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Garden Diary - August 27, 2016

I've been very discouraged by trying to grow vegetables inside this courtyard. While most of what I planted outside is doing well, the things I've planted inside have largely struggled, especially tomatoes and peppers. I just pulled up the Black Cherry tomato and sterilized the soil, because despite it being planted in a pot with potting soil, it had nematodes.

I'm taking down the "potting table," and since I need to get the pots up off the ground to avoid nematodes, I'm going to fold it up and lay it down to put pots on. I'm also going to punch more holes in the pots for better drainage, and add more perlite to the soil. Then I'll start digging and amending the soil on the east side of the garden in preparation for eventual planting. I may try a few greens there this fall. Not sure yet. I have to see what I find when I dig it up.

I've already started seeds for Cherokee Purple, Supersweet 100 and Everglades tomatoes, but not sure what I'm going to do with them. Hopefully, more holes in the pots and better drainage will allow them to grow better. I may plant a few outside the courtyard to see what happens. Depends on how the seeds do. My two Cherokee Purple clones died, and I didn't save seeds, so I only had 7 seeds left to plant. Hopefully, they will sprout, but they're last year's seeds, so who knows? If they don't, I'll plant something else, like Beefsteak.

I'm going to try to grow some collards and lettuce too. I wish I had the money to put up my gutter garden, but that will have to wait awhile. The East wall is perfect for that.

On a more encouraging note, the Seminole Pumpkin vines are taking off now and growing like mad. I'll have to twist them around and about to get them to fit into the space I have, but it will be worth it, I''m sure. I have one growing up into the hibiscus bushes, which will likely drop down into the outside garden looking for sun, so we'll see what happens. I'm excited about those, and hope to get a few fruts. The sweet potato slips I stuck here and there in the courtyard are taking off too, and I hope they will eventually take over as a groundcover in here.

The banana tree is still growing like mad, as is the pigeon pea, which is 10 feet tall now. Looking forward to a great harvest from that this fall/winter. Another of the pigeon pea seedlings is about 4 feet tall, so I can count on that for a harvest too.

This place is a challenge, and no doubt it will take me a few years to figure out what will grow successfully where, but I think in the end, it will be a productive garden -- for flowers if nothing else.