I had mixed results with my garden this year. Much of that, I’m sure, was due to the location that I chose. Not wanting to build a raised planter, I converted a flowerbed along the house into a fenced garden spot. While convenient, this spot does not get enough sunlight for the plants I chose to do well. I’m getting blooms on small plants, but not a lot of veggies. Oh well, it was an experiment, and next year I may build a raised bed where we now have artichokes, since that spot gets more sunlight.
My tomatoes are where the real success was. I ended up with 17 tomato plants- 13 plants in 6 varieties that I started from seed, two plants that were a gift from my aunt and uncle (along with several other plants), and two that were buy one, get one from our local garden center (where they know me, my husband, and my dog by first name). Most of them were in pots that get shade in the afternoon. If I start plants from seed next year, I’ll have to get a grow light of some sort. My tomatoes ripened later than most people’s in my area.
We also grew horseradish. My husband’s grandfather grew it in northern California, and my husband’s parents brought us some the first time they came to visit last year (which is when we discovered that Sugar likes to dig it up and eat it). This spring, we bought a pot of it at the garden center so that we could alternate harvesting the roots. Then my in-laws came for a visit and brought us another piece of horseradish from their garden. That root was planted in a larger pot than the other two, and it is now huge. When we harvest the two older plants, I plan on putting them in a larger pot.
The one thing that I discovered is that hornworms LOVE horseradish. Last year, I had problems with hornworms on my tomatoes, so I planted marigolds in with them this year, but I didn’t think that they would bother the horseradish. My plant that is so huge now was almost decimated by the stupid things. I know I shouldn’t call them names for doing what they are supposed to do, but still… I hand picked the worms off, planted marigolds in all three pots, and waited to see what would happen. Two weeks later, all three horseradishes had bounced back, and the largest one was so huge that I stopped checking it for hornworms. I can share.
We had another semi-regular visitor that showed up one night- a Woodhouse’s Toad. It popped up in the garden after the monsoon season started. It was there the next night, and then gone. A few weeks later, I had Sugar outside, and the toad was hopping down the path. Sugar seemed to think it was a self-throwing ball, since she raced out into the yard every time it hopped.