Patio gardening for the weary

The dog days of summer have arrived in the Tri-Cities. We just survived a week with temperatures lingering past 100 F. While the garden has indeed exploded with lush greens and harvests, the intense heat has made it difficult to work outside. Additionally, my garden plot has become conquered by weeds despite my (and the stirrup hoe’s) best efforts to keep them at bay. So to continue enjoying a garden, I succumbed and purchased some planters, dug up several plants, and started a mini garden on my patio. Funny that the planters were more costly than an entire 15′ x 15′ plot at the community garden. Yet, I do find having the plants right outside my doorstep immensely more enjoyable. This also gives me a chance to grow the plants that got attacked by rabbits and voles.

South-facing patio garden: 2 chili pepper plants flanked by 2 brown planters containing Casper eggplants (front), Bountiful Beans in the rectangular planter, Dragon carrots (back).
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Chili pepper (my seed starts didn’t fare well, so I inherited these)
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Casper eggplant, transplanted from the garden plot
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Bountiful green beans (direct seeded in the planter)
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Dragon carrots (direct seeded in the planter with sowing markers)
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North-facing patio garden: fall seed starts and herbs (front), cilantro, lettuce, trellised peas (middle), worm compost bin (back)
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Fall seed starts (plus a late second attempt at watermelons)
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Thai basil (left), Sage (middle), Lemongrass (right), Thyme (not visible), transplanted from the garden plot
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Cilantro (front left), Speckled lettuce (front right), Golden Sweet peas (back), all direct seeded
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Good golly garlic

Numerous plants have come and gone through the garden and the time has arrived for some others to get uprooted: the garlic. I planted the cloves at the end of last November, cut back the scapes in May and June, and by now most of the leaves on the stalks have turned brown. According to the instructions that accompanied my garlic bulbs, this is the ripe time to dig them out. Like a kid anxiously testing a spot presumably concealing buried treasure, I carefully brushed away several inches of dirt surrounding one of the stalks and discovered a fully developed, white garlic bulb underneath! I harvested the rest of the bulbs, wiped as much dirt off them as I could, and stored them in a relatively dark hallway in the house where they will be left to cure for 4-6 weeks.

Samarkand Persian Star garlic (left), Music garlic (right)

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These all originated from the cloves of two garlic bulbs!