Friday, June 17, 2011

Moving Right Along

We’re finally having more warm days than cold days.  The plants seem to be growing and the netting is protecting the squash and cucumber plants.  Today I thinned the Swiss Chard and moved the seedlings that seemed like they might survive to another location behind the middle retaining wall.  As of right now they look a little under the weather so we’ll see if they survive the night.  I watered them twice today and they are now in the shade so I’ve got my fingers crossed. 


This shows the entire front 15 feet of the garden. Since most of the plants are still quite tiny it doesn’t look like much besides tomato cages and marigolds. 


This is the squash plants that will need to be thinned soon but the cage I put over isn’t so easily opened.  If I do another garden next year I’ll rethink this solution.


The spinach is the closest to being in our dinner.  I think the leaves could be harvested for baby spinach very soon, they’re close to 2” long now. 


The carrots have the cute little carrot leaves coming up.  The zig zag row is pretty evident but my thinning to 1” leaves a little to be desired.


Healthy bean plant.


What is going on with these?  I guess I need to research.  It’s been rather cold so maybe it got too cold the day these guys sprouted.  If I figure it out, I’ll keep you posted.


Peas look fantastic.


Beets too . . . I don’t want to hear any comments on my no so straight lines.  I’m just happy I can squat down at my age and do this.


I hope to get a few strawberries so I can eat them while pulling weeds.  I’ve been told to cover these with bird netting or expect them to be eaten first by the crows. 

I have to research fertilizing now too.  Some of the information I have is pretty decent, other times the information is so vague.  What does ‘regular fertilizer’ mean exactly?  Daily, hourly, monthly, every other week . . . seriously people, do you ever think that you have novices trying to feed themselves?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Frustration, Bricks & Cages

With the front part of the garden planted, I needed to work on the back 14 feet.  There was still grass and rocks that needed to be removed and more soil to be added.   Again, I questioned my sanity as I dug out the sod and attempted to get the soil out of the roots in the hot sun.  With such lovely soil it should have been easy, but I kept hitting very hard objects.  These hard objects were not small, moving the shovel over a couple inches did not work, I uncovered the first brick under six inches of soil and put it next to the garden.  Soon, I realized that I had uncovered a stash of bricks that were probably buried when the house was built.  After several hours working in this area I was still not done clearing the area, but my body was DONE.  It has not recovered yet but hopefully this week, my memory will forget about this, and I’ll be able to finish this part of the garden.


I was so quick to pat myself on the back with my seeds germinating and after just one day with the little squash leaves showing, they were pulled out.  Rabbits maybe, squirrels, who knows but they were strewn about like a tiny little hurricane went around my four mounds of squash plants.  O.K.  I thought, I can rise to the challenge.  With some bird netting and a short wire fence I created a cage for the four squash and one cucumber mounds. 


This cage appears to be working, the squash plants and the cucumber have germinated and are growing.  The unfortunate part is that it is not easy to get into this area to pull errant grass or weeds but for now I’m just going to let everything be. 


Two squash plants as of June 12.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Germination Times Four

The weather has been absolutely awful for seeds to germinate especially in the location I’ve chosen.  We’ve gotten some late afternoon sun after our home has shaded the back part of the garden in the past several days but overall it’s been extremely overcast, chilly with off and on rain for quite a few days now.  The good thing was that I didn’t have to water anything but I kept worrying that the seeds were just rotting.  I was grateful (and still am) that I have more seeds should I need to replant.  

I just came in from checking on the garden as it’s not raining at the moment.  I am very happy to report that four of the veggies have germinated.  They are:  Sweet Peas, Swiss Chard, Spinach and Beets.  If you notice on the map, the seeds that have germinated are close to the front of the garden.  All germinations are within the range the seed company advertised. 

The forecast over the weekend looks decent so I’ll be able to get out and do whatever thinning is necessary.  I’ll also take some photos to include with that post.   Hopefully Carrots and Beans will show their heads here soon. I plan to plant the cucumbers and tomatoes this weekend regardless of the weather.  I will also be checking on additional treatments for slugs and organic fertilizer.  I’m using Dr. Earth fertilizer. 

On another note we did eat some of the leaves from the lettuce plants that are in pots the other evening.  There were not enough for it to be the full salad but they did add to the existing lettuce to make a full salad.  They look beautiful and had a very fresh taste.  I need to separate these plants and place them farther apart.  They are doing well in the pots so I will try to just remove some of the plants and put them in the garden in the back but leave some plants in pots as I’ve heard that lettuce is frequently targeted by slugs in the ground.