Well, well, well. Do you know what vegetable plants really like? Water. Every morning it seems, especially when early summer temps soar into the 90′s. I was trying to keep them hydrated while ‘encouraging their roots to reach deep into the soil to encourage root growth.’ That seems to be the wrong approach when you have new plants that are residing in a good amount of peat moss and not too much else. We seem to be using the live and learn philosophy.

Everyone is looking better after the last few days of extra hydration and have started growing like crazy. It’s so much fun to watch! I feel like I have extra kids. Wonderful ones that are quiet, stay in one place and don’t make a mess, and feed ME for a change. :) Little Miss Katie cannot contain her excitement and squeals as only a 4 year old can when we go out in the morning to hang the clothes to dry and check the progress of the garden.

Yesterday we found the coolest thing!!! Our first tomato is ripening!

Commonplace for some of you. Massive achievement for us.

I also learned that ‘Red Robin’ tomato plants are a dwarf determinate cherry variety. In plain speak, they are teeny tiny bush-type plants and produce cherry tomatoes. That explains why they are so mini but have a bunch of small tomatoes already on them. I find it hilarious, because I couldn’t figure out why they were behaving so strangely. Where are my huge plants that need to be staked? I have chalked that one up to gardening mistake #327.

Tomato plant no. 2 made a better comeback than tomato plant no. 1 over the last few days. Tomato no. 1 still looks a bit more scraggly. I will amend the soil with more compost, add bone meal (hopefully homemade if that’s not a no-no), and cover with mulch as soon as they are in their permanent place. I said that like I actually know what I’m doing. For those of you harboring that misinformation, I don’t.

Hubby requested time off from work so we could take a mini-vacation up north next week for the holiday (4th of July). ‘Up north’ for you non-Michiganders is anywhere north of the middle of the state where most of us use as a getaway spot. Many people have property up there to get away from suburbia. It is BEAUTIFUL. Lush, often forested areas that wrap you in green splendor and explode with color during early autumn.

The best-hubby-ever agreed to stay home instead to let me get some major projects done. My two most important tasks are to take pictures and submit my kitchen for Cheeseslave’s Real Food Kitchen Tour series (so cool, right? I know!) and finish the garden to do list. I will finally move the rest of the compost from the pile to the garden, hand till it in with the peat moss and the rest of the soil hidden under all the peat moss, set up the square foot markers, and…plant the fall garden!

I will be able to salvage my first ever Organic Heirloom Garden with a full autumn harvest. If it grows. After a wonderful reader gave me the timeline of fall seed planting, two articles popped up and reinforced the decision to start this year instead of waiting for next, John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds and Keeper Of the Home’s It’s Not Too Late to Start a Garden.

Our little lone ‘Early Red’ bell pepper is growing too. The progress it has made in four short days is amazing. I don’t even need to circle it for you to see it anymore!

I posted a picture of the cucumber plants from four days ago and this morning’s just below them. I don’t have two of the same angle, but I think you can still see how much they have grown. It looks like at least an inch. We will measure all of the plants tomorrow and keep track as part of our homeschooling lesson and for the fun of it. I will build trellises once the plants are moved to their final home.

Are you a new gardener too or well experienced? If you are either, stick around to offer advice or stumble along with us as we become master gardeners! :)

This post is part of The Morristribe’s Homesteader Blog CarnivalTraditional Tuesdays, Fat Tuesdays, Tuesday Garden Party, and Homestead Barn Hop. Visit these wonderful blog hops and discover something new!

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