Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My first harvest

Today I got to enjoy the first harvest from my garden- a lone pea pod. This is very exciting for me because this is the very first thing I have grown myself. This one pea pod had been getting plump the last few days so today I decided it was time to pick it and try out my first home-grown veggie. I popped it open and ate the little peas one by one. They were delicious! Perfectly ripe. I gave one to Jason, who took some convincing to actually bite into it, and he said it was yummy too. Hopefully we'll be getting some more yummy peas soon, there is one pod growing right now.

My tomato plants are doing great. It seems like the vertical growth stopped once it started growing the fruit. I don't know if that's normal, but I guess it would make sense that the growth is being routed to the fruit instead of height. As of today I have 19 tomatoes growing! It is so exciting. I can't wait to try out that first tomato.

Some of my corn is starting to get that top seedy part growing out now too, which is great. The plants are still kind of short (hm, seems to be a theme in my garden with plants not getting very tall) but as long as they grow some good ears I'll be happy.

Here are some pictures of the garden today:
The whole thing-

Radishes on left are actually doing a bit better, need to plant more. I had to tie the potato stems up because they were falling all over.

Bell pepper plants. Still small, but the one on the left is actually starting to get flowers now, so I may actually get some peppers.

Lettuce. I can probably start harvesting some leaves if I want :) (I have no idea why this picture keeps getting posted sideways)
Pea plants and I think the flowering plant on the left is cilantro.

Tomatoes. See all the cute little green tomatoes growing?


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2 Month Update

Guess it's about time for another update :) Here's a few things going on with my garden:

* We had a surprise hailstorm last week. Luckily my sister was able to help me get a tarp up over the garden pretty quickly so most everything is still ok. The weight of the tarp did flatten some flowers as well as the onion stems, but most of the stuff has rebounded. The tarp wasn't long enough to cover the strawberry plants, so they got cut up pretty good, but since they haven't had any flowers or strawberries yet anyway it wasn't a problem.

* My tomato plants have grown a TON since the last time I took pictures, thank heavens. And they have tons of flowers and... my first tomato is growing! I am so excited that there is actually a little tiny tomato growing, hopefully a bunch more follow.

* The corn is still growing slowly but surely. I'm hoping for some nice yummy corn on the cob in a few months, mmmm.

* Oh, and I actually have a little lettuce plant growing more! Out of the 16 I planted I actually got one to grow! It's still little, but hopefully it'll keep growing enough to make a little salad. Of course out of the 18 spinach seeds I planted, none have lived past tiny seedlings lol.

*Little green worms have been munching on my radish leaves. Grr. I finally had a few growing better and then the little buggers tried to wipe them out. I finally caught them in the act and am now paying more attention to what is on my plants.

* My boys have been enjoying uprooting all the flowers again and again. I'm surprised I haven't had to replace them more often, they've been replanted so many times. I'm really glad I didn't plant veggies on the border so at least they are just playing with the flowers. I do need to replace a few flowers though, there's only so much abuse they can take lol.

OK, and now for some pics :)

The whole garden:
Radishes, onions, potatoes, carrots (or lack thereof), strawberry plants:
Hosta, and little lone lettuce plant in the middle, and the flowers in this section have been abused the worst by the boys:
Tomatoes, peas, peppers, and finally got one little herb plant growing though I can't remember what it is lol:
My first tomato!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Garden in July

I took some new pictures of the garden last week then forgot to post them. I finally got around to building my trellis which you can see behind the tomato and pepper plants. It's 7'h x 6'w. Not sure if I'll really need it that high, especially considering how slowly my plants are growing, but to make it shorter I would have had to cut the pipe more and it was a pain! So 7' it is. Not much difference in most things. The corn is popping up ok, and the tomato plants have grown a few inches. The potato plants are out of control, wish I'd had the materials to box them in higher, but oh well. Next year I'm definitely doing them in tires.

Here's the whole garden (not a very good pic):

Strawberry plants on the right (with no flowers or berries :P ) and in the raised box from right to left- carrots, potatoes, radishes and onions:
Lettuce and spinach in middle 6 squares. Yeah, not much there :P and my poor little hosta on the left, but it is doing better now.
In the back in the trellis area, from right to left- 2 pepper plants that haven't grown at all, flower, peas (need to get some stakes for the front row of peas), and 2 tomato plants. The tomato plants have actually gotten a little bigger since this pic. In front of those was supposed to be some herbs, but most didn't grow at all.
Corn in left 8 rows. I don't know how fast it's supposed to grow but hopefully it's doing good. And the little flashy wind thing I put in to scare off the birds that have been nibbling.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Feeling down

I'm starting to not feel too hopeful about my garden. I think the late start I got really doomed me. I started the garden a month ago. Everything seems to be growing very slowly, especially some of my root crops. The radishes should be almost done now but I don't think they are, the greens are still tiny little seedlings and I haven't checked the roots but I doubt they are very big at all. Onions seemed to be ok at first but some seem to just die suddenly with no root. The carrots are still tiny tiny seedlings, though I'm going to give them some more time before declaring them a failure. The potatoes seem to be doing great, growing like crazy, hopefully they will at least come through. Lettuce and spinach are not doing well, still tiny seedlings that are slowly dying out. Most of my spices/herbs never even sprouted so I will probably go buy some plants. The peppers, peas, tomatoes and corn seem to be doing ok though. I swear the tomatoes have grown a few inches in the last few days. Ever since they flowered and I trimmed some of the lower stems they seem to be doing better. The pepper plants are slowly getting bigger, though nowhere near getting peppers yet. The pea plants are cute little plants, so I'm hopeful about them. And the corn seems to do well with the heat we've been having. So maybe my garden won't be a complete failure this year. But I'm already making a mental list of what to do and not do for next year. First and foremost is to start much earlier! I think a lot of my problem is that I planted a lot of spring crops too late so it is too hot for them to grow properly.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

3 Week checkup

So it's been a few weeks, about time I gave a garden update! Things are sprouting up all over :) The only things that haven't are some of the herbs/spices. If they don't sprout by next week I'll go buy some starts. Also, the spinach isn't sprouting much either, but I wasn't really expecting too much from the lettuce and spinach since they got a later start than they really should have. The corn is starting to come up nicely. I finally went and got some bell pepper plants because the seeds never sprouted. The carrots finally started sprouting and the potatoes are also coming up. So most everything is starting to grow :) Even the strawberry plants are flourishing with tons of new leaves, but still no flowers or fruit. And, the rose bushes are flowering a ton! Just this last week they've started and we've got some gorgeous big blossoms already blooming all over the south bush and a few on the north bush. I'm loving having rose bushes. I had to cut them down to about 4ft this spring cuz they were way overgrown and they've already gotten over 7ft. Here are some pictures:

Pretty roses:

Rose bushes:

Garden: (the white material is what I use to shade the lettuce and spinach during the hottest parts of the day since they really don't like too much heat)


Radishes on top, onions on bottom:

Lettuce on right (and further left not pictured) and spinach on left:

Green and red peppers:


Tomatoes: (I had to put up the cages and netting to keep out whatever critter was nibbling the stems off)


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Finally planted!

Today we finally got the garden mostly planted! The only things missing are potatoes and pea plants (if we can find any, WalMart was out). This past weekend Hubby helped me finish getting the garden ready. We got a huge load of compost, much more than we need, and spent a few hours Saturday evening shoveling that into the garden, compost box, and overflow into the little kiddie pool. I have a friend coming to get the extra this week.

Then Monday I was afraid we wouldn't be able to finish getting it ready because it poured rain most of the day, but in the brief sunny breaks we got it done. Hubby put together a raised box for the root crops and filled it and I got my squares all measured and staked out and twined. It looked perfect (well, not perfect, but good enough for me!).

My little sister Kelsey just moved in with us and she helped me and the boys with the planting this morning. I went through and had her hand me seeds and plants for the vegetables as I went along. Then we invited the boys to help us with the flowers. They had so much fun. Aunt Kelsey would get a flower out and they would take turns bringing them to me to put in the holes. We also planted a few hostas and the rest of the flowers in our front flower bed.

I can't wait to see what actually grows! Hopefully in a week or two we will see some stuff sprouting up. Here's a few pics from today:

The boys and Kelsey

And what the garden looks like now (click to see better)

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Garden

Here is the garden bed as it is right now:

And here are the strawberry plants already in the garden. Hopefully they don't die when I transplant them. (I took this before watering them, the ones on the right perked up a ton after watering.)

This is my rough draft for planting. I was shocked at how much I can actually fit in my little garden. We don't use a lot of fresh veggies normally so I was having a hard time filling this out with things I think we will actually eat. (Click to enlarge)

To Start

I'm starting with a raised garden bed that is already in place. It measures about 2'10" x 24'. We weeded and dug up the dirt before I decided I am not going to use that dirt. Instead I am going to cover the dirt with landscaping fabric, put a 6" tall wood border around the edge, and fill it with "Mel's Mix" (1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss) to start out with the perfect gardening soil. Then I will lay out a square foot grid so I can easily plan and plant my garden. I have already put together a rough draft of what I want to plant and where, but it is subject to change. There are some strawberry plants already growing in one corner of the garden that I hope to transplant into the new soil without killing them.

Hubby picked up some old plywood I got off freecycle and is going to borrow a saw to cut it into the 6" boards I need to frame in the bed. Hopefully he can get that done tomorrow so I can get the rest of the things I need (landscape fabric and "Mel's Mix" stuff and seeds/plants) and get it all ready this week. I would like to get everything going this week because we are supposed to have some rain storms and I think it would be helpful to the plants to start out with a nice warm rain. If not, I really want to plant no later than next week because I'm already planting a bit later than is best.

Black Thumb

Welcome to my garden blog. This is my first year with a garden and I am going to be trying out the Square Foot Garden method by Mel Bartholomew. It seems like the most clear-cut, easy to understand way which is what I need.

Because I have a black thumb. Really.

Any potted plant I've gotten has died within a few weeks. I received a spider plant once, a plant that is supposedly very easy to care for, and it slowly but surely died. I attempted to grow tomatoes last year starting from seeds. The cats and kids managed to kill off 14 of 18 seedlings before I could transplant them, and the 4 I transplanted to a little spot outside, slowly grew but not enough, and never bore fruit. So this year, I'm hoping for a miracle.