Last year I had fun giving updates on my garden every week or so, and I thought people might like to see what’s growing around here this year as well. I’m a bit slow getting the updates started; I actually planted quite a few of my plants the last weekend in April. I have a garden with a tall fence on three sides, so I’m able to plant much earlier than many people. So far, I’ve never had anything freeze, and this year it’s extra hot, so we’re off to a great start in the garden.

Today I’m going to show you the tomatoes and veggies. Utah had an especially cold winter this year, and a few herbs that usually come back didn’t make it. Next week I’ll show you the herbs that survived and a few new ones I’m trying this year. (Some links included here go to commercial sites. I’m not endorsing or advertising these sites, just using them to illustrate that type of plant. I did like the site Dave’s Garden, which posts reviews from gardeners who have tried growing a certain variety of plant.)

In my mind, Brandywine is the premier heirloom tomato. This is a very flavorful tomato, distinguished by it’s leaves, shaped like the leaves of a potato plant. Brandywines are huge tomatoes, and the plants get really big too, and last year I gave up on using a tomato cage and just let the plants sprawl on the ground. I’m doing that again this year. This is my favorite tomato for tomato sandwiches. (2 plants)

My favorite all around tomato for salads and slicing is the Celebrity tomato. It’s a medium sized tomato with good flavor and grows well in Utah. (5 plants)

Last year someone at my garden center recommended Lemon Boy tomatoes, and I really liked them. I love to use this tomato mixed with Celebrity tomatoes to make Red and Yellow Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese and Basil Vinaigrette. (2 plants)

Of course, you must grow Romas, and you need quite a few so you’ll have enough at one time to make Slow-Roasted Tomatoes. I’ve never been able to find the famous San Marzano, so I picked some healthy looking plants which were La Roma variety. Do you think I’ll have enough slow roasted tomatoes this year? (7 plants)

I also planted one Cherry Tomato, which I guess I didn’t take a picture of. Yes, that’s 17 tomato plants for those who are keeping score. I do have a big garden, and I love to give away tomatoes to everyone in the neighborhood.

This year I’m planting cucumbers next to a tomato frame again. Here is a photo of last year’s cucumbers if you want to see how I did it. This worked well, and made it easier to find the cucumbers. I like Sweet Slice cucumbers, but I couldn’t find them so I’m trying a variety called Marketmore 76. (4 plants)

This is an interesting plant called Really Big Squash which was recommended to me at the garden center. It’s a type of butternut squash, which gets bigger and is thicker in the neck than traditional butternut. (2 plants)

I also planted other squashes including two zucchini, two crookneck squash, and two round zucchini called 8-Ball Squash. The round ones are perfect for making Grilled Zucchini, and they don’t seem to get out of control quite as easily as the regular zucchini does.

I guess I forgot to take a picture of the bell peppers, so I’ll show those another time. I’m also planning to plant spagetti squash if I can find a plant, and a few seeds for chard, arugula, and maybe even one type of lettuce, but I haven’t managed to get that done yet!

In future weeks you can follow the progress of my garden by clicking the label 2007 Garden Updates at the end of this post.

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