This Week in Barigord Life – 08/25/23 – Grading the Garden Part 2

Cooking, gardening, and coexisting with nature are funny things to think about as hobbies. They’re the mechanics of survival! But they can also be fun, and satisfying, and that’s what this weekly post is all about!

Last week was a well-deserved week off. The previous week’s post can be found here.

Hey out there! It’s just over two months into Summer. It’s been really hot, but manageable here. We have lots of vegetation and lots of shade, and our little ecosystem stayed temperate.

The garden did fairly well. Definitely thousands of times better than last year. But there’s now a definite sense of things winding down. It’s kind of sad, even though I know most will be back next year.

Just over a month ago, I did a report card post for the garden. Today I’m going to update those grades and see what’s different!

Another Report Card!

I mean, I do work 3 jobs to send all my little plants to plant school. Go little plants go! (The previous grade is in brackets.)

This picture is an okra flower!

Incomplete, but promising

Asparagus – (Incomplete) Still looking lush and a lot like dill is the beautiful asparagus patch. Can’t wait to see it in the spring.

Rhubarb – (Incomplete) Looking scraggly and a little stunted, but still not worried, as it’s a year 2 and beyond plant.

Bok Choy – (F) The first crop was a disaster, being attacked by animals and roasted in the heat. I’ve got another row going in a different place, and the weather is a little cooler, so we’ll see.

Peas – (A) They did great, but they’re done. I’m going to try a very late season crop of peas. We shall see. Otherwise it’s next year.

Spinach – (D) I’m trying another round of spinach now that things have cooled a bit.

A – Producing

Wax & Garden Beans – (A) The beans have tapered off, but a couple of hardy plants are still producing. Beans will be a major focus next year, and I think I can do way better with them.

Zucchini – (A) Not every plant produced a zucchini, but I harvested enough to give a few away, and that’s a big deal for me. It’s been a mix of stripey light green, dark green, and one green ball. The yellows have been developing for a while, and I’ll harvest them soon.

Marigolds – (B) While they didn’t all survive, most did and have flowered.

Endive – (B) The little patch that could is still producing nicely.

Potatoes – (B) I’ve harvested 3 of the 7 bags so far, with decent enough results. I harvested a very large bag today, but it was the lowest yield so far. Luckily the potatoes have been divine. There are a few random plants around too, that should provide some potatoes.

Tomatoes – (B) The plant keeps getting taller, and is flush with clusters of tomatoes. I’ve eaten one so far, and it was incredible. Just waiting on the rest to ripen.

Herbs – (forgot!) Basil and mint are doing great!

B – Doing Alright

Pattypan Squash – (A) The pattypans have produced a lot of flowers and a few nice little squashes, but things have slowed and some tiny squashes have failed to mature.

Nasturtiums – (B) The nasturtiums are fun ground cover, but the flowers are really not tasty at all, and I’m not going to make them a priority next year. They also overwhelmed a couple of beds, choking out other plants. They do look and smell nice, though.

Calendula – (B) Doing okay. Some flowers.

Sunchokes – (B) The plants are huge, but I haven’t seen any flowers. Apparently it’s a very late harvest, so things seem on schedule.

Peppers – (B) We’ve got little peppers in development! Not many, but I had no expectations at all.

Grapes – (B) A tremendous amount of growth in year one still makes for a small plant.

Chard – (C) Two patches hung on and did well, especially once the summer cooled a bit. I’m trying more in little pots to start for the upcoming cooler weather.

C – Less Exciting

Okra – (B) I have several happy little plants, but it’s only going to be a handful of pods per plant. Something to build on.

Eggplant – (C) We’ve had flowers, and they’ve likely been pollinated. A couple of the flowers look like they’re trying something. Hopefully it’s eggplants. They’re very small, though.

Pole Beans – (C) Only a couple of beans so far, and only a couple of plants, really. Some flowers show promise, and they did really well in late season last year.

Leeks – (C) They’ll need a surge of growth to get to edible, but they might get it late.

Beets – (C) The tops did really well, and I’m going to be eating them for a few more days, but the beets themselves ranged from tiny to super-tiny. I’ve got another round of beets going, so we’ll see.

Berries – (C) Good growth for all the berry bushes, and all look like healthy perennials. No berries to speak of other than some ‘invasive’ blackberry canes I let grow.

Kale – (C) Last year’s plants are still around in places, and have produced new leaves. This year’s plants are still very small, but they’re out of the pots and into the ground. Some were attacked right away, and a really good one was uprooted, but I got it back in the ground and it might survive. I need to get in the habit of picking the leaves before the birds get them all.

D – Not Looking Good

Pumpkins – (C) The plants are too small to ever get there.

Sunflowers – (D) Some of mine are still standing, but it’s unlikely they’ll flower. They were really planted poorly. My roommate’s did better, but didn’t have enough soil in their container and outgrew it. They have flowers, though.

Dill – (D) The 2 scraggly plants are still the same.

Onions – (D) There’s a row of tiny ones, and I’ll slowly pull them all up and eat them.

F – Bad

Carrots – (C) Lots of tops was just about everything. A few stubby little carrots came up, but they didn’t justify the space. I have a plan for next year involving a deep, long container where I can do a nice row.

Radishes – (D) A complete fail. I’m just waiting to see if any of the seed pods that appeared instead of juicy radish roots will dry out before the birds eat them all so I can get seeds.


It’s getting late in the growing season, and the successes and fails are pretty clear. Like last year, I dreamed of swimming in large containers of huge vegetables, but I’m happy to settle for the small but satisfying crop I’ve had this year.

It’s still enough to keep me from having to buy vegetables all summer, and it has also been enough to give some away. Combine that with the blissful time spent out there and the garden is a resounding A+!

Thanks for Reading!

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