Monday, September 13, 2010

End of Summer 2010

This summer was the coldest summer we've had in my seven years of living in Oregon. Partly sunny days left my garden in the shade too much of the time and I did not get a very good harvest this year. However, I wanted to take some end of summer pics and show how it turned out. I did have a few exciting harvests!

Green Peppers! On a whim, I decided to try peppers again (scroll down to see my past summers' attempts) and they did quite well this year! I picked one yesterday and have these two growing on the plant!

The small plants are in anticipation of my fall harvest. I have a salad mix on the left and Kohl Rabi plants in the center and right size (the small ones). That big huge bushy plant is my yellow squash, which I haven't gotten any, at least not yet. Lots of blossoms, though. I just think its too cold now.

I normally have tomatoes growing out of my ears by this point. Not this year! These green tomatoes have been growing for quite some time, but are just now starting to turn red.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

First Garden Pictures for 2010 Season

As I begin my fourth season of gardening, I couldn't be more excited! Each year I try to do something a little different, try something new and maybe improve on something from a previous year. This year I'm working on improving the aesthetics of the garden and so far I'm very proud of the work that Chad and I have done. Chad has been a tremendous help to me this year and I didn't want to start this blogging/gardening season without giving him HUGE kudos! Thank you, Sweetheart, for the countless hours of weeding, raking, manure dumping and looks beautiful and I'm so excited to see how it all turns out! I got this great idea to use the old tiles from our bathroom as stepping stones in the garden. This has been great fun for the kids, as they can play in the garden (the rule is they have to stay on the "stones") without me worrying too much about my plants getting trampled. Alayna usually turns it into a game of hopscotch! The trellises are also new this year. The one on the left will have green beans growing while the one on the right will be home to cucumbers.
The kids just *love* playing outside in the garden! I took this picture during a sunbreak between rain storms. The kids were so excited to get some fresh air.....even if for only a short time!
Having the stepping stones has made defining the planting areas much easier. At the very top of this picture (almost too small to see) is the cilantro I planted today. Then below the stepping stones are (from the top down) italian parsley, basil, rosemary, tomatoes (celebrity) and at the bottom are two walla walla sweet onion plants! Oh and my existing thyme plant is the one on the right side that you can only partially see.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

End of Summer

This is the one pumpkin we got out of our pumpkin plant this year. Its about the size of a cantaloupe, but we've all been very excited about it. Slightly bummed that we didn't have more and that this one is so small. I was hopeful for more since we had lots of flowers and buds, but our plant became diseased and those little buds died and this pumpkin just stopped growing, but we are still thankful to have it. Lettuce in the middle with brussel sprouts on each side

One of our last cucumbers of the season. This plant was a bit of a surprise as I *thought* it was a zucchini plant, so I was a little surprised when I started seeing cucumbers! But, we do love cucumbers so I can't complain about getting more of them!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Failure in Gardening

My gardening experiences have mostly been based on trial and error. I'd read a bit here or there and glean advice from friends, books and websites, but most of my gardening consists of: plant a seed, water the seed, see what happens. In my earliest gardening days I didn't even do that. It was more: buy a plant, plant it in the ground, water it, see what happens. Sometimes wonderful things happened. It was truly exciting to see sugar snap peas grow on vines that started as a little seed in the ground. I'll never forget the first yellow squash I harvested or the pure joy of seeing a pumpkin growing just a couple of weeks ago. But then there are the failures....sometimes the disasters. Last year I planted watermelons and never got even one. I also tried Kale last year and the little plants died when they were barely a few inches tall. Then there were my two bell pepper plants that produced one small pepper each. Its frustrating when you realize you spent more on the plants than what it would have cost just to buy the produce at the store.

A friend on facebook posted a link to this article and although its about farming, I thought it translated very well to gardening. How many times have I thought "it would be nice to grow that but I don't know what I'm doing!" The article made me reevaluate some of the plants that I "tried and it didn't work out so I guess I just won't grow that anymore" (i.e. broccoli, cauliflower, sweet peppers, ...ahem... watermelon). I've learned that success CAN come after failure. Remember my Kale failure? This year I have an abundant Kale plant that I've used in soup, salads and even as greens in a fajita! I'm already starting a list of things I want to "try" next year, like Swiss Chard, and maybe I'll just have to revisit some of my past failures....we'll see.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Today in the Garden

Its amazing how much taller the corn has gotten in just a few weeks. Last year we only got two ears of corn....this year I think we'll get at least 4 or 5.....enough for a meal.

These are the brussel sprout seedlings I started a month or so ago and just transplanted.

Finally! A decent head of lettuce. My last crop got killed by our extreme heat. Its going to be hot again this week so I may need to harvest this one soon, even though its still on the small side.

My butternut squash plant never did much.....just some leaves and a few blooms but no squash.....sad.

Italian Parsley on the left; new lettuce seedlings where I replaced the lettuce that the heat killed on the right; in the middle is the cucumber vine that decided to climb over the fence.

No, its not weeds! Just large herb plants: lavendar, kale, thyme and basil.

About a week ago I almost lost my garden when a car in my neighbor's yard came barreling through the fence. That entire section of fence flattened my herbs, but thankfully they are pretty resilient.

Our first pumpkin! Right now its about the size of an apple. I see more coming, too, that are currently about the size of ping-pong balls.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Garden in late July

This picture is a couple of weeks old, but due to some computer issues I'm just now able to post it. Stay tuned for a true up-to-date photo coming soon!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Today in the Garden

Mommy's Garden Helper

This is my new solution to fighting weeds. I read in my Organic Gardening magazine that you can lay newspaper down to create a physical barrier....kind of the same idea as when you leave something in the yard and when you finally pick it up all the grass has died under it.

My basil plant is growing slowly but steadily. I'll need to prune it pretty soon. You can also see the corner of my lavendar in the top left and my itty bitty kale in the top right corner.

The thyme got a haircut was flowering all over and needed a little trim.

Some recently sprouted Italian parsley (left) and three small lettuce plants (center and right).

I've been playing "is it a weed, grass or plant" for a couple of weeks now (highly frustrating time!) and I feel good that now my plants are getting just slightly larger than the weeds making them easier to spot (and not get accidently pulled!). Here are my sweet corn plants (which for quite some time looked just like grass).

My zucchini finally sprouted! I had given up on this little guy....I assumed between the cats and kids digging in the dirt, this seed had been lost, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that this one had come up.

Green Beans are supposed to be easy to grow, so I don't know why I'm having such a difficult time with mine this year. I planted two seeds at the base of each pole and this is the only plant that has actually come up so far. I may try to start some seeds in a yogurt cup and transplant, which seems silly since the beans have always been so easy in the past.

Here you can see why I need the newspaper. The weeds get out of control and it makes it harder to actually see where the plants are. Can you spot the pumpkin plant?

We have a couple of mini rose bushes in the front of our house and Alayna kept pulling the buds off, so I was afraid we'd have no roses this year, but some of them got passed Alayna's grabby hands and they look quite pretty.

These Hydrangea's were planted the year Alayna was born (one was actually a present instead of cut!) and I planted two tomato plants in front of them. I separated the tomatoes from the rest of the garden this year in an attempt to keep Alayna out of them since we now know she is allergic to tomatoes. The cherry tomato plant is doing very well, but the celebrity (great big tomatoes that we loved last year) isn't fairing as well. I put the tomato cage around the celebrity thinking it would need the extra support for the big tomatoes and I put a small support stake around the cherry tomatoes....I may have to switch them!

I'm growing sweet peas in a pot this year and I noticed in the last week the entire plant is turning yellow. Its been watered plenty.....possibly overwatered? I'm nervous that we won't get any peas, which I hope isn't the case as we love eating them! You can also see all the other little pots that I started seeds in. I'll transplant them all eventually into the garden.

The mesculin lettuce mix is doing fabulously well. I've already picked some larger leaves to mix in with store-bought lettuce for some great salads!

I see a strawberry!

Another strawberry plant that I planted in a pot.