Thursday, August 16, 2012

Planting for the Second Harvest

When we moved into our new home in June, we inherited what our landlord referred to as orphaned tomato plants. Indeed, there in the backyard, inside a raised bed garden planter, was about an inch of light brown soil and seven scraggly tomato plants. The plants leaned in on each other and over the sides of the box with little support. The roots peaked out of the hard, dry soil, reaching for any ounce of nutrition. Despite their circumstances, these perennial vegetable plants were already producing beautiful green tomatoes and bright yellow buds worthy of envy.

We promptly provided tomato stakes and fertilizer to our newly adopted tomato plants and have since enjoyed two months full of sweet, delicious tomatoes. At some points during the summer, I wondered how we could ever eat enough tomatoes to keep up with our harvest. Along the way, I learned varied new ways to cook and preserve those beautiful garden gems. Now as summer draws to a close, our tomato plants are no longer producing and are showing signs of their early season neglect.

So today, in order to reclaim our garden beds in time for a second harvest, we cleared out those tomato plants, filled the beds with rich compost and fresh garden soil, and sowed new seeds for the fall. In double rows, we planted seeds that the kids had selected themselves at Lowes: garden peas, lettuce, and carrots. To experiment, we also planted some store bought garlic and white seed potatoes. We've already started talking about ways they might enjoy our fresh produce in recipes this coming fall.

The boys and I will be watering daily and hope to see some fresh green growth in our garden within the next week. (We watered after planting the seeds of course. Notice that the shed and my smallest son were watered as well.)

For an inside learning opportunity, we put a few of each type of seed in a sealed plastic bag along with a damp paper towel. These are taped to our kitchen window for close observation.


  1. I enjoy fall gardening as well, I just planted a fall crop of lettuce and kale, and hope to get garlic and shallots in soon too. Stopping by from the magic onions blog hop. :)

  2. Wonderful. We are trying out saving seeds for the very first time this year. Thanks for linking to the outdoor play party.