Over the last two weeks, our garden has had a lot of painful pruning done to it. I say painful because it hurts sometimes to cut back a plant that is doing ok, but we’ve also learned that pruning helps the plants grow more healthily and produce more harvests. So, we trim them.
Some of the plants weren’t growing well, some were starting to bolt, and some were trying to grow too much meaning their nutrients weren’t focused on the produce.
The boy’s gardens are still doing pretty well. We’ve cut the tomato plants back a little bit, and nothing else seems to be growing much in there. But we have been able to harvest a few tomatoes from there over the last month.
One of the plants that got the most pruning is the mint leaves. They were growing at an overwhelming rate, and the plants were growing too far. A lot of the mint was getting bitter because, as I mentioned, when a plant reaches too far, it has to divide the nutrients up among the entire thing. Therefore, the leaves were not all getting enough attention which was leaving them with a less-than-desirable taste. We decided to cut the mint way back so it could have a fresh start. We already know it grows like a weed, so we aren’t too worried about it coming back in.
Our pepper plants are finally starting to show some progress. Hopefully, in the next month or two, they will get big enough to start producing peppers. It’ll be interesting to see which color peppers come in. That was a mix of seeds from red peppers, green peppers, and yellow peppers that had either been harvested from the garden last year or were store-bought.
We have a few more flowers on the watermelon plant and some very tiny melons that are starting to grow. I’ve never grown watermelon before, so we aren’t sure what to expect from it. I’m hoping it’s a good sign that we have growth already!
Our tropical plants seem to be soaking up the intense sun and heat that we’ve had here recently. We have our sprinkler system set to run for a few minutes every morning, and I think that bit of water every day has made a difference. There’s one flower on the monkey grass, a few canna lilies, and some banana tree pups growing amidst all the green.
The blackberry bush is a plant that we have been working on for two years. We bought our original one and it did ok out there. Then we bought a second one to plant with it, and now they are both thriving. We’ve had to cut back some of the runners that are creeping through the fence to the neighbor’s yards a few times, and now the bushes are starting to really fill out.
I’ve been able to harvest a good handful or two of blackberries recently. We figured out that we need to harvest them when they are still bright red, then they will finish ripening on the counter over the next day or two. I put some in a smoothie last week and they were really good!
Our orange tree still hasn’t grown much. It isn’t dying, but there’s just no growth. Although, the aloe plants that I put at the base of the tree seem pretty happy. We also pulled everything from the last garden bed except the tomatoes. I also noticed the tomatoes are falling over, so we are going to fix those and retie them to the stakes.
The hanging plants are still in the backyard, and we’ve added another. Since we will be on vacation (again), we are leaving those where they are until we get back. They get water from the sprinklers there and aren’t in direct sun for too long. The middle plant will be coming inside the house once we get home.
Also, side note, our front yard it looking gorgeous, too! A few months ago I planted a seed packet of wildflowers in the large vase and when they started to grow in Justin kept saying he thought they were weeds. I left them there and now we have flowers growing, not weeds. We also weren’t expecting the begonias to come back, but those are looking good, too. We are thinking of moving the green plants in the middle to the other front flower bed and filling that in with a few more begonias.