A Tale of Two Gardens

It’s absolutely amazing to me how my two gardens, that are only a few hundred feet apart, are completely different micro-climates.

My home garden gets a significant amount of shade every day.  Not too much, but the orientation of the garden, along with neighboring trees and houses provides quite a bit of shade as the day moves along.

The tomatoes in my home garden are giving me a ripe one here and there.  The cherries are giving me quite a few, but for the most part, the tomatoes in the home garden are staying green for a long time, growing in size and quantity, but not seeing an urge to ripen.

The Sunset Garden, on the other hand, is like a furnace.  Direct sun all day long, not a spot of shade from sun up to sun down.  The garden also receives the full brunt of the elements- wind especially.  I have been harvesting armloads of tomatoes there since we came home from our vacation on the 1st of August.  I made my first batch of homemade salsa yesterday because I have so many tomatoes!  I think a lack of rain is contributing to the fact that the plot is feeling like it wants to ripen.  The tomatoes are on the smaller side, but still delicious and welcome.

We hardly ever have tomatoes before Labor Day.  In fact, when we go visit Minnesota’s garden Labor Day weekend, we always have the first BLT’s of the season, because the tomatoes are just starting to produce in earnest.  We’re a full month early this year, and it’s been great fun already!

The wheels are already turning for next year though, because on top of trying to combat the weeds over there, I also am going to attempt to plan more thoughtfully.   I think I have to put some of the peppers over there- I think they will LOVE the all sun, all the time.  I will have to give careful thought to how best to do the tomatoes.  Having all these early ones are wonderful, but there’s a definite difference in size with the fruit at home.  I think I will want cherries, earlies and more plum/roma types at the plot, while I keep my favorite slicers and canners here at home.  I may move the eggplants out of the raised bed and into the pepper bed.

So many things to consider for next year. Fortunately, though, I have lots of this year left to play with and give me time for planning.