Vegetable Gardening Update (July 2022) – Black Girl Gardening Diaries #4

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Hi, how is your vegetable gardening journey going?

I feel like after my last vegetable gardening update everything went downhill! Winter didn’t want to leave, and as a result, of it getting super cold and then really warm over and over again, I kept my seedlings inside for a few weeks longer than I should have. By the time I went to plant them outside the inside of the cups were green???!!!? My nephew and I didn’t end up planting the seedlings and instead replanted everything directly into the soil. So that’s a bummer. 

A summary of what we planted and how they are doing

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Close up on plants in vegetable pots.

We have two main areas where we planted our seeds – a large pot and a few smaller pots. The large black container contains our bigger plants that like to spread and in two smaller rectangular pots we planted our smaller plants. 

In the large black container, we planted…





This was a bad idea for 2 reasons. 

  1. All these plants love a lot of space and love to spread but combined in a smallish container it didn’t work out. 
  2. I ran out of soil and I wanted to use the rest of my seeds, so I planted these seeds waaaaayyy too close together. 

The seeds came up and flowered but I don’t think they will produce anything but leaves and flowers. Note to self, don’t plant seeds too close together. 

In the two rectangular containers, we planted…

Close up on herb and vegetable gardening in pots.

Cherry tomatoes – thriving. 

Bell peppers and hot peppers – came up but got planted too close together because of a squirrel attack. 

Chamomile – never came up.

Hyssop – nice and green, tastes very good roasted with potatoes. 

Basil – is my gardening star every year! It looks so beautiful! I add it to my fresh fruit, in my cereal, in soups, and on scrambled eggs. It’s a star!

Green onion – Didn’t grow as big as last year, but always great on scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, smashed potatoes with cheese, or crispy breakfast potatoes.

Cilantro – I added a bunch to my chili and it was great!

These plants turned out waaaay better. Our tomato plant has gotten so big and beautiful. The basil. Guys the basil is FLOURISHING! I love it sooo much! 

Close up on a tomato plant in a pot.

Now we did have a problem with the container that had the peppers in it. Shortly after planting the seeds a squirrel dug up the seeds and made a huge hole in the soil. So I think that’s why the pepper seeds ended up too close together and the chamomile never came up. A few birds dug in the large black container and dug up my nephew’s bean plant. The same squirrel(not conclusive but pretty sure) also dug up his carrot seeds and a ball from our neighbor’s yard broke the pot. He was very sad about the events of his seeds, which is very understandable!

We never had to fight with nature this much in the past, so we will definitely get some sort of netting next time!

Funny story about the hyssop

Herbs in pots.

So I was convinced that I planted oregano and completely forgot about the hyssop growing. Many of the seeds we planted were ones that we had planted in the past but I did throw a few different ones in the mix because I thought that would be fun. So right next to the cilantro and basil there was this plant growing that I didn’t recognize, so I thought it was my oregano. I picked some and chopped it up and cooked it with my fingerling potatoes. I tasted it and it didn’t taste anything like oregano, but I thought maybe fresh oregano tasted different than dried. 

But I told my older sister about it and looked through my seeds and couldn’t find oregano seeds anywhere… Turns out it was the hyssop! 

I planted hyssop from seed last year in a separate pot and never tasted it, so I wasn’t as familiar with it as I thought. The leaves are completely edible and have a rich green color with a strong almost peppery taste. It made my potatoes taste great!

In the two smaller pots, we planted…

Top view of basil and mint plants in pots.

In a few smaller pots, I transplanted store-bought mint and basil plants. The last few years I haven’t been able to get mint to come up so I bought an organic plant from Whole foods and have been nurturing it, and so far so good!

The store-bought basil plant was used as a garnish in a few of my food photography pictures until my basil seeds grew to mature plants. This basil plant is on its last leg and has already started the process of going to seed, so I’ll probably dig it up and then plant some more herbs in this pot instead.

Final thoughts

Close up on basil plant.

In conclusion, I have started seeds in the past and they worked great, but I think the problem this year was that the weather was super flip-floppy. I wasn’t sure if I should plant seedlings outside or not so they went bad. 

Gardening is a never-ending learning experience. Some things are winners – like the basil and others flop like the watermelon, moving on and rolling with it is part of the fun! Until next time, happy gardening!

Other Gardening Updates and Natural Home Recipes

Black Girl Gardening Diaries – Beginner’s Guide to Gardening

How to Start Seeds Indoors – Black Girl Gardening Diaries #2

Spring Seedlings Update – Black Girl Gardening Diaries #3

Apple Cranberry Stovetop Potpourri

Lemon Rosemary and Cinnamon Stovetop Potpourri

How To Make Whipped Shea Butter

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