Our 2014 Garden: Summer Update

Our 2014 garden has grown by leaps and bounds. Many of the plants have surprised me by how much they’ve grown, and others have let me down completely. For example, we can grow carrots, berries, peppers, tomatoes, okra, herbs, snow peas, squash and zucchini pretty well for where we live and when we planted them.

However, we aren’t doing a great job with beans, parsnips, swiss chard, potatoes, onions, cucumbers, grapes, or celery this year. Talk about a bummer. Maybe we planted them too early (or too late!), it’s been too hot, or we haven’t watered enough—whatever the reason I’m pretty disappointed. I hope we’ll have better luck next year, though.

Our 2014 Garden Summer Update | Natural Chow | http://naturalchow.com


WARNING: This post is very picture heavy, although if you’re a visual kind of person (like me) then this could be very helpful to you. 


Our strawberries have gone crazy. They’re putting out runners everywhere—even through the chicken wire fence we’ve got around the garden. I love how many leaves there are and how big they are because I know they’re soaking up tons of sunlight! There aren’t as many strawberries on the plants now, but earlier this year we harvested about 3 pounds of strawberries. (We have another bed of strawberries to the left of where this picture was taken. They didn’t do as well, but still produced a bunch of strawberries.)


Okay I have to say that the blueberry plants really surprised me. Last year, our plants didn’t do a thing so this year we bought some organic blueberry plants from Whole Foods, planted ‘em in the bed, and let them grow. I had no idea they would produce so many blueberries so fast and for so long!


At first I thought the raspberries weren’t going to do anything because there were only 3 raspberries on the plant in the middle of June. But then we trimmed some of the branches back to stimulate the plant and let it put more nutrients and energy towards making raspberries…totally worked. Do you see how many raspberries are on that branch alone? Amazing.




Our squash plants did surprisingly well. Last year the leaves of the plants got mildew on them somehow and we got 1..stinkin’…squash out of the situation. This year, however, we’ve already harvested 2 squashes and have more on the plants to top it all off. 



The zucchini plant was a little behind I think, and so far we’ve only gotten 1 zucchini, but I see so many more on the plant and would you look at all that new growth? Incredible. That’s one of the things that gets me giddy about gardening (alliteration, anyone?). It’s so encouraging.


We have a total of 10 tomato plants in one raised bed and I am so glad it filled up. In early March, when we planted them, it took FOREVER for them to get a foot tall and even longer to get 2 feet tall, but once May hit—they started going crazy. I mean, they’ve been producing tomatoes faster than we can eat them. So we’ve been doing a bit of canning this week and last week. 





Anyone know what kind of insect this is? I think it may be a harlequin bug, but I haven’t seen it’s all-telling egg sacs around my tomato plants so I don’t know. They like to hang around on the tomatoes and I don’t know if they are eating the tomatoes or not, but I’m worried. Thoughts? 


I could live off of pesto, so I was so happy when we planted three basil plants a month ago. They produce like crazy. We’ve had pesto 5 times already with basil from the garden. We’ll definitely be doing more next year, that’s for sure. The basil is in the same bed as the tomatoes (caprese salad anyone?) which is good since they don’t like too much sunlight.



 There are a total of 6 green bell pepper plants in the same bed as the tomatoes and basil, two of which are being swallowed up by tomato plants (but seem to be producing well so I won’t rescue them yet).


Well would you look at this! A conjoined leaf. I found conjoined leaves on two of our bell pepper plants and I don’t know what to think. They are organic plants, but maybe this just happens sometimes. 


My grandfather is a Catholic deacon and he gave us this and blessed it one time he came over. So sweet of him. I love seeing it everyday and it reminds me of him everyday I glance over at it. I really feel like our garden was blessed because it has produced so much food for our family and gave us a great bonding experience.




I had no idea that okra leaves looked like that until they started popping up. There are lots of aphids on the leaves (at least I think they’re aphids), but they don’t seem to be doing any harm. Aren’t okra flowers beautiful? I would have never thought they would be so magnificent. Yet another plus to planting okra this year. The okra plants are also producing like crazy as well, so yay.


The carrots have grown so much since you last saw and I have no clue when to pull them up. Carrot experts—please bestow me with some knowledge.


The potatoes aren’t doing so hot. I don’t know what went wrong. Last year we planted them in the ground (like the ground ground) and got about 20 potatoes, but I am a little pessimistic because there isn’t any life above the hay in our fingerling potato cage. :(


We just started some potatoes and maybe some winter squash but I don’t know since people like to pour all of the darn things into their hand and then sow them. I guess we’ll see when they start fruiting.

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There is a mole (or so I think) that has been digging around my garden. It hasn’t eaten anything (yet), but I don’t know what to do. He isn’t really bothering us so I think I might leave him alone. This has been going on for 6 months.


I planted the bottom of a heart of celery about a week ago and would you look at that! I hope we get celery out the equation, and not just leaves.


This is our pear tree. We haven’t picked any yet, but we have picked the ones up that have fallen on the ground. Pear sauce is a wonderful thing. Anywho, the squirrels have been ransacking our tree night and day and leaving the half-eaten fruit all over the yard. Not happy about that, but it is what it is. We’ll have to coexist for now.



That’s all folks! 


  1. says

    It is so wonderful to grow your own food – your garden looks terrific! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

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