I’m gardening in two places this year–at work and at home–and I’m raising vegetables and herbs in both places.
At work, actually, the garden is growing much better than at home because it’s tucked into a little spot where it’s surrounded on two sides by brick. The brick heats up and the vegetables are warmed long after the sun goes down.
This is a bit of a “community” garden because it’s tended by lots of folks–my boss, the folks who maintain the building and me. While specifically I’m growing the edibles for my boss, there will probably be enough tomatoes at least for all 3 of us.
The lettuce was a disaster. While I planted leaf lettuce, a woodchuck came along and ate it. Even though it re-grew, he found it again as soon as it was tall enough to be tasty.
But the peppers, the tomatoes and the herbs I’ve put in to replace the tomatoes have so far proven to be a success–so much so that a week or so ago my boss said, “The peppers look ready. Can I pick them?”
“Yes, or you can wait for them to turn red,” I suggested.
This was a revelation–but that shouldn’t have surprised me. If you hadn’t grown peppers before, why would you know that?
So I was telling my Mom this story and she told me that she too was growing peppers but that she was afraid there was something wrong with hers because the flowers were falling off. I told her that that was supposed to happen–that the flowers fell off so the peppers could form.
Now it could be that the extraordinarily warm nights were causing the flowers to fall but not likely–that would more likely cause bud drop, not flower drop.
Experienced gardeners so often forget that we were not always born with this knowledge. We came by our gardening knowledge through the kindness of other gardeners, or through reading, or through plain old-fashioned trial and error.
It’s important to remember these things, especially now as so many folks are trying edible gardening for the first time. We must never discourage that with an unkind or sarcastic word. There was a time too when we were just starting out.