Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Earthboxing - 2012

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(I’m way behind in this post, but after my last post, I’m sure you understand.)

It’s my favorite time of year again!   I’m a summer warm weather lovin’ person for sure.  I love the bright shiny days, the way the days cool off just enough in the Midwest.  And most of all, getting my hands back in the dirt. 

This year was a little different.  I felt rushed since I was working full time and the weather has been ridiculously hot.  My mom came up to visit for Mother’s Day weekend and B’s birthday party so we had a chance to visit one of my favorite local nurseries.  Of course, we went in “just looking” and came out with a trunk full of summer delights.  Then, I got home and worried that I had jumped the gun a bit.  You never know with Chicago springtime.

However, we had a unseasonably warm spring and even hotter summer so far.  So, I took the chance at planting my tomatoes this early in the season (May 22).  Luckily (for the tomatoes anyway) the warm weather has been more than plentiful this year and they are quite happy in their Earthboxes. 

In Box #1, I planted two medium sized tomato varieties, Celebrity and Better Boy, both from Burpee. 


I wasn’t crazy about buying such a large plant, but that’s all the nursery had of the Better Boy variety. 

In Box #2, I planted two cherry varieties, Sweet 100 and Sun Sugar.  Why?  Well, we love to just snack on tomatoes and I figured with our busy schedule I might not get to the canning/freezing thing this year. 


I’ve grown Sweet 100 with great success in the past and LOVE the taste.  The Sun Sugar is a new one for me, but from what I’ve read its super sweet.  Plus, it’s a yellow cherry and I love the color contrast for summer salads. 

After 3.5 weeks (the boxes got switched, so they are Box #2 on left and #1 on right now)…


And today at 7 weeks…


Sorry for the blown out off center picture.  It’s really bright out there today.  As you can see its like a jungle!  Yes, the yellowing is normal.  Always freaks me out, but it happens yearly. 

And we have our first tomatoes of the season…


YUM!  I love the mix of yellow and red. 

Beyond my maters, I’ve also planted Chef Jeff’s Salsarific jalapeno pepper for….duh…salsa!  Can’t make enough fresh salsa in the summer. 


Alas…it did not fair well during our crazy windstorms a few weeks ago and it looks like it has kind of stunted the peppers.   Boo. 


These tiny nubs should be much bigger by now.  I guess we’ll see what happens.

And, of course, I’ve planted several sweet basil plants. 


The basil has LOVED this summer’s hot HOT weather and thrived. 


This picture above was right before I harvested it the first time.  Today, its grown back even larger than before and I’m making my second batch of pesto. 

Then, I tried out this lemon thyme plant…


Not sure what I’ll do with it, but I couldn’t pass it up.  It smells like fresh lemons!  Any suggestions?  I was thinking about homemade salt/sugar scrub?

Well, that about wraps up my adventures in the edible garden this year.  I’ll be sure to post when some of the larger tomatoes ripen.  Until then, you can  take a look back at my Earthbox journey over the past years.

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  1. Glad to see you posting again!

  2. I use the lemon thyme on fish, chicken, and my favorite, roasted potatoes. Mmmm. Plus it just smells good on the patio.

    I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Here’s my post:


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