Two things happened this week to bring back my general optimism about gardening. The first is that I talked with an old friend who is a much, much more experienced gardener than I am. She lives in the same area that I do, suffered through the same weather this summer, and reports that she got less than 12 tomatoes. We commiserated over how it was such a bad season, and it made me feel better.
The second thing is that I remembered it is time to plant garlic! Even the garlic this year was kind of a disappointment - I didn't even document it on the blog, since the yield was so lackluster (and what I did get was kind of small, both in quantity and actual bulb size). I didn't want to risk planting cloves from such a lame season, so I went to the garden store the morning and bought a few new cloves to plant.
Even though it was rough work in hard, dry soil, I enjoyed digging the 48 holes for this year's crop. Here's hoping that we get enough to eat and give away to family and friends (which I did 2 summers ago, and this summer, when people asked for more, was each time reminded of what a yucky season it was).
In addition to digging all these holes, I completed last week's cleanup and pulled up all the remaining plants (and weeds). Here's our very last summer harvest (sorry it's such a crappy photo):
I don't know that anything positive will happen with the green tomato, but the chiles are at least close enough to ripe that they might make it on the windowsill. You're also looking at the only eggplant of the entire summer, out of 4 plants total. It had better be tasty!
I also feel optimistic about the beets I planted - I forgot to take a picture, but some of them have nice green tops about 4" tall. Not feeling quite as hopeful for the cauliflower and cabbage that I planted (something is chewing on them), but we'll see.