Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wow! They were right. Home grown salad does taste better.

We came home from Yosemite today and it seemed like my garden grew a lot in the last three days.  My tallest sugar snap pea is now at 32", and the shortest is at about 3".  The short one sprouted late and it seems like a dwarf version of all the others. 

My oh my have you grown... 10/24/10
I looked at the lettuce and thought it looked ready to eat, so I started gathering it.  I cut a near mature leaf from each of my lettuce, arugula, and spinach.  Kim and I were excited to finally harvest something from the garden and eat it.  I was really interested in the arugula because it is described as having an "oily peanut buttery" taste and it gets spicy as it gets more mature.  That was a very accurate description, it has a lot more flavor than the stuff that comes in the bags at the store.  It feels good to get something back from the work that was put into the garden.  In the future(maybe spring), I want to dedicate more squares to salad greens.  I am still waiting for the beets to get a little more mature to use their leaves.  I harvested enough to make two small salads for Kim and I.

Lettuce Harvest 10/24/10

Red Lettuce, Nevada Lettuce, Spinach, Arugula

Two small bowls of delicious crisp salad.
 Oh, I bought the Red Lettuce a week ago and planted one in each empty garden square and two plants in two buckets.  They were decent sized plants when I bought them.  I wanted to buy something that I could eat before it freezes and dies.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Garden Blog Evaluation

Are you there? Do you care?

I want to know if anyone is checking this blog out.  If you are, please let me know via email, phone call, blog post comment, or face-to-face.  I would also like to know if I am giving you enough updates and info on the things I do between the updates.  I really like to answer questions and hear advice/info about gardening.  You can simply say things like:

More pictures
More info
Please post close-up picture of _____(Carrots, peas, pest insects, etc)
More posts

This blog is helpful for me to look at for encouragement when it seems things are growing slowly and I would also like it to be helpful to anyone interested.  I have some pretty good links and other resources.

I plan to get some potatoes planted this week and I am looking forward to planting a lot more stuff in the spring like squashes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, pumpkins and much more.  I have already started planning the expansion and layout of my spring garden.  Am I getting ahead of myself, or planning ahead?   How about both.

Some more veggie containers.

I have asked a couple friends for buckets to use to experiment with container gardening and I have been planting things every few days.  I have been planting more salad type veggies(although everything I planted can go in a salad) like lettuce, spinach, and arugula.  I know that it's a little late in the season for some stuff, but it's kinda fun to try it anyway.  Maybe I'll get to eat some before they freeze and die.  Here are some of my containers. From the left, first pot has 5 Lettuce, second has 6 Spinach, third 1 Cauliflower, fourth 1 Broccoli, fifth in orange pot is the 2 Cheddar Cauliflower.

October 7, 2010

October 17, 2010
Check the sprouts after just 10 days! You can see where the seeds are planted in these pots, and in the garden because I dig a hole for the seed, put in some vermiculite, then the seed, then some more vermiculite.  I was told to do this in the book I read and it has been working great.  Vermiculite is a strange flaky mineral that is very good at holding moisture, but plants are able to suck it out.  Put plainly, it helps keep the seeds moist.  I also read that I should just plant one seed, probably because the vermiculite works so well, but I planted 2 or 3 seeds in each hole.  It can take up to two weeks for some of my seeds to germinate so if I plant one per hole, I wait for two weeks, and nothing grows... then I have to re seed and I've lost two weeks of growing season, and two weeks longer to get to eat it.  So, I plant at least two seeds and thin(cut weaker, or extra sprouts) them out once they get a good start.  This also serves as a little insurance against cutworms.  Sometimes they will eat one or two of the sprouts and leave 1 alive.

Things are growing well, but I have a little bit of a bug problem.

Sugar Snap Peas are getting tall, they are already at 22" tall.  Carrots and beets seem to be the food of choice for cutworms.  And catapillars seem to like the cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes. I have been fighting them off and winning but they have left my garden with some battle wounds.

Here is a current pic of the garden.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Never showed you my container garden..

I am experimenting with container gardening to see how easy and productive it is.  Some people don't have enough space for a garden plot.  Containers can be put just about anywhere, and then moved somewhere else.  I have moved my 5 gallon bucket at least 4 times and I'm not done.

Here are my Cheddar Head Cauliflowers.

I was only supposed to put one plant in this bucket, but I had to try to prove the experts wrong on something I know nothing about.

And this is what they look like now.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My New Trellis

OK, making my own trellis wasn't as easy as I thought.  Or maybe I just did it completely wrong.  My first mistake, I used a 3/4" EMT pipe bender on 1/2" EMT pipe causing my careful calculations to come out wrong.  Second mistake, I bought a trellis net that I didn't know how to attach tightly to pipe.  I hope it works out considering it took me about 3 hours to tie all of the twine.  This trellis should be holding up my tomatoes in the spring, but for now it is for my Sugar Snap Peas that are along the edge of the garden.

Oops. Didn't read the seed packet.

Well, I didn't read the entire seed packet before planting my Sugar Snap Peas.  I planted them in the middle of my garden block and was getting ready to plant some more when I realized... 4 to 6 feet tall & needs to be trellised(supported).  How the heck am I gonna do that?  It took me a few days to come up with this design... It's experimental, we'll see how it does.  It is made from a 30" tall fence stood on it's end, and then bent at 90 degrees in 3 places.  There are 3 stakes(1 wood, 2 rebar) that will hopefully keep it from falling over.

The are over 8" tall now. They grew 6" in a week.