June 13, 2012
The beets died. Well - it wasn't like I watched them slowly wither away, but one day the newly-thinned seedlings were there, and then the next, they started disappearing. I'm not sure if that was due to the various fauna that graze on our backyard, or the poor quality of the soil. The few seedlings that remained seemed to just stop growing. The Swiss chard looked like it was going down the same path, but a few seedlings seem to be turning a corner, so I'm going to give them a bit more time. I'm replanting the beet area (and the Swiss chard holes) with two varieties of cucumber, since the summer squash are thriving on the other end of that plot, and in my mind, they're similar.
The sweet basil and spearmint I started from seed are thriving and getting fluffier every day. My grape tomatoes on the overflow plot have exploded. I would estimate if I stood the tallest branch up (they're weighed down by their own ripening bounty right now), the plants would be about six feet tall. I've created twine hammocks for some of the heavier fruit clusters. I've lost a few of the first ripened tomatoes to rabbits (I think), but I'm not worried about it - the majority of the clusters are hidden in the mid and upper reaches of the cages, and there are so many of them.
The morning glories, nasturtiums, and extra okra have also taken hold as well - which leads me to believe that maybe the overflow plot should've been our primary plot. It's getting regular, mass quantities of sun, and since the beds are raised, I think the soil quality is better. I might retry beets there in late summer for a fall harvest.
I also had to deal with aphids on the four tomato plants in the main plot. I used an organic insecticidal soap, and they seem to have cleared up. The eggplants and sunflowers look like they're about to bloom, and the jalapenos have started exploding.
Overall - some successes, a few failures, lots of learning. Oh - and vegetables.