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31 May 2010

Garden Update 3

I've uploaded 10 new pictures, complete with various comments, some of which I'll mention in this blog post.


Of the most interest I think is the continued growth of the cantaloupe.  It got so big over the weekend that I felt the need to expand my trellis.

Click for full size view.


Posted by rickroot at 10:49 AM | Link | 0 comments
26 May 2010

Garden Update 2

My cantaloupe grew a foot last weekend!

That picture is from Monday morning.  It's actually a few inches higher now but it definately did a ton of growing this weekend.  It's been cloudy and rainy all week, but the sun is going to shine today and tomorrow so I suspect everything will burst again.

Yesterday, I planted a couple of Stevia plants, just because the idea of growing my own sugar sounds like fun. 

I also decided I need more than 5 basil plants, so I bought a $6 herb garden at Lowe's that has 36 little containers.  It came with 6 different herbs but I only planted Basil, Sage, and Chives - 12 of each.  It's sitting in the kitchen corner window where it gets light but no direct sun, a fine place to germinate seeds.

I also seeded 8 "small" sunflower plants (a colorful variety that only gets 4-5' tall), and 9 perennial lupines.  I did these in 2" Jiffy Pots.  The lupines will probably take 3-4 weeks to germinate because I didn't follow the "hastening" instructions.  I didn't feel like chilling them in the fridge, then nicking the hard seed shell and soaking them overnight.

Posted by rickroot at 6:58 AM | Link | 0 comments
18 May 2010

Garden Update 1: Photos

Garden Number 3
Three canteloupe and a Big Boy tomoato.  The trellis is made from 6.5' steel T-posts and something I found at Home Depot called "Mason Ladder", which is made of a fairly heavy guage steel wire.  It's meant for re-inforncing concrete.  I also spray-painted it a dark green so it would be less noticeable from a distance.

Garden Number 2
This is the one that doesn't get enough light, or so I believe.  Maybe 5 hours.  The zucchini and onions seem to be doing very well, the mesclun lettuce was great.  The roma tomato plants look okay but aren't growing very fast - same with the cucumbers and muskmelon.

Insects Already?
Several of my eggplants have leaves like this - I haven't seen any insects on them but this sure looks like insect damage.  I took the opportunity to apply some Bayer Advanced Fruit, Citrus, and Vegetable Insect Control.  The instructions say to apply at transplanting - most of my stuff has been in the ground for 4-6 weeks, but hopefully it will still work to prevent future damage.  No, I'm not growing organic.

Roma Tomatos in the Topsy Turvy planters
I have two roma tomato plants in these upside down planters.  Both purchased at the same time, both about the same size and similar in their looks.  Both transplanted into the planters at the same time with the same Miracle Grow potting soil.  Both receive the same amount of water and sunlight.

One of them looks much better than the other, don't you think?

Posted by rickroot at 9:52 AM | Link | 0 comments
17 May 2010

Garden Update 1: The Beginning

In mid-March, I bought a burpee garden seed kit at Home Depot.  It came with seeds, soil pellets, a container for the soil, and a little plastic container that would act as a greenhouse.  I thought it would be fun for emily to grow some things from seed.  The kit came with roma tomatoes, oregano, basil, cilantro, squash, beans, carrots, cucumbers, and canteloupe.  We seeded on March 21st, the first day of spring.  Amazingly, I only had to bring the garden inside once or twice due to frost.  I also put some bean seeds in a planter on the patio. 

While Emily found it to be marginally interesting, it actually gave me the garden bug.  So now, I have FOUR raised bed gardens, three in the wild area out front, and one in the back near the fence.

The first two are each 3 feet by 6 feet and made of 2x6 lumber.  I didn't really do any prep of the ground below, just filled them up with about 5" of miracle grow garden soil.  In garden #1, I tranplanted 4 bean plants and 2 squash that I'd planted from the seed kit, and also four eggplant and 2 "rainbow mix" bell peppers.  I'll probably end up removing 2 of the eggplants.  Garden #2 currently has 5 cucumbers and a nice trellis ready for them to climb, though they're still quite small since I grew them from seed.  I also planted some mesclun lettuce (which we've already eaten some of!), 2 muskmelons, a zucchini, 2 roma tomatoes, and some green and white onions (same thing really, the "green" onions are planted about 3" deep, while the "white" onions are planted at the surface).  Garden #1 only gets about 6-7 hours of sunlight, and garden #2 really gets only 5-6 hours of sunlight.  The zucchini, onions, and mesclun all seem to be thriving here, we'll see how the romas, cucumbers, and muskmelon do.

Garden #3 is one that I added just this weekend, it's 8 feet long and 2 feet wide, and made with 2x8 lumber so it's a little deeper than the other two.  I needed a place to put my canteloupe that I'd grown from seed and needed a sunny location.  I have a lot of trees around my hard to sunny locations are hard to come by.  I put in a couple of 6' steel posts and threw some heavy guage "Mason Ladder" wire between them to make a nice trellis for the vines.  I'll probably train two of them up the trellis and let the other trail out into the mulch.  The other resident of this garden is a Big Boy tomato, which was transplanted from a planter that Adrienne had originally planted from seed.  The canteloupe were also transplanted from a planter, but they'd been seeded in the burpee seed kit, so this was their second move.  They're doing pretty awesome.

Garden #4 is a 4 foot diameter raised bed garden made from a kit I bought at Walmart.  Essentially it's just about 10" of edging.  Also filled with miracle grow garden soil, I have a cayenne pepper and a jalapeno pepper plant here, both purchased at the farmers market and at a fairly good size (each about 15" tall when purchased).  In fact, the cayenne pepper already has 2 peppers on it, and both are covered with flowers.  I also have about 7 sweet corn plants growing in the other half of this garden (there wre more but I thinned them out a bit, and may have to thin a little more).  Behind this garden, in the ground by the fence, I also sowed another row of sweet corn, which I'll probably thin to 4 or 5 plants in a week or so.  I built another trellis here as well using steel T posts and heavy gauge mason ladder wire.  On the trellis, I planted a Himrod grape vine (a variety of white seedless grape).  We'll see how well that works.

We have some container gardening going on - we have several Topsy Turvy planters, one for strawberries (it has 15 strawberry plants in it!) and 2 for roma tomatoes.  We also have 2 roma tomatoes in a large pot, and 2 big boy tomatoes in pots as well.    And finally, we have 5 basil plants (planted from seed) that are in a planter on the porch and doing awesomely.

Oh, and we've got a blueberry bush on the porch, still in the pot we bought it in because it had flowers all over and and we figured as long as we keep it watered it'll produce better than if shocked it by transplanting it.  We'll put it in the ground in the fall.


Posted by rickroot at 9:08 AM | Link | 0 comments

The Year of the Garden

Some of you already know that I've gone a little crazy this year with gardening and other yardwork this spring. 

Adrienne and I had a small garden four or so years ago but found it difficult to maintain, neither of us had much time to do the things that are required to keep a good garden (like weeding).  Also, the garden was a bit on the crowded side.  We haven't really done anything since, until this year.

This year, it really started with me picking up some Elyeagnus (Ebbing's Silverberry) to put in the wild area between my house and the neighbors house.  Adrienne's mom is doing some volunteer work at Plant's Delight Nursery, and planted some other stuff in the wild area at the front corner of the yard, That's what really set me off, because I wanted some kind of symetry, so I ended up getting some Frost Proof Gardenias, and put in a nice little cast aluminum fencing (about 8" tall) in front of the Indian Hawthornes that I planted several years ago.  Eventually I also added some Cat Mint (aka Catnip) between the hawthorn's, and that side of the wild area looks a hundred times better.

We also took the small banana out of the ground and put it in a very large pot (along with some red and purple gladiola bulbs), and purchased a new banana tree at the farmers market, and put that in a more appropriately sized pot as well.  The old banana was replaced with a Camellia.  Apparently we didn't get the entire banana root structure out because a baby banana is coming up next to the camellia.

We picked upa nice black bench with a kind of arbor over the top and put it out by the front corner, under one of the trees, and Adrienne put up the "School Bus Stop" sign that she'd bought like 4 years ago.

That covers most of the non-garden related landscaping we did this spring, and I think I'll write a whole separate entry about the gardens.

Posted by rickroot at 8:42 AM | Link | 0 comments