July’s Garden

It’s almost the end of July and I’ve all but given up on our garden this year. The climate here in Ventura is something else. It’s mild and sunny one day, freezing cold the next and overcast and humid the next. The garden seems to be reflecting the strange weather patterns with a lackluster production. In Orange County’s blistering summer heat,  we were seeing lots of tomatoes by this time and my container garden was looking lush and full. Things are growing here but very, very slowly.

julys garden


The mint and parsley are finally doing well. We are catching little caterpillars chewing through some of the mint, but it’s made a recovery since I planted it a few months back.

black pear tomato

Our Black Pear Tomato. The only tomato plant that seems to be doing anything. This is the first tomato that’s ripening, ever so slowly.

lackluster strawberries

The strawberries are not doing much, sadly. We have gotten one nice-sized strawberry from these plants and that was that. I’ve noticed strawberries will grow for a few days and then wilt up. Not sure what’s happening but I’m very disappointed in our little strawberry box. (It also looks as if it needs some weeding).

what is it?

The question of the day… is this a cucumber or a squash? I seem to think we planted squash here but Jeff thinks this is a cucumber. It looks a little bit like both? Seasoned gardeners, please tell us what we have growing?

pumpkin vine

pumpkin green

We have pumpkins in the box vineing all over the place and one little pumpkin has started growing too, which is exciting. But, we are fighting this strange yellow fungus (?) on some of the leaves. We’ve been cutting back yellowed leaves and spraying the others with an organic copper spray. It doesn’t seem to be working. Hoping this pumpkin continues to grow.


The hops are growing rapidly and probably the best out of everything in the garden. They are beautiful, green and viney and I love watching Jeff tend to them every day. Jeff pointed out a fresh cone growing off of one of the vines. He’s pretty excited and I am too. At least there is some good news in the garden.

I have to keep in mind that gardening is always a learning process. You win some, you lose some. You try again next year. This is our first year in a new climate and the first year growing in a raised bed. Next year I will plan better and hopefully have a helper in Ellie who seems eager already to get her hands in the dirt.


Hoppy Days Are Here Again

A boy and his hops. Have I mentioned my husband wants to be a brewer and a hop farmer one day? This is our second year growing hops and thank goodness they have finally started growing because I could see my husband’s dreams of owning a hop farm slowly seeping into the ground when his hops were not doing anything for months upon months. But they finally started growing and are  growing fast!

hop 1

close up

side yard

We’re growing them on the side yard of the property where they get plenty of light. Jeff rigged them from their pot to the top of the house so can grow properly (I really know nothing of growing hops. I just watch and take photos every now and then). They are the fastest growing plants I have ever seen. One full day and the vine has grown several inches. It’s pretty amazing.

close up hop

another angle hop

We shall see how these hops grow this year, being in somewhat of a different climate than last year. We did get a few hop cones on our balcony in Orange County so I’m curious to see what happens with more space. I’ll keep you updated on our hoppy progress!