So, lots of good things are growing in my garden! And lots of new stuff is on the way.
First, look at how much everything has grown since my last post:
The spinach is ready for harvesting, and I've enjoyed a couple of tasty salads with it. There are some lettuces growing in the foreground. (The empty plastic bottles were from my attempt at a slow drip watering method, but it didn't turn out so well.)
Note the marigolds in the bottom left. I've scattered them throughout the garden, because they are supposed to discourage root-munching pests like nematodes, and even some weeds.
Radishes, and two collards (on the left). Between the radishes, I have rows of carrots. They don't seem to grow very quickly, so I suspect I'll be harvesting radishes well before the carrots come up.
More carrots, and a wee broccoli in the background.
Gobs of lettuce! I like these little leaf lettuces. They are pretty peppery and remind me of arugula. I put some in a cream of potato-ham soup the other day, and it was most delicious!
Unfortunately, my swiss chard hasn't been doing too well. I expected it to grow more quickly. It doesn't help that somebody has been munching on the leaves! Methinks one of my next projects will be building a critter-proof fence around my garden. I suspect bunnies.
Turnips! They seem a bit puny too. I wonder if its the soil. Maybe this gardening soil straight from the bag isn't as ideal as I had hoped.
Overview. Onions are growing! There is also a strawberry plant coming up in that orange pot. I planted 8 strawberry roots in several places in the garden, and this is the only one that has sprouted. I won't give up on the others yet, though.
Cucumbers and peppers! I'd better get that trellis kit set up on here before the cucumbers get too big. So far, the Earth Box is doing its job well.
I've been busy putting new things in the garden, too.
I've been having to do a whole lot of weeding in all these beds, because I used the soil from my yard, amended with gardening soil. I weed just about every morning when I water, and it is quite a nuisance. When I realized how much time I've already spent in weeding each week, I decided to revisit my book on Square Foot Gardening, and try something else for my latest bed...
I made a 3'x6'x6" frame with some wood from the garage, held together with L-brackets, and I filled it with "Mel's Mix" potting soil: a 1:1:1 ratio of peat moss, vermiculite, and manure. This should be weed free, and is supposed to be so nutritious for the plants that they won't need fertilizer, and don't even need more than 6 inches of depth. According to the book, roots dig deep into the soil if they can't find all the nutrients they need right in their vicinity.
It will be a neat experiment to see how well this new bed does in comparison to the other beds. I also decided to add a grid in square foot increments, and it really did help me figure out where to plant all my seeds. Plus, I have to say, it looks pretty nice and orderly.
Here is a long view of most of my garden, looking all pleasant in the morning sun:
I still haven't planted anything in far left bed. I hesitated when I realized how weedy everything was getting. I think I will scatter some sunflower seeds there, or maybe plant nasturtiums in there...bunnies don't like nasturtiums, so it might help keep them out of the rest of my garden noms.
Oh! I also have tomatoes started!
I saw this planter at Walmart, and just had to give it a try. I've got two types of grape tomato growing in the upside down part, and oregano, two peppers and some basil growing in the top, along with the marigold to protect it all. I filled it with the same potting mix as the new SFG frame.
My next projects include adding a drip-feed watering system to help optimize the watering, a fence around the main garden area to keep out critters, and making new room for beans! I think another raised frame bed will do the trick for the beans, although I am also tempted to make a teepee for at least one grouping of beans. I mean, how in the world am I supposed to resist having a teepee in my garden?! I can even find some more garden gnomes to put inside.
Oh, yes. It has been decided. Gnome Bean Teepee has been officially added to the list.
Well, I had better bugger off and get busy!
As I was just about to finish this post, my cat came in, meowing quite insistently, proudly even, and I looked over to discover him placing a dead varmint at my feet. "Good Boy!" says I, as I petted him, and then carefully carried said critter out to where my cat's food dish is. (I'd rather not have blood, guts and carcasses on the office floor....I know - how fastidious of me!)
Noah likes to catch these little guys, which I have been thinking all this time were voles. Yay, for pest control! Well, I just googled images of voles, and discovered that Noah is not actually catching voles. He's catching shrews, which it turns out are good for the garden because they eat bugs. :( They are darn cute, too. Their fur is like the finest, softest velvet you've ever felt...Ah, well, such is the price of having a cat.