Gardening With a Black Thumb

...And Why It's Ok to Scale Back

We had great expectations at the beginning of the summer (read: before we had near-record highs above 100 for 23 straight days). In almost twenty containers, we started everything from tomatillos to basil, dill to peppers, squash to beans....And we're sad to report that almost everything has died. Some tomatoes (lucky enough to be planted in the ground) are thriving, and there's one pot of basil still kicking.

But we're not discouraged...Last night, with our small tomato harvest, we had our most local dinner to date: pasta with sauce made from tomatoes and basil from our patio and onions from my mom's garden 30 miles away. It was wonderful, but over dinner, the discussion found its way to disappointment in our little- to no-yield gardening efforts.

We decided that we need to know when to scale back. Neither of our patios gets much sun, so for the fall, we are going to narrow it down to ten or fewer containers with herbs and maybe, just maybe we'll try one other fall crop.

Someday, we'll have the space, not to mention available sunlight, needed for a high-yield garden, but right now we're content to work with what we have, and use the time and energy (and money) we save trying to plant crops of small-space veggies at the farmers' market!

How is your summer garden growing?

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