My hubby and I have found other ways to be fruitful this summer. We have put in a couple of raised beds in our back yard and made one the beginnings of a flower bed for perennials (lilies and such that like tons of sun) and the other for vegetables. Since it was a new bed and we had laid a foundation of newspaper to keep out the bermuda grass (which didn't 100% keep it all out), we only planted a few things. We planted 3 strawberry plants, 2 jalapeno plants, and 2 green bell pepper plants. I really wanted tomatoes but I knew the roots would be too deep, so we bought a Topsy Turvy tree. We could have planted up to 6 tomato plants and three of something else like herbs or squash or zucchini. But we stuck with 3 tomato plants and one more strawberry just to see what happened. Then I later found out that strawberries are really perennials amd grow like vines, sending out "shooters" making new plants. Also, they do better the 2nd and 3rd years. Live and learn.
We have lots of green tomatoes right now. We have had a total of 3 tiny bell peppers and read recently that you have to fertilize those or they won't produce. So we've been fertilizing, but it may be a little too late. I just spoke with a couple at church this morning and they haven't used any fertilizer but they think it's because of their mulch. We went out and bought the good compost from this place in a city close to us, so I am not sure what else we could have done. The strawberry plants are sending out shooters like mad but we haven't gotten many strawberries and the ones we have had aren't the sweetest. So I need to research that, too. But...
I have said all this to build up to the big producers. Our jalapeno plants are creating so many peppers! My hubby is keeping a tally and we've picked 142 so far! We've made stuffed jalapenos and given tons away to coworkers. We made this yummy jalapeno stuffed chicken this past week. Then this weekend, I made jalapeno pepper jelly and canned pickled jalapenos! The jelly turned out sweeter than I thought it would be but it was good and it ended up making 10 4oz. jars. I got 3 jars of pickled jalapenos, which will make good pepper sauce to give as gifts at Christmas. I figure I'll probably be canning every couple of weeks this summer. I'm hoping to have enough tomatoes to can as well! The peppers pictured above were made into the jelly and pepper sauce pictured below.
So, do you have a vegetable garden this summer? What are you growing?