Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.

The summer that wasn't

Posted by: Mary Jane Smetanka under Annuals, Vegetables Updated: August 12, 2013 - 12:12 PM

 I visited Dowling Community Garden in Minneapolis this morning, one of the oldest community gardens in the nation. In a couple of weeks gardeners there will celebrate the 70th anniversity of what began as a World War II Victory Garden. As I wandered through a jungle of green — it is inspiring just to visit — I noticed a few things.

Cherry tomatoes are ripe, but the big ones are just turning. Gardeners were complaining about poor garlic, but kale was running wild. And plants like rhubarb and hops, which don’t seem to care much about the weather, are doing just fine.

In my garden, I’ve had cherry tomatoes but my big ones seem to be waiting for something to happen before they ripen. Heat? Sunshine? I’m not sure.
My sweet potatoes are pathetic, and I suspect whatever is hidden underground is likely to be tiny nubbins rather than the decent potato crop I got last year.
 
 
One of the few things that made me happy this weekend was the prolific flowering of this lisianthus. Three feet tall and loaded with blooms, I had to stake these beauties but if I can find them in future springs I will plant more of them. They make a long-lasting cut flower, too.
How’s your garden doing in this peculiar summer?
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