This is only my second year gardening and it’s in a completely different environment from last year.  Last year when I grew my first garden, it did very well. The main reason why it did so well was because I had a large yard with a lot of sun. Everything grew despite me. When I got this rowhouse in Baltimore, I was excited that it had a small patio yard and was excited to become an urban gardener– what I was not expecting was how much shade it would get.

Urban Gardening

I completely underestimated the amount of shade that my patio yard would get. Many vegetable plants need full sun at least 6 hours a day. There is only a small part of my yard that gets that much sun and not all the plants fit in that area.

I’m sad that the majority of our plants didn’t grow, especially the peppers, and it’s frustrating that I spent the amount of money I did on soil and seeds. However, all is not lost. The BF did his best to rearrange the containers to get as much sun as possible but he couldn’t fit all of them into the small sunny area.

One of our pepper plants survived. I have no clue which one this is but there are a couple flowers blooming so we will find out which peppers these are soon.

Two of our tomato plants are growing (not all 6 types I sowed but I’ll take 2 out of 6). The tomato plants that survived were the Sun Sugars and Mr. Stripey. The Sun Sugar tomato plant has tomatoes growing already and I’ve been able to harvest 4. Sun sugars are yellow cherry tomatoes that are indeterminate, which means they bear fruit throughout the season. These are delicious little tomatoes with just the right amount of acid and sweetness. A healthy plant can bear hundreds of tomatoes throughout the season.

 

The Mr. Stripeys are determinate tomato plants which mean that they bear their full crop in a one to two month period; by the end of September we should have a LOT of large, beautiful beefsteak tomatoes. I’ve got a couple of flowers on this plant. I’m excited for them to bear fruit because they are supposed to come in a variety of colors and each individual tomato can get up to 1 pound each!

We had one Minnesota Midget melon that survived and it is growing like a weed. It’s gotten so long and has many flowers blooming. I have found one melon starting to grow. These melons are supposed to be small and can fit in the palm of your hand. I chose this melon plant because it’s small, hearty, and a healthy vine can produce good yields.

Two eggplant plants have survived. The Hansel eggplant is producing fruit already however I do not see any more eggplant flowers blooming. A Hansel plant produces a fingerling shaped eggplant that is small and slender that grow in clusters of 3 to 6. These look like the perfect size for slicing and sautéing with some summer squash.

The other plant is not very growing well. It looks healthy with large leaves but it just seems to refuse to grow up. I was going to toss it but since it looks healthy and strong, I decided to give it a stay of execution. I can’t remember if this is the Turkish Orange or Black Beauty eggplant. Hopefully it bears fruit soon so I can figure it out.

I have no clue which tomato plant this is but it’s one I started from seed. I think it a cherry tomato variety because the blooms are clustered together. I was going to toss this one about a month ago because it got very leggy but the BF put it in full sun since then and it has finally started growing well.

Carrot greens are one of my favorite things on earth so I wanted to grow two rows. Unfortunately, the top row never grew. The bottom row is Purple Dragon Carrots. I won’t have many but they are worth it. The top row, I ended up planting lettuce in it.

The herbs are doing great, as herbs do. I’ve got tyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary, parsley. My basil and cilantro never took off. I replanted some basil seeds. Hopefully the basil seeds grow into a plant.

The lettuce is doing well, as always, and the strawberry plants are finally starting to grow. I don’t think they will ever bear fruit this season but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Overall, our first harvest for the season was disappointing. We got a handful of lettuce, 4 sun sugars, 3 hansel eggplants, parsley, sage, and tyme.

 

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