Sunday, June 01, 2008

Gardening Updates!

Speaking of gardening, it's quite nice out this morning and truthfully, I'd rather be out in the garden than blogging, but it's been a while since I've posted and I'm excited to blog about what I've planted. I can see that the blog will be very handy for me in terms of serving as a journal for me to look back on to remember what I planted, what worked, etc. I'm officially off of work for the summer, so that means more time to garden and more time to blog. Whether it really means more time to cook will depend on our baseball schedule!

In the interests if getting outside, I'll try to keep this somewhat brief (though there will be a lot of photos).

Back around the 17th of May, I planted some cherry tomatoes, peppers, basil, sage, cucumbers and zucchini. Even though this was a couple of days past the frost date for our area, my plants promptly got zapped THAT VERY NIGHT. What really gets me is that I allowed my impatience to over rule the little alarm in my head that said a low of 40ยบ was too close to potential frost temperatures, especially since we live out of town where it's cooler.

The sage and one pepper plant made it through, but I had to rip out the basil, the zucchini and the cucumbers and start over. The cherry tomato plants looked like they might limp along and produce new growth, so I've left them in to see how things go.

Fast forward to Memorial Day (the 26th), well past our frost date. It's plenty warm and I plant again: more basil, more cucumbers, more pepper plants and the heirloom tomato plants that arrived in the mail. All seems good but I keep my eye on the temps and wouldn't you know it, the temps drop again and there is danger of frost. Knowing what happened last time, I decided I would play it safe and I covered the plants. I kept them covered for 3 nights and we did get significant frost one of those nights. Hello? It's almost June!

This time I had a lot more luck, but did not escape unscathed. Most of the plants were fine, but the cucumbers and the two Pink Brandywine tomato plants got nipped. Nipped, but not completely obliterated like the first time, so I'm leaving them in the ground (but bought one more of each as insurance). I think it must have been the cover I used on those particular plants - it was just a little too flimsy.

Besides learning to be patient and follow my gut (and not just the date on the calendar), I also learned not to leave tender plants outside where they might be exposed to gusty winds. I had no idea that gusty winds could cause plants to wither and shrivel up. Lesson learned. The good news is that so far, all but one plant survived the wind.

Anyway, after a rough start, the temps are now up and hopefully my plants will be happy. Now it's time to watch for pests and disease. So, why is that I want to garden so badly anyway???????

Here's what's in my garden...............(not including the parsley and chives I have in pots up by the house)...............

4 cucumber plants (pre-frost)

Bean seeds
I put in seeds for 6 green bean plants.

1 sage

5 basil plants

Mr. Stripey tomato
1 Mr. Stripey

Yellow bell peppers
1 yellow pepper

Red bell peppers
2 red pepper

Sweet banana peppers
1 sweet banana pepper

Husky Cherry Red tomatoes
3 Husky Cherry Red (this one didn't get nipped by frost)

Yellow Taxi tomatoes
1 Yellow Taxi (not sure how this one is going to do...looks a little pale)

Pink Brandywine tomatoes
3 Pink Brandywine (pre-frost)

Green Zebra tomatoes
1 Green Zebra

Fireworks tomatoes
1 Fireworks

1 Cantaloupe (I forgot to get a picture....will post later!)

Salvaged zucchini
1 salvaged zucchini plant....see story below....

Interesting story to the zucchini plant. It was one of the plants that I thought got decimated by the frost - I had thrown it on the compost heap. I was out putting in the last of the plants when I looked over at the compost heap and noticed my zucchini plant. It wasn't even completely ON the heap, it was sort of caught up on the sides in mid-air. But there was new growth! So, I plucked it off the heap and plunked it in the ground and I can already see even more new growth. You just never know!

Today I hope I can get in most of my flowers, finally. Flowers are a bit harder for me - they require more planning - what kind, how many, in what combinations. And no matter how many trips I make, I always think of somewhere else that I need more just never seems to be quite done.

Believe it or not, that was actually keeping it short today! I had a lot more I wanted to share, but I'll keep that for another day. Time to get outside and get to work!


  1. Dang! You certainly are busy. We have a few things planted in pots for this year, but are preparing for a "normal" garden next year. That is, assuming we actually stay in the house that long!

  2. Joe - I hope you get to stay long enough to put in a garden. I told DH that after putting in this garden and probably redoing the kitchen later this summer, that we can't pull a Joe and Jeff and move! ;) :) But we won't be going anywhere unless forced to! I'm really enjoying puttering outside....I just hope the pests and disease don't take away my fun!

  3. We did at least start a compost pile! I went to go turn it this afternoon and steam actually started coming out... talk about exciting stuff!

  4. Joe - Steam! That is exciting! I don't think mine has heated up properly since I'm taking the laid back approach. However, I do have a plan to speed things along....

    I've come to the conclusion that composting and lasagna gardening has had the strange effect of making me get excited about the weirdest things! :D ;)