Progress + Crossed Fingers

Since I know you’re all on the edge of your seats wondering what has been going on with Gardening Attempt 3-b, I thought I’d give you a little update. I hesitated to share any progress because, well, there wasn’t any for quite sometime. However, after some much-needed rain and a whole lot of verbal encouragement from  me, I think my little plants are finally starting to find even the tiniest reason to live. Although many of my friends are making full-on salads out of their mid-summer harvests, I am going to celebrate the small victories that my feeble attempt has yielded and the promise of potential success to come. If nothing else, I thought I’d share the furthest I’ve gotten with any of my previous gardening attempts, so that if they change their minds and give up on life (which is the expected outcome at this point), I’ve at least got visual documentation that they were trying at one point.

The first little cherry tomato has popped up on my mostly-yellowing plant. The teeny-tiny ones behind it have been the same size for a week or so. How long could it take for a less-than-one-inch-diameter being to come to fruition (do you get the pun? See what I did there? Fruition? Ok, I’m done…)? Does anyone know why the leaves are all turning yellow and crusty? I keep the soil damp, and it gets full sun… I want more tomatoes!!

Next up, are my little peppers. (Well, actually, next up was a brown patch of dirt where my carrots just never emerged from the soil, but I declined to visually document that). So, the peppers! There’s nothing of actual note there yet, but I’m almost certain that these little pods must hold inside them the spicy little veggies:

Next to the peppers, my okra continues to persevere. Unfortunately, I think the ants that have taken over our sandpit of a yard (the drought severely affected our grass, as I concentrated the sprinklers solely on my little veggie patch) also attacked my little okras’ leaves, but they refuse to give up! Just like the little southerners they are! Again, there is no visible sign of edible life, but I like to think that these soft little spikes among the leaves are the beginnings of a delicious homemade gumbo:

Do you see ’em? Do you see the little okra-spikes?

The one vegetable for which I have the most hope (and the most tightly crossed fingers), are my dear little cucumbers. These guys seem to be thriving, albeit slowly, but with signs of tiny little pickles all over them. The biggest plant is nearly double the size of any of the other greens in my garden, and has all sorts of quirks that make me smile. Like, how he holds onto the trellis — isn’t that cute?

Check out the little cukes! I am not getting my hopes up and investing in canning jars yet, but I am certainly hoping I can put Dad’s famous pickle recipe to good use at some point.

Also in the back bed (undocumented due to the fact that all of these photos are pretty useless and boring to everyone but me, but these are even worse), I’ve got a struggling little pear tomato plant that miraculously has a few promising buds on it, and a couple of pumpkin leaves emerging out of the ground. Maybe by Halloween we’ll have tiny little pumpkins and tiny little tomatoes!

Lastly, my herb garden is a pretty sad story in itself. During our backpacking weekend, the little greens endured some of the hottest, driest weather on record in Denver. Upon our return, I found that my pots of semi-successful cilantro and dill were crispier than a burnt pizza. Somehow, though, the basil plant is still holding on. Speaking of pizza…

I used some leftover seeds to replant the dead herbs and hope that the ghosts of their fried friends give them a reason to thrive.

I realize that at this point, I could easily go to the grocery and buy the 7 measly vegetables I hope to harvest, along with a few jars of Kosher dills, but have I mentioned how stubborn I am? I am still determined to have a brightly colored photo at some point this summer, full of homegrown produce, so that I can claim to have finally revealed a green thumb that has been sadly hiding for years. In the meantime, I’m just going to rejoice in the arrival of rain and reasonable temperatures to a desperate Colorado and the tiny signs of life that are beginning to appear in my backyard. It’s the little things — literally!

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