Sep 17, 2012

My Late Summer Urban Garden

Last spring my husband and I switched from our traditional chemical based gardening techniques to organic. (You can read about how and why we decided to do that here.)

The changes in our garden have been dramatically positive. 
Our vegetable plants grew larger and produced more than ever before, even without the weekly dousing of  chemical fertilizer we used to use. 

In fact, my tomato plants, egg plants, and green peppers grew almost ridiculously large on the naturally nutrient rich soil we prepared last fall and spring. 

 Harvesting tomatoes from this one tomato plant I circled in the photo below was like climbing into a jungle!

It grew about nine feet tall and six feet wide, and the weight of the vines kept breaking the wire cage we built higher and higher to support it.

We loved the garden fresh organic produce. 

And there's still a lot more to come this fall before our first frost. 

What surprises us about switching to organic gardening the most is the absence of our usual insect pests. In fact, we didn't have any! We think since we weren't killing the beneficial insects with our usual insecticides anymore, they did us the favor of eating the pesky insects for us.   

And we had lots more fat happy honey bees doing their pollinating thing, which made us pretty happy, too. 

There seems to be a new natural balance in our little urban garden ecosystem that we had been unwittingly upsetting for years with the use of chemicals. 

The garden is usually well pruned, but last month an unexpected trip away to Montana let it get out of hand. 

When we returned, I was so charmed by the exuberance of all the uncontrolled growth that I just let it continue to go wild!

It's been fun to watch the garden grow unchecked.

When it turns cold we'll have lots of good green stuff to put in the raccoon-safe compost bins we started last fall on the other side of the house. And, yes, you can compost on a tiny lot in the city!  

Fall hasn't come to Boise yet this year. Our city grocery stores don't even have pumpkins for sale yet, but there are signs in my garden that it's just around the corner. The pyracantha berries have turned bright red.

 The plumes of the new ornamental grasses we planted last spring have grown tall and dried out for a much anticipated display later this winter against the back fence.   

And my husband's Boise State flamingos and BSU Gnomie have joined the garden for the football season.

Go Broncos!!

This will be my last summer garden post before turning my attention to fall. It's my favorite season, and I have so many fun projects to get started on!

It looks like I'll be starting with a trip to the pumpkin patch. 

What's going on in your late summer garden? 

You may also like

My Backyard
My Front Porch
Pedestal Birdhouse

Please join me this week at these great parties:

Between Naps on the Porch 
Coastal Charm 
DIY Show Off  
Nifty Thrifty Things
Cozy Little House 
The Farmhouse Porch 
Elizabeth & Co. 
Savvy Southern Style 


  1. Looks like your gardens produced beautifully. They say if a plant is healthy it can resist a lot of disease. Looks like yours were plenty healthy!

  2. so much healthier looking than mine! bravo!

    smiles to you and hope you'll visit soon.


  3. Your garden is amazing... look at those veggies! Wow! Love the flamingo & gnome -- too darn cute. Lovely photos too Laurel. Looking forward to your fall posts. :)

  4. Wow, your garden is fabulous. Such beautiful produce, wish it was in my yard.

  5. wow!!! Your garden looks gorgeous!!! Wanna come help this baltimore girl with her garden.. pleeese. : ) Have a great Tuesday.

  6. YOur garden is amazing!! I believe it is all in having good soil. My garden grows crazy, I am on soil in the city that was originally a cow pasture. Good for you for going organic


  7. What a wonderful garden you have! Thank you for sharing. Visiting from Farmhouse Porch. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  8. Such wonderful results!!! I find that so many of the things that my grandparents & great-grandparents did are so much better than "modern" life. A pesticide-free garden is just one example. Enjoy!
    ~ Zuzu

  9. Hi Laurel,
    Your garden is amazing, very beautiful. We also have a vegetable and herb garden, and also our tomatoes grew up around 7 feet, we are still harvesting the last ones. This is my first year planting a vegetable - herb garden, and I love it. It feels so right to grew up your own food, and bring it from your garden to your table. I also made a post about it. Congratulations on your garden, I wish you all the best. (thanks for visiting my blogs)
    Send you a hug
    Laura :0)

  10. Fun, fun, fun! I love all you've planted and nurtured. It's gorgeous! Can't wait to see what beauty Fall will bring along with the projects you will no doubt delight us with.

  11. Your gardens still look great! And that tomato Mine were huge this year too, all I used was natural hen manure for the calcium they need. (I grew mine in large pots this year)
    Will have to check out how you prepped your gardens last fall, I'm building a new area and you could have some tips I'll use.
    Debbie :)


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