Oh. My. Goodness. Can I ever. Let me start with what we planted.
Early in the year, Ashley and her son planted one of the gardens with cold crop vegetables. They planted: snow peas, broccoli, and cauliflower. We were gonna plant some cabbage, but the dogs ate the babies before they got planted...
These are the cold crop babies :)
After a month or so....
Peas galore!!! Ash even put up a little stick and twin trellis up for them! The broccoli also produced, but.... not in the typical grocery store fashion. I think she may have purchased a florette plant, cause that's about the size of the broccoli heads that came off it. They were sweet and delicious! Again, nothing like that store bought junk. The cauliflowers... those were duds... but hey! We'll take 2 out of 3!
Ok, so the garden was at that state at about mid-June. Our growing season here is a bit unpredictable, but I figured that was pretty close to the time we should plant out summer crops. So into the other garden went 3 bell pepper plants, a jalapeno plant (or two), and a tomatillo plant... that I grew at my house from a seed. At this time we also supplmented our garden space with a couple 5 gallon buckets with some holes drilled into the bottom for drainage (remember, we were on a budget!). In one bucket went a tomato plant and in the other another tomoatillo. We also threw in some leek and carrot seeds, just to see what would happen.
Second garden planted!!
Well.... it happened to be a late season start.... and the plants (especially the peppers) looked all but dead... and then we forgot to water the tomatillo in the bucket... and I arrived one day to the top 8 inches of it hanging on its tiny trellis totally detached from the 4 inches of stem still in the dirt.... Ok... we weren't off to a good start....
But then something borderline miraculous happened - summer came! The next thing I knew, I was getting texts from Ash "you have baby peppers!!" and "the tomatillo is taking over the whole garden!!" She wasn't exaggerating... not in the least... here are a couple pictures she sent me:
Huge tomatillo plant!!
All this in literally a month. As soon as it got warm the plants just exploded! So now, here we were, mid-September. I'd been letting them grow and get as big as possible before the freezing nights started... One evening it was warm and t-shirt weather and the next I was walking around my house in a sweater and slippers. I figured it was time to pick... though I knew it was a bit too early for the plants... but either pick now, or loose the plants to the frost...
The day we picked with an almost 4-year-old in the picture for size reference :)
Here is what we got!
The harvest was insane!!! Eight pounds of tomatillos, 5 bell peppers, 2 tomatoes and a jalapeno (from a plant I thought had been smothered by the tomatillo and died!). It was amazing! I couldn't BELIEVE how prolific these plants were! So, as one could assume... we ate a lot of chile verde and green enchiladas....
So, that was what I thought was that.... but then... it started getting warm again. Like really warm. The nights were still cool, but not in the danger of freeze zone. Come to find out we were having an Indian summer. So, today, I decided to visit our little garden again and this is what I got:
That's right. That is another FIVE POUNDS of tomatillos, two bell peppers, two TINY jalapenos, a tomato and a skinny leek. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?
This garden was the most fun thing ever. But the best part, was Ash's son excited about the veggies growing. He wanted nothing more than to show me the little tomatillo lanterns and that there was something inside them! or to pick snow peas and just eat them right off the vine. I wish I had gone over a bit more often and helped Ash with the tending of it - maybe caught the tomatillo before it took over and smothered everything else and weeded. But, it seemed to do just fine without us, just being watered a couple times a week.
I attribute the awesome-ness of this garden to my construction skills and Ashley's green thumb. She attributes the success to her neighbor's soil that we used. I donno, and quite frankly, I don't care. This garden was a group effort and ended up being awesome in just about every way!
This was fun and I can't wait to do it again!