Inch by inch, row by row

Time for some pictures of the garden!

Things are growing, things are green, some things are starting to flower. Some things that were decidedly not growing (I’m talking to you, Christmas Tree Shop Dahlia bulbs!) have been replaced. For the first time in my three years of gardening, my garden is an ongoing work-in-progress, not just a spring project that gets pushed aside once beach weather hits. Then again, I may be speaking too soon, seeing as beach weather has just barely hit.

Time for the barrage of photographs.

Here are a couple of the Garden Proper.

[If I have not made it clear by now that I am not God’s gift to photo-taking, please allow me to reiterate.]

I’ll start at the front and work my way back.

First, we have this year’s experiment: Behold, the potato!

I wish I had started documenting the potatoes earlier on, because I am really just amazed at how a 9″ x 9″ box of little inch-in-diameter potatoes and a black felt bag turned into this beautiful green bush that will soon be covered in little yellow, purple, and white flowers. The potatoes this will yield are purple, blue, red, and good ‘ol Yukon gold. Potatoes, I tell you! It’s baffling.

Next we have the nasturtiums:

These guys just blossomed today. I was hoping for a bed of those nasturtiums with the big pretty green leaves that just take over and thrive, but I think I bought a different variety. They are redeemed, though, by nurturing an interest in gardening in my niece, who every week when she comes over for art lessons, asks, “Can we go look at the flowers that you can eat?” I can’t wait until she comes over this week and sees them finally in bloom. It will be the true test: will she eat the flowers? At least we know Dave will, if all else fails, and it will be proven to Niece once and for all that I’m not kiddingโ€”you really can eat the flowers!

Here are my peas, and between them, a row of swiss chard:

I planted snap peas and snow peas, mixed in with sweet peas for fun. Also in the mix are lima beans. (I thought I was planting edamame, but I grabbed the wrong package.) Today, I added in some French filet beans and some edamame (the right kind this time).

The other end of the garden is where the ill-fated dahlia bulbs just today were replaced with kale seed, so not much to show there except some snap dragons that don’t appear to love the conditions in my raised bed (sad!) and some purple African violets that are just so pretty and so happy that I will be populating my yard with these good-natured beauties for years to come.

Now, onto the self-watering containers. These things are amazing! This is the second year I have used them, and I just think they are awesome. This book is the perfect companion. It is my bible. Edward C. Smith is the man!! (I have another of his books for raised beds. Also awesome.) The self-watering containers have a vessel in the bottom that holds a certain amount of water. The soil is separated from the water by a plastic piece that has cones that some soil goes into. The soil in the cones creates wicks that carry a small amount of water up to the plants’ roots constantly, so that the plant always has consistent moisture. Added benefits are that you only have to water the plants every few days (there’s a gauge that lets you know when they need it) and because it’s contained, you can give the plants such great soil. On Edward C. Smith’s recommendation, I use half potting soil and half compost, with some organic fertilizer mixed in. I will be supplementing that with some liquid marine-based fertilizer soon. This I forgot to do last year, and my growing season was a bit stunted because of it, because the one difficulty with container gardening is that nutrients drain away a bit quicker than in a traditional bed.

Here are my tomatoes.

The two big containers each contain one large variety and one dwarf variety. The right are yellow pear tomatoes (which did really well for me last year) and Rutgers (already flowering!!). I can’t remember what’s in the other large container. I’m guessing maybe sweet 100 cherry tomatoes and maybe beefsteaks or something? The separate container over on the left is of some kind of medium-sized orange tomato.

I’m really amazed at how awesome the toms are looking, seeing as the day after I planted them, a deer came by and ate every leaf off the plants. I seriously had five green sticks. I thought I would have to replace them all, but all of them came back!

Here’s a family portrait of the other pots:

And now for the class pictures.

Here are my baby cukes.

They are still wee. I was in Morning Glory just a few days before I bought these guys and they had some beautiful starters, but when I came back, they had all sold, so I had to buy these guys, who had just barely grown their first true leaves. Last year I was harvesting cukes in early July. Looks like my favorite snackโ€”fresh garden cukes with salt and pepperโ€”will have to wait until August!

Here’s the summer squash.

This guy’s been looking pretty mopey, but that’s OK, because I’m the only one who likes to eat summer squash in this house anyway, so I don’t need too big a yield.

And, here’s the fruit.

Raspberries grow on sticks! The things you learn when you garden….

Look! Flowers!! We’re going to be eating fresh strawberries soon!

Here are my herbs.

Thyme, sage, and rosemary are in the left pot and basil and parsley on the right.

And, finally, salad greens as well as some scallions in self-watering window boxes.

the salad greens are pretty out of control. We can’t use them up fast enough! I’ll have to give some away. I just planted some cilantro in one of the pots up above, right after I took this pic. I would like to get some mint up there too. We also have chives, but they haven’t been very well cared for, so I’m not posting a photo. Dave planted them two years ago, and they need some love.

So that wraps up the June gardening update. Hopefully I’ll have something to update soon. (and by “something” I mean potato flowers!!)

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2 Comments »

  1. Lori said

    I just tripped upon your blog, the garden variety is so very much inspiring! That is not to say that the other categories won’t be, I just haven’t gotten to them yet. I hope I made your “hits” graph trend upward.
    But seriously. Next spring I will be checking out all the books you reference and maybe emailing with questions. Edward Smith… didn’t even know him?!? I have so much to learn.

  2. ifyoubelievethenclap said

    Thank you so much for your comment! You’ve inspired me to post more about my garden! I have a big update planned for tomorrow that includes a limerick about squash, so be sure and check back!

    Ed C. Smith is my guru.

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