Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Garden Update

Before: Can you believe this was in March!?
Garden: Mid-June
The transplants have adjusted after their moving shock and are starting to grow!

The New

I finally have my tomatoes in the ground (lots of beefsteaks, a mortgage lifter, some romas, and a few smaller varieties).  This year I buried them up to their waists in hopes of developing very strong roots.  I've also been clipping their first few blossoms while telling them they're "too young to think about babies just yet" with the hope of increasingly their yield later in the summer.

I also put my herbs in the ground last night (just before dark).  I have stevia, lavender, two parsley plants, oregano, and rosemary.  Basil and Thyme are interplanted in the beds.  I'm looking to obtain some cilantro and then the herbs section will be complete.

They're wilting from the afternoon heat

The spearmint that I put in two years ago, without realizing its strength, has invaded the pathways between beds.  It smells wonderful when I walk through it.  Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, I did NOT plant the rest of my mint (peppermint, orange mint, and chocolate mint) in the ground this year.  Instead I pulled a a few spearmint stems from the ground and planted all 4 mints in a hanging basket that I will keep in the garden but off the ground.

Hanging Mint

The Old

Cabbage Worm Egg
Baby Cabbage Worm
My collards and red cabbage have been nearly destroyed by cabbage worms.  They start with teeny-tiny eggs - about the size of a grain of salt - which I have been removing whenever possible.  Boy did I miss a lot!  Now I have little green worms who are tearing their way through my leaves.  I've been spending about 10-15 minutes each day finding them and squishing their tiny florescent carcasses on the bedside as a warning to other pests.  Image credit: Gardenerd

The sunflower seeds have been germinating and poking through the ground, as have the marigolds and zinnias.  I also have germination on my second sowing of carrots - I'll put a third set in the ground in July.

I was able to recover the black raspberry bush!  We have 6 berries ripening right now.  I pruned the blueberry bush down to almost nothing - and now new leaves are shooting out.  The red raspberry bush  seemed like a total goner.  As I was pruning it I couldn't find a pinch of green in any of the stems....but I see a few leaves at the very bottom starting to poke out.  We might not get anymore berries this year, but at least I don't have a $15 stick for the compost bin.

Speaking of compost!  There is a HUGE difference in the weeding needs given my compost choices.  The city compost, the one I was concerned about, is pretty much weedless.  I take out an occasional prickly lettuce but that's about it.  The compost I bought from Home Depot is absolutely filled with grass and weed seed.  I am constantly picking at it and almost "weeded" my carrot sprouts!  So far there does not seem to be a difference between the beds with weed-blocking cardboard and the one without.

The Future

I plan on creating one more hanging basket with my sad little strawberry plant as well as doing a lot of research on growing strawberries.

I'll be doing a LOT more weeding in the purchased compost beds.  As well as weeding in the pathways.  I'm not sure if I want to fill the pathways with mulch or just keep the prickly lettuce out of it.  I like being barefoot and the soft weeds feel better than mulch.

I will however mulch the beds soon.  I'm keeping my eye on the city mulch drop a few miles from the house.  Once there's a drop I'll go load up the truck again.

I'm also looking into soaker hoses and water timers.  I don't want to spend a lot of money on a good soaker hose just yet, so I'm looking for old hoses that have leaks in them (from friends and family members).  I can drill appropriate holes in them and DIY it.


  1. I need to do a garden update too! Do you know natural ways to get rid of/deter whatever is eating the leaves of damn-near all of my plants?

  2. Hmmm...I'd have to see to get an idea of what it might be. Do you think its bugs or critters? I've never had a lot of trouble with critters (squirrels, bunnies, birds, etc.) so I don't have a lot of experience there. But I pick bugs all day! Some I remove by hand, some the wasps get (we have wasps near the house O_o). Marigolds tend to keep some pests away because they don't like the smell. I've also heard spraying them with water that contains crushed garlic!