Everything’s Gone Massive

The more I garden the more clearly I understand that gardening is a continuous learning process. The last few years have been excellent reminders of that. Last year’s weather was unseasonably grey, cool, and wet and I had to adjust and strategize to work within those limitations (and positives). This year has been incredibly hot, bright, and dry and so again I have had to make a complete 180 and adjust everything I did last year to cope. It’s been quite an education.

It’s fair to say that this year has been a lot of work. Maintenance on the rooftop has been the greatest challenge and has been where the bulk of my energy went. As a result something had to give and as usual it was the side garden. It’s currently incredibly overgrown and in desperate need of attention. I sorta-almost-kinda get why people with money hire in gardening help!

On the flip side my rooftop deck has been thriving as a result of the hot weather — it’s a jungle out there. The tomatillo plants are twice their usual size! I have to push leafy stalks to the side to gain access to plants on the fire escape. The tomatoes are producing in vast quantities. It’s almost time to do a rundown of this year’s harvest. I know it’s early but to be honest most of my rooftop plants are close to done for the season. If I get it together I can have most of my deck cleaned up well before it gets cold. That would definitely a first!

And now — because I am lazy and tired of writing — the pictures.

I’ll be roasting these babies (Black Plum) in the oven tonight for delicious roasted tomato sauce.

Most of this is from the rooftop container plants but some of this (namely the monster zucchini and yellow ‘Taxi’ tomatoes) is from my community plot. I don’t like to over-grow my veggies but recent rains freed me up from frequent trips to the community garden and that massive zucchini blew up in size in the meantime. There were lemon cucumbers but we ate them with last night’s dinner.

I get a few of these every year. I don’t think they liked the intense heat because they waited until the temperature cooled some to show themselves. They never do enough damage to bother.

I’ll let this guy take care of business.

The anise-hyssop loves the heat. Some days this plant is area is teaming with pollinators.

‘Purple Beauty Peppers: I’m so proud of this plant. It’s been producing well and is still making more. It’s a tasty variety. I will definitely grow this again.

Green Sausage Tomatoes: I’m not a fan of these and the plants have been incredibly prolific. I harvested a ton the other day and made up a batch of Green Tomato Chutney (the recipe is in the YGG book). It’s good on crackers with cheese.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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8 thoughts on “Everything’s Gone Massive

  1. I haven’t been saving seeds this year but Urban Harvest seems to have them every spring. Transplants are easy to come by every spring in Toronto. They’re one of the more popular Heirlooms.

  2. oh wow, gayla, what a harvest! all your different varieties of tomatoes! i’m so jealous…i should get out for a harvest asap, since it’s supposed to start raining here in a couple days.

    our community gardens have had a theif all season, and i was finally hit last week…some peas took the brunt of it. all i’ve got to say, is the person better not be able to afford to buy food themselves, otherwise it’s totally inexcusable!

  3. Gayla,
    Green Sausage toms look so great – I have them on my list to grow next year. What don’t you like about them? Those black plums look fab – I can’t wait to harvest some of mine.

  4. Midge: Yes, I never think I have enough (haven’t covered all bases) and then they start to ripen and I collect these huge plates in one day and realise that I do indeed have more than enough.

    MeMeMosa: I’m not a fan of the green varieties in general. These are a lot like green zebra and I just don’t care for the flavour of either. Plenty of people think green zebra is delicious so it’s a matter of taste. I grew green sausage because I was told these were determinants and I’m always looking for unusual varieties that will do well in containers to recommend to people. A lot of my growing is about experimentation. Having grown them I do not think they are determinants. I think they do alright in a mid-sized container but this summer’s drought has been trying. The silver fir tree (larger red tomatoes in pic) are a better bet. They held up even in this weather and produced a lot of beautiful tomatoes in mid-sized containers.

    I’ll do a full rundown of the tomato varieties I grew this year soon. I’m still waiting on a few in my community plot. I haven’t even tried one of the Taxis (larger yellow) yet.

  5. This time my garden is was not in full bloom. The leaves appeared to be dried up of all the plants. i wish some of you can suggest some remedies for me……plz help me. I am happy for whoevers garden has turned out to be beautiful.

  6. Gayla, I’ve been waiting with baited breath for your rundown on tomato varieties… Were you still thinking of doing one? Otherwise I might start a forum topic, but as a relative newbie the thought scares me!

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