First Carrot Harvest

First Carrot Harvest

Our little container garden experiment has been interesting and educational to say the least.   All the plants decided they didn’t care for the location I had them in, as they got too much afternoon (aka HOT!) sun.  So we decided to sacrifice a small row of grass where the pots could be limited to morning sun.  The health of the plants improved significantly.   The strawberries blossomed and fruited well, producing a couple of strawberries every day for about 2 weeks, then died off to producing about 1 strawberry a week ever since.  The tomatoes grew green and lush foliage, healthy plants, pretty yellow blossoms, and then the blossoms fall off.   Apparently, they do not pollinate well in temps over 90, which we have on a daily basis right now.  Therefore, no tomatoes.  My pole beans fruited well for a couple of weeks, but with so few plants, I literally had to simply pick one bean every couple of days.  Same with the yellow summer squash.  The squash are still going, producing about 1-2 a week.  Our largest so far was about 4 inches long.  They seem to get longer as the plant gets older.  The corn has developed 6 ears now–2 on each plant–but I don’t think they will get very big.  I am interested to see if they are even edible.  It is hard to know when to pick the ears.  The broccoli is still growing, though no florets have developed yet.  The lettuce and melons were a miserable failure, not growing even one plant.  The celery also failed, as it died off as soon as we transplanted it outside.  Finally, my carrots are my diamond in the rough.  They have done really well.  I get small sizes due to the pots, but we have been picking one or two several times a week just to snack.  The other night for dinner, I came up short on veggies.  So, for the first time in my life, I walked out to my garden, picked a handful of the larger sized carrots, cleaned, and steamed them up.  It didn’t make much, but it was enough to complete our meal.  That was fun!  And so very rewarding to get my first official “harvest”!  In hopes of continuing that cycle, I have planted another batch of carrots that are already several weeks old, and I plan to plant some more soon.  I think I am just going to fill the empty or dead pots with carrots since they grow so well and so easily.  Plus, we eat a ton of carrots.

We have learned that container gardening can work, but it seems everything grows in miniature.  It is also a great deal more work maintaining than I expected it to be.  I have also learned that trying to grow crops in the middle of the desert is really more work than it is worth–particularly in such a small area and with limited resources.  I also learned that, when a plants growing instructions call for lots of sun and little water, here in the desert, it requires the opposite to even stand a chance. 

We look forward to what the plants do for the rest of the summer.

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