more readily in containers.  I’m going to use some Miracle Gro weekly (according to directions and online googled advice) now that some of these are getting ready to bear fruit.

I have, in containers:

2 jalapeno plants (each in their own container).  They’ve flowered and I see about 2 dozen little, teeny pepper buds forming.  The leaves are a little droopy, but I think that’s normal

1 Red Bell Pepper plant (in its own container) – I think I damaged him while he was being planted, and he has a long stalk with top heavy leaves… tiny branch buds are appearing nearer the base of the plant, so I hope it has more substance before the heavy peppers start appearing.  I already see a few, very cute baby bell peppers forming.  I caged this plant to give it support in case it leans over too much.

A row of white onions (in a window planter)- these are growing the fastest, it seems… very tall green onion stalks appeared within a week of their being planted… they came straight from the bulbs… they’re supposed to be harvested when the stalks wilt significantly and droop over flat.

2 Big Boy Tomato plants – These took a while to get started, but now they are thick and very fuzzy.  I waited a little long to cage them, and they spread out into the entire area of their containers.. so now I’ve put a chicken-wire cage around the perimeter of the pot to hopefully encourage them to grow taller instead of wider.

A very sad cilantro bush.  The bugs are loving this guy.  I knew going into this that cilantro was pretty difficult to grow…. very fragile… needs just the right temperature/light/etc. Over the weekend I caught a very fat caterpillar gorging on cilantro leaves.  At least SOMEONE was enjoying the plant.  I figured that if this one dies, cilantro is very cheap in the grocery store.   The leaves are turning yellow and not very many new sprigs are forming.  This may be a lost cause.

My herb planter: (left to right) – Rosemary, Sage, oregano, basil  I’m a little bit disappointed with the rosemary.  It looks strong and green, but it hasn’t really “grown” much since I planted it.  I may have to start harvesting/pruning just to encourage it to produce a little more.  The Sage, on the other hand has multiplied. I planted the oregano from seeds only recently, so it’s just dirt for now.  I don’t expect it to grow, but we’ll see.  The Basil has done very well and has grown fast.  Loads and loads of tasty leaves (I baked some chicken parmigiano last night with some of the basil I pruned).  My only problem with this plant is it’s also a bug magnet.  Little holes are appearing in some of the leaves.  On saturday night, a spider thought it would be a good idea to build a little web using the basil stalks as support beams.  I played Godzilla and ruined her little fortress.   I would love to avoid pesticide… particularly in the herbs… Any homegrown remedies to protect this plant?

Spearmint (in its own container since it’s so vicious and overpowering to other plants) – growing a lot, but it’s lost its strong smell.   I haven’t pinched off leaves to see what happens when I grind them up, though.

Itallian flat parsley – This is growing very fast.  Looks ready to start harvesting, even.

Mescaline salad greens – For kicks, I threw down a mix of salad green seeds in a window planter about the same time I sowed the oregano seeds.  The greens are starting to pop up, much to my shock!  So we’ll see if there are large, munchy leaves after another month or so…

Yum.