I have shared little bits about our backyard garden this spring and summer, but no big updates. Which is crazy! We've actually had our most productive garden this year. (Tomato wise, that is.)
Our planter boxes are on the East side of our house and they probably get too much sun. To try and help this, we added some shaded covering this year (picked up at the hardware store and strung on wire) and can really tell a difference. We hung it directly over each box and the way the sun hits this means the first two get much more shade. Everything in my third box looked much more dried out after a few months.
We are restricting water in San Diego according to the city requirements, so we water just twice a week. This did not mean good things for the other plants I tried (cucumbers, peppers and squash) but my tomatoes are handling it. I've realized after four gardens that backyard tomatoes are my favorite part of this whole adventure anyway so it's a good deal.
I got an email a few months ago about trying out a garden sensoring system called Edyn, a new product that was funded through Kickstarter and is now sold through Home Depot. I am always interested in improving my garden and so I happily agreed to try it out.
So far I'm a fan! It was crazy easy to set up and runs through my house wifi. I get updates on how my soil is doing through a (good-looking and easy to use) app. The device is solar powered and since that area of my house is basically on the sun that's a good thing.
You can see in the photos above what my water levels looked like when I got home from WDS and hadn't watered in over a week...and then how they looked a day after the soil was watered. Usually, since we're in a drought, I keep things around 15%.
We are on round two of our tomato plants. Due to the heat - we are about eight miles inland and feel it here - our "best" plant harvest seems to come in May and the very early summer. Some of the original tomatoes, planted in early March, are still doing okay, but because I decided to replace the other veggies with tomatoes, I have a lot of smaller, new plants in there too. It's sort of nice - I'm hoping to get two successful "harvest" seasons this year. (And by harvests, I mean a few weeks where we get to bring in and eat bowls and handfuls of cherry tomatoes.)
It's been fun this year mostly because Ellerie is so interested. She has picked nearly every ripe tomato (and many a green one as well) and climbs right into the planter boxes, usually in her boots, to do her thing. We spend a lot time reminding her to grab "the red one Ellerie! RED!" but it's worth it to see her starting to connect it all together.
Recently Paul and I had a long talk about our long-term goals. What do we hope life looks like in five years? Ten years? Twenty years? There were shockingly few "must haves" on those lists, but one of mine was a huge garden that I can wander and putter in. Something where I can really experiment with and get things right. Something where I need a basket to carry out the day's produce. ;) Something right into the ground. Something that might be ideal for more that just (crazy delicious) tomatoes.
But in the meantime, this is pretty fun too.
This post was brought to you by Edyn. Words, photos and opinions are all mine.