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Summer Garden Tour: A First Look At The Suburban Community Garden

Summer Garden Tour: A First Look At The Suburban Community Garden

Just a few weeks ago my son took the most epic three-hour nap. I happened to be primed and ready for the opening - I. HAD. SPRING. SEEDLINGS!!! It was Garden God magic.

After making all the plans, and mapping things out in my garden journal, I was ready. I did have to make some tweaks to allow for the never-ending supply of kale I have (and am not mad about) to stay in my beds, but I think it worked out just fine.

Here’s what you’ll see in this year’s Summer Garden:

Front bed

  • Five Seascape Strawberry plants

  • Two Cucumber plants

  • Eight Black Beauty Eggplants

  • Three Chive plants

  • Chioggia Beets

Rear bed

  • Four cherry tomato plants

  • One Sungold tomato plant

  • One Michael Pollan tomato plant

  • One Nebraska Wedding tomato plant

  • One Costoluto Genovese tomato plant

  • Three Blue Podded Pea plants (climbing up a homemade pea teepee)

  • Four Basil plants

  • Six Kale plants

  • Rosemary

  • Nasturtium

  • Thumbelina Zinnias

  • Two crook-neck squash


  • Two Evergreen Blueberry plants


I placed things a bit strategically, making sure the tomatoes and basil were in a new bed, as well as the cucumbers. The peas and eggplant are total experiments (both of which are getting eaten alive by bugs), and the beets and zinnias are seed starts that I am willing to life.

The tomatoes and basil are as close together as possible, with some marigolds around them for pest control (not working). The tomatoes are also in the area that gets the most possible sun, with just a wedge at first, and then full sun into the afternoon as Summer inches near us.

The strawberries are surrounded by chives for pest control and covered in tiny organza jewelry bags, and the cucumbers are paced at the edge of my front bed for easy draping-over.


We are watering daily, though I think the peas are getting too much and the strawberries not enough. It’s a bit of a challenge to give each plant just what it needs with limited space, but I’m trying out some different approaches.

Twice a week we have automatic irrigation that goes for a total of eight minutes.

Five times a week I hand water with my son, so they get about 4-5 minutes total on those days.


So far, we are getting very healthy Chives and Strawberries. The berries ripen about three at a time, making it hard to share, but delicious for us to eat.

Tomatoes have a lot of fruit, with about four ripening. I am very happy that every single plant is producing so far. I planted by cherry tomatoes a bit early and am hoping that gave them strong roots.


Oy vey. We have a situation.

I’ve tried a natural pesticide of Olive oil, Dr. Bronner’s Soap, garlic powder and cayenne pepper, and I think it helped temporarily, but may need to be applied much more often. Irish Spring soap chunks are in the beds, I have my peppermint garden diffusers , and will be trying some Neem oil this week as well. I am SERIOUS about pests because we just have such little yield to work with and distribute.

The problem plants are my basil and peas. They have tons of holes and are getting completely annihilated. The strawberries as they ripen get little holes too, but not always.

We let some ladybugs out in the garden and I think that helped the tomatoes and strawberries start strong, though we may need to do that again.

That’s the extent of the Summer Garden Tour for now - you have all the details. Now we just want to see how all our beautiful veggies come to life!

Hand-pollinating Squash

Hand-pollinating Squash

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