Quick Mid-Summer Garden Update

This is 2 day’s haul from the garden last week. In the photo are 4 different types of tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, an eggplant, a zucchini, and a cucumber. Was the no-dig method successful? Yes, I think so. Did it work for everything I planted? No, but I learned in the process and will be better prepared for the next go-round.

As of today, parts of the garden are still in full swing and others are winding down. I still have some Black Truffle and Brandywine tomatoes (which I think cross-pollinated because I’m now getting big, fat, dark tomatoes) and the zucchini and eggplant look like they are getting ready for round two. Other tomatoes are starting to wither and the green beans never really could survive the aphid onslaught.

I’m starting to think about what to plant for my “fall garden.” Any ideas of what would be suitable for a Southern California fall and winter?


  • Vivian

    Nice haul. Love both brandywine and black truffle tomatos. Should taste really good. My favorite tomato is purple cherokee, which unfortunately was dinner for some burrowing creature that has since not touched anything else in my garden. I am hoping to plant a fall garden too, but still need to figure out what will grow well here in Oklahoma.

  • Joy

    Every time I read about your garden and harvests, I get closer to gardening myself. 🙂 I missed a lot of your posts during my slight ‘depression’ and didn’t catch this no-dig method. Pray tell! If that means I don’t have to dig to plant, I think I might have a chance at this. O:-)

    • formerchef

      Joy- If you click on the tag, “no dig gardening” you will see all my posts about it, including the method and how we built the garden (going back to some of my very first blog posts). If you have the space (even just a little), you should give it a try!

  • bob

    we will get our first tomato in the next day or so from our hanging planter—‘toppsy turvey’…

    the first tomato on the regular plants is starting to turn…

    we had to buy some 10 feet stakes today as the plants have grown so high with all the rain this year in the NE…

  • Tim B.

    I don’t know where you garden, I just found this site looking for tomato recipes. I live in the north county of San Diego inland and have been at this for about 9 years. Some of my favorite fall/winter crops have been celery and broccoli. The fresh picked broccoli tastes great but doesn’t get as big as the commercial varieties you buy at the store, so plant several plants and you’ll get enough repeatedly for several meals. The celery is incredible though. Fresh, crispy and almost tastes slightly salted. I just peeled off the few stalks I wanted on a daily basis and had celery all winter and spring. Mixed lettuces and arrugilia do well and Brussel sprouts are kind of fun. My big problem, aside from gophers, is aphids. Insecticidal soap or neem oil sprayed regularly does control them, and is very safe.

    • formerchef

      I think the problem is that I don’t really like most winter veg (cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts). We have aphids too and big, giant grasshoppers which are currently mowing down what’s left in the garden. I’m actually about to pull most of it out now and start fresh. I do think I’ll try more arugula though, and maybe some squash.

  • Tim B.

    Squash is a summer crop, unless you expect another month and a half of warm/hot weather I wouldn’t waste the effort. Now or in a month is the time to plant spinach, (I forgot to mention that in my last post, it’s good!), and you might want to try the beans again. String beans are a spring/fall crop unless you have very mild summers. It is probably a good time to replant the arugula, it’s another fall-winter-spring crop. Beets, carrots, cauliflower,radish and green onions/leaks should do ok if planted now. Please, anymore tomato recipes you have would be great. My production is sliding but I have about 50 plants, about 20 1-gallon frozen bags of spaghetti sauce and now I think my neighbors are avoiding my gifts.

    • formerchef

      I was thinking more like butternut squash, but yes, it may be too late. My beans got eaten by aphids! Beets were trampled by raccoons but maybe I’ll try those again.
      Tomato recipes? About to make marinara and eggplant parm, but it sounds like you’ve got the sauce covered!

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