It's likely for the best that I was out of town (the country) for a week in June, as I wasn't able to helicopter parent over the tomatoes and peppers. When we left, they were newly planted and doing just fine. By the time we came back, they had dug in and made themselves known.
It was actually pretty impressive.
This season is much more planned out than last year. We rebuilt the soil with Cow and Compost, along with BOSS and a number of deep plant fertilizers. We also went for bigger tomato varieties this year, as I really didn't have enough for homemade tomato sauce. I'm hoping for better yields come August.
The sweet potatoes have been planted in the barrels this year. I don't know if they need more room to spread out, but they certainly have enough depth, which I figured (guessed?) would be more important. Half the fun of this business is learning as I go. Given the cost of the plants, the fertilizer, the new soil and the barrels themselves, I'm guessing (figuring?) that each potato (potatoe?) will cost $14.55.
The lower garden is doing very well. It's holding most of the smaller "from seed" tomato plants as well as the heirlooms and hybrids. So far, this season, we've only lost one plant, a tomato that gave up the ghost after little if no struggle.
Didn't stop me from feeling bad for him, however.
(I'm reminded now of that line from "Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou," with Baby Face Nelson shooting cows: "Oh, George. Not the livestock." I always feel pain pulling a plant or seeing an animal pass on. Always have. Couldn't watch "Lassie" because I was more worried about the chipmunks trapped in the forest fire than the people. Hmm. Just another thing to talk to my shrink about come next visit. Two more visits and I get a gold star while he gets a new Beemer.)
On the north forty, the cucumbers and acorn squash are going gangbusters. The squash is grown from our own heirloom seeds held over from last season's bumper crop. The beans are growing as well, in the right side of the picture, though slower than they grew indoors, where they took over much of the kitchen (still haven't found the cat who fell asleep next to them on the kitchen table).
If we're going to be using pesticides, both Furious George and Mr. Bitterman are insisting on hazmat suits. Furious loves his and refuses to take it off, even to sleep, while Bitterman seems to think that this open mesh design makes him look like a refugee from an episode of "Jersey Shore."