July 2013 Garden Update
Okay, let’s pretend it’s not January and I actually got around to posting these pictures in the summertime! I wanted to at least document my progress (the best I could).
Here are my tomatoes (back), peppers (middle) and peas (front left).
And here are four tomatoes, with sprigs of cilantro growing around them. The two tomatoes on the left were purchased, and the two on the right were started from seed. These pictures were taken less than two weeks after those I posted in my last update. By then I had removed the walls of water.
For these next pictures, you have to fast forward about 7 weeks:
This is the same garden shown above, with two tomato plants in the back. Yes, they are nearly as tall as the fence! In front of them (if you look closely) are pepper plants. I pulled the peas that grew on the trellis–it got too hot and they turned brown.
Here are my four tomato plants. The ones I started from seed are still smaller–the others are taller than the fence! Eventually I started “pruning” these–just snapping off the tips. They had no place to grow! I got a phenomenal tomato harvest from all these!
Oh the corn! It was LOVELY! I fertilized like crazy, both at 6″ tall and 12″ tall. And it was lush and green and we had the most delicious sweet corn in the world! About 1/3 of the seeds did not sprout. I tried planting more, but they were not on the same schedule for the second batch to have enough pollen to be fertilized. Still, I think we had 5-6 meals with corn for my family of four.
Note: The wind did start blowing the corn over, even with the PVC frame around it. Eventually I went out with kite string and wrapped it around each plant in the row, and tied it to the frame. Next year I’ll be more diligent and put nylon netting up before the plants get so big.
This garden bed has onions in the back (falling over) and tomatoes in the front. You can see where I started digging out potatoes for dinner. I think I waited too long or something, because I had more rotten tomatoes than usual. Or perhaps the soil was too wet? Sometimes the sprinklers from the park “help” water this bed.
This was my “spring” garden bed. On the right I’ve already harvested radishes and green onions. In the middle on the right are parsnips growing. I don’t think these did very well, but it was my first try growing them. On the back right are turnips, crowding out the kale in the middle. The kale performed wonderfully (as usual) and I was able to harvest from spring until the first frost of the fall.
I grew cherry tomatoes on this trellis, but all my cucumbers failed. I have to laugh because at some point I mixed up plants, and started planting cucumbers 8 per square (2 rows of 4, along the trellis). Someone asked about this, and I realized it should be 2 per square, max. So the last two years I planted 2 per square, and didn’t get a single cucumber. Back to 8 per square for me!
This garden was my crowning glory! First, we enjoyed wonderful broccoli. We had so much, I actually froze some (we just ate it last week in soup). Below are the big heads that I initially harvested. After that, I fertilize some more, and then harvest the side shoots. We always get as much (in weight) from these smaller side shoots.
It also housed half of my storage onions–which didn’t grow as big this year as in years past. But the best part of all was my pumpkins. I only grew two plants of pumpkins (though I started 4 seeds, and may not have thinned them down), and they grew up and over my trellis. We got 3 large pumpkins.
I find pumpkins always stop producing fruit in the heat of the summer, but then start up again in the fall. By then, there’s not enough time to ripen. The pumpkin you see hanging weighed in at 20 pounds! So if you wondered if pumpkins can grow on a trellis without extra support, the answer is YES.
Another blooper–I intended to plant squash on the left side and have them grow over the trellis the other direction. But I seem to have purchased bush squash. Silly! And the zucchini I grew in this bed failed miserably. My pumpkins were so cool, I didn’t even care!