You're not going to believe this! Heck, I barely even believe it. Tuesday night we had Our. First. Tomatoes.
Our first ripe tomato last year was at the end of July. If there are other Colorado gardeners who've experienced the surprise and thrill of May tomatoes (without a greenhouse) I'd love to hear from you, because I'm thinking that we've broken some kind of record around here. The three of us were all smiles and giggles as Zinnia picked the fruit. The small tomato was passed around for each of us to sample. It was sweet, tangy goodness, I tell you. The funny thing is that this is one of the two plants left over from our plant sale (we sold out of everything!). We started noticing green fruit on it weeks ago, but for whatever reason no one took it home. It was beginning to look pitiful so Steve put it in a larger pot, and over the last week the fruit started to ripen.
Licking the tomato juice from our lips, we made our way over to the Sungolds, where we found three ripe little cherries. One for each of us.
I feel like we've been rewarded for some kind of good gardening deed. And from now on I think we'll be letting those early flowers stay.
In other news, our Moon & Stars watermelon plants are all but dead. I took a photo but I'll spare you the dour glimpse. After reading about them in one of our Organic Gardening magazines, and finding a pack of seeds at our local shop, I was convinced that we were meant to grow them. Well, the fine print on those seed packets tells the tale of our sad fate: "best planted in zone 8 or warmer." Dang it. I doesn't look like we're going to be able to pull it off here in zone 5. Ever since they went in the ground they've been going downhill. Now we're trying O'odham melons from our friends at Native Seed Search in Tucson. Hopefully we have some luck with this desert, heat-loving variety. Fingers crossed.
Elsewhere around the garden things are filling in beautifully. Our forty (!) tomato plants are rocking and many more are starting to set fruit. The collards, kale and chard are getting big enough for almost daily harvests. Beans are sprouting. Cucumbers and eggplants are flowering. Butternuts are stretching out and the lettuces, tomatillos and okra plants are getting bigger by the day.
I love this time of year when the work of planting (and sprinkler repair, and mulching, and yard clean-up, and tomato trellising and, and, and) is done, and the work of harvesting, cleaning, canning and freezing is not quite upon us. I'm enjoying these weeks of small harvests with plenty of time to just take in all the beauty and wonder of these gorgeous photosynthesizing plants.
How's your end of May garden looking?