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Archive for the ‘cucumbers’ Category

Well, now that it’s the end of the summer, I figured I’d better do a bit of an update on my garden! ūüėČ

I have been posting some casual updates in my Instagram stories, and I’ve saved them as a highlight, too! (find them HERE–tap the little circle under my profile picture labeled “Garden 2020.”)

However, I wanted to share some photos here on my blog, too– a few of these are the same as in my saved Instagram story, but there are a number that are just posted here!

garden on July 20, 2020

The garden grew beautifully! The deer fence seemed to be effective– we’ve seen lots of deer roaming through our backyard, but for the most part, my garden was left alone. Toward the end of the summer, I’ve noticed that my carrots (but only my carrots) have been eaten, but (as I’ll talk about below), this is not a huge loss. If I have to grow carrots to appease the deer and keep them away from everything else, I’m definitely willing to do that.

our first harvest on July 20, 2020

Our first harvest was on July 20, and we had three good-sized, delicious cucumbers!

harvest on July 28, 2020

The cucumbers were plentiful, and we got our first ripe Tiny Tim (cherry-sized) tomato about a week later.

carrots on July 29, 2020

On July 29, we pulled some of our carrots. It was fun to see their beautiful colors and interesting shapes. The purply-red skin was so thin, and the inside was bright orange. However, all of them had a very strong flavor and an extremely woody texture. None of us really liked eating them, but they sure were pretty!

August 14 harvest, including a weird-looking carrot

We got a couple more carrots out of this pot, but we didn’t eat them. In fact, I’ve noticed recently that the carrot greens are getting eaten–but nothing else in the garden has been munched by the wildlife! I’m willing to have sacrificial carrots for the sake of preserving the rest of my plants!

Tiny Tim tomatoes on August 2

The Tiny Tim tomatoes were surprisingly prolific– more than I remember from past times I’ve planted them. They did go bad really quickly–sometimes even on the plant. I’m not sure what was going on, but it definitely looked different from blossom-end rot.

a very quick fresh salsa made from Tiny Tim tomatoes

In fact, one day we had a harvest of Tiny Tims that needed to be used quickly, so I chopped all of them as finely as I could (no small task with cherry tomatoes!) and turned them into a quick salsa. Even though I didn’t have any onion or jalape√Īo on hand to make my regular recipe, it was still so delicious.

Speaking of delicious and easy things made from my garden produce, we enjoyed creamy cucumbers several times this summer.

August 3, 2020

Right before Tropical Storm Isaias came through our area, I wanted to make sure that the garden was as “secure” as it could be, since the forecasts were making it sound like things would be pretty bad. I added a stick to stake up the Tiny Tim plant, and I also moved the big tomato plants back toward the house. As I did, I noticed that their roots are coming through the opening in the bottom of the pots! In the end, the storm wasn’t nearly as bad as had been predicted, and the garden looked lush and green afterward!

My daughter has been really excited about helping in the garden this year. She even took over daily watering and delighted in helping me to harvest our produce.

It took a long time, but finally in mid-August, the Best Boy tomatoes started to ripen.

August 14, 2020
our first Best Boy harvest, August 22, 2020

I harvested our first Best Boy tomatoes a bit early because we were going to be away. We took them along with us and enjoyed them as they finished ripening on our counter!

When we got back from vacation, the garden was definitely worse for being left alone. Even though I heard that there was quite a bit of rain, it was very brown and wilted. I also think that by this point, the cucumber vines were just about done for the season.

Last week, I harvested my last cucumber for the year.

last cucumber on September 4, 2020

In my next garden post, I plan to sum up my thoughts from this year’s garden and do some tallying of my produce (because I’m nerdy like that!). Until then, I’m going to enjoy the last few Best Boy tomatoes that are ripening on my plants!

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Now we had some seedlings growing, and not much of a plan to do anything with them. But it’s always been a dream of mine to have a successful garden.

If you’ve followed this blog for a long time, you might recall that the garden plot that we have here in our current location (MD) has not been very successful. I think that there are some major problems with the soil, and add in a veritable menagerie of local wildlife (we have deer, rabbits, squirrels, foxes (yes, I know they’re not herbivores, but they’re still around), groundhogs, and who knows what else!) that persists in eating the garden produce just before I harvest it, and the fact that last summer I was dealing with ankle issues, and it has all added up to a disappointing track record for this garden.

So this year, I have a new game plan.

I think.

At least, we’re going to try it.

I have decided that I prefer container gardening, after trying in-ground gardening here and in upstate NY. This year, I’m going back to container gardening, and we’re testing out a few things to protect the garden from deer, especially.

After an extensive discussion with Husband, we have decided to reconfigure the garden plot and change our fencing strategy. The old plot (you can see it here at the beginning of last weekend, with the chickenwire fence removed and weeds mowed down) was 8′ wide by 15′ long.

After mowing around it for years, Husband decided that he would vastly prefer it to go all the way up to the corner of the house (the right side of this photo) to close that gap.

We decided to remove the chickenwire fencing we’d been using and use some black plastic fencing material that we already had on hand to create a low fence that would be easier to maintain (the weed-whacker would get tangled in the chickenwire and so the weeds were unpleasantly bushy at the corners and along the sides of the old garden. Husband cut it lengthwise because we wanted it low enough for us to step over it.

We had thought that we had enough of this black material to completely fence in the “new” 8’x20′ plot, but we didn’t. So we made the garden narrower– the footprint is now 4’x20′.

Since I was only planning to have a small number of containers, this isn’t a problem, and if this configuration turns out to work well, we can adjust in the future. (This is basically becoming a test year– will these measures to prevent wildlife from eating our garden be enough to make it worth having a garden?)

After lying fallow for a year, there were a lot of weeds to clear. I attempted to use our tiller tool, but it was getting so tangled that I just attacked it by hand.

Once the weeds were cleared in the new garden footprint, Husband began installing our little fence. He dug a trench so that we could bury the bottom 5″ or so. There are also taller supports for our deer fence (more information on that coming up below).

We put down Vigoro Weed Control Fabric over the entire plot, tucking it into the trench Husband had dug for the low fence. We are hoping that it is effective, especially since we won’t be cutting holes into it to plant in-ground. I will be putting mulch in, as well, but I haven’t bought it yet! (That’s a project for this weekend!)

My container set up is pretty modest this year. I had three terra-cotta pots that have survived since my original 2007 garden, as well as some other large pots that I’ve acquired over the years. I filled them with potting soil and started planting. The first priority was getting my tomatoes out into the containers, and I also brought our pot of carrots into the garden enclosure. Any extra soil would be used to plant cucumbers from seed. Using potting soil completely circumvents the issues that we seem to have with the in-ground soil in this garden plot. (P.S. I’ll be adding stakes and trellises for the tomatoes and cucumbers after I add the mulch.)

In the end, (after a lot of reconfiguring the order of my containers, haha!) we have six containers. On the left, there are two pots with two different cucumber varieties, planted from leftover seeds I’d stashed away from old gardens (Ferry-Morse Tendergreen and Burpee Pepino/Salad Slicer). Next come three tomato containers: a smaller square pot of Tiny Tim and two large terra cotta pots with the Best Boy seedlings. To the right of them, I placed the pot with our carrots.

Finally, we installed the deer fence. After talking to some neighbors and doing some research online, I found a University of Maryland Extension blog post that confirmed that the idea of fishline or similar cord strung between supports could actually work to protect the plants from nosy deer. Husband found some bright orange twisted mason line that we’re using to test the idea. Husband lashed some of my tall tomato stakes to the shorter metal stakes that support the black fencing so that we would just reuse what we have on hand already. Then, we strung the cord as tightly as we could between them. If you look closely, you might be able to make it out in the photos below:


I like this solution for keeping away the deer (well, if it works!) because it’s visually non-invasive and also inexpensive. We left a gap at the end closest to the inner corner of the house so that I can climb in and out over the black fencing. We’re hoping that this gap is close enough to the house and the basement window well (and also narrow enough) that the deer won’t use it as a private entrance into the garden!

I’m looking forward to the upcoming warm weather to see how my plants grow in their new home– and I’ll be getting some mulch soon, too!

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Throughout the month of June, we had our deck replaced, as well as some other work done on the rear wall of our house. ¬†Because the contractors were out there every day, I didn’t tend my garden quite as attentively as I should have! ¬†As they finished the work, I decided that the jungle-that-was-my-garden needed to be tamed. ¬†I put the kids in the inflatable pool right next to my garden patch, pulled on my long sleeves and pants, and got to (the HOT) work!

Before:

After a couple weeks of "neglect"-- I made the excuse of not working in it because of the deck remodel-- the garden was looking really overgrown.

After a couple weeks of "neglect"-- I made the excuse of not working in it because of the deck remodel-- the garden was looking really overgrown.

After a couple weeks of “neglect”– I made the excuse of not working in it because of the deck remodel– the garden was looking really overgrown.

After:

the garden after a big weeding, pruning, and tying up spree

the garden after a big weeding, pruning, and tying up spree

the garden after a big weeding, pruning, and tying-up spree

I was pretty proud of how everything looked–weeded, tidily pruned and tied up. ¬†I was also excited to see how many of my plants were on the cusp of producing yumminess!!

Cherokee Purple tomatoes

Cherokee Purple tomatoes

flourishing cucumber vines... but no cucumbers yet!

flourishing cucumber vines… but no cucumbers yet!

the kids' tomatoe plant-- in a pot in the middle of the garden!

the kids’ tomato plant– in a pot, now in the middle of the garden!

Super Fantastic tomatoes

Super Fantastic tomatoes

Tami G grape tomatoes

Tami G grape tomatoes

On Sunday 7/17, I made my first harvest from the garden! ¬†–a small handful of grape tomatoes, three cucumbers, and some cherry tomatoes from my kids’ plant! ¬†I¬†was¬†so excited for the harvests to come!

First harvest! A tiny handful of grape tomatoes and three cucumbers.

However, the bounty hasn’t materialized for us — at least not yet.

We had a dry spell (and I am notoriously lazy about watering, even though we have a lovely rain barrel to provide us with “free” water), and even though I was collecting large numbers of cucumbers (as many as 7 every few days), they were so bitter as to be inedible (even when peeled). ¬†Since we’ve had some rain, the cucumbers have improved, though!! ¬†So thankful.

Today's harvest: seven(ish!) cucumbers. Thankfully they are sweeter than earlier cucumbers we've gotten.

Harvest 8/5: seven(ish!) cucumbers. Thankfully they are sweeter than earlier cucumbers we’ve gotten.

Even more disappointing– not one large tomato, and only about 5 grape tomatoes since that first harvest! ¬†The tomatoes are literally disappearing– both green and also when they are just about ripe. ¬†We have a strong suspicion that a deer is coming and making a smorgasbord of our plants. ¬†Even though we’ve never had a problem with deer in the past, it’s the only explanation we can think of for why ALL of¬†the tomatoes– even the ones in the back of the garden– are disappearing. ¬†Husband thinks that they are stepping right over the fence¬†to reach the ones not along the edge. ¬†The deer in our area are quite bold– we actually saw one come up to our garden in the middle of an afternoon! ¬†I had to go out onto the porch to shoo it away (knocking on the window wasn’t enough), and even then it stopped at the edge of our yard and stared back at me as if it was sizing me up (I’m having flashbacks to my rodent wars days!).

EDIT: My neighbor told me that it’s actually squirrels! ¬†They are carrying off the produce one piece at a time!

I haven't had the motivation to take very good care of the garden, since it seems as though a deer is eating every single tomato that approaches ripeness...

Sadly, since it seems as though deer (and the squirrels!!) are eating every single tomato that approaches ripeness, I haven’t had the motivation to take very good care of the garden. ¬†The deer (and the squirrels) don’t seem to mind, and I’m not going to trim up the garden just for it! ¬†It’s a bummer that we aren’t getting any tomatoes for ourselves; however I am glad that the cucumbers are improving. ¬†I guess next year, we’re going to have to put up a deer-proof fence! (and do something about those pesky squirrels)

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Now that the weather is consistently warm (yay!) the garden is thriving and growing quickly!  Here are some photos from a few weeks ago.

The garden today.

The garden on June 3.

The garden today.

Another view of the garden on June 3.  

zucchinis are finally coming up (from seed)!

The zucchinis are finally coming up (from seed)! ¬†–June 3

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Since all but one of the cucumber starts I purchased got eaten(? by deer??), I poked some old cucumber seeds from a previous year’s garden into the ground at the base of the trellises. And they’ve come up! Hooray! ¬†–June 3

The kids' tomato plant

The kids’ tomato plant looks hale and hearty. ¬†–June 3

The kids' tomato plant

There are even a few flowers on the kids’ tomato plant! ¬†–June 3

A week later, the kids helped me to water the garden. Look how much the plants grew in that short time!

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On Monday (almost three weeks from the first set of photos), I took some more photos of the garden– it never ceases to amaze me to see how quickly plants grow in the summer heat!!

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The garden today — June 20 I haven’t been out in it much, since our deck is being redone. We’ve moved the kids’ container tomato to the middle of the in-ground garden for now!

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The garden today — June 20.

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The cucumber vine (from the purchased seedling) is starting to bloom. ¬†It’s the biggest vine, though the sprouts from the seeds I planted are catching up! –June 20

2016_06_20_garden08-Edit

There are even female flowers on the biggest vine! Hoping to have some cucumbers growing soon. –June 20

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The Tami G Grape tomatoes are flowering. ¬†The flowers are so delicate. ¬†–June 20

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The kids’ container tomato is looking good… –June 20

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…and there are some baby fruits forming. –June 20

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I planted my 2016 garden last Sunday!

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I purchased tomatoes and cucumbers at Home Depot and planted some (probably very old) Burpee zucchini seeds.  I had seriously considered decreasing the number of plants I put into the garden, but Husband (easily) convinced me that if we were going to put in a garden at all, we might as well plant 6 tomatoes again.

2016_05_15_gardenplants01-Edit

To be planted! zucchini seeds. TamiG grape (hybrid) tomato Cherokee Purple (heirloom) tomato Super Fantastic (hybrid) tomato Burpless (hybrid) cucumber Husky Cherry Red (hybrid) tomato (for kids’ pot on the deck)

Since we put the weed-blocking cloth down last year, it was so much easier to get the garden set up for this year!  Wow.  I just had a few weeds to pull, and I was good-to-go.

garden before.  the weed-blocking cloth actually worked really well!

garden before. the weed-blocking cloth actually worked really well!

 

Garden after.  Everything is planted!

Garden after. Can you tell??  Everything is planted!

This year, I decided to switch the sides on which I planted the tomatoes and cucumber/zucchini. ¬†I don’t know, call it crop rotation or something! ¬†I just had the idea that it might be good to switch. ¬†Otherwise, the planting is exactly the same as it was last year– I separated the layers of weed-preventing fabric and planted the seedlings (and in the case of the zucchini, the seeds). ¬†We bought new metal wire trellises for the cucumbers this year, since the wooden ones we got for our first garden in this location had lived their life.

Garden after.  Everything is planted!

Garden after.  Everything is planted!

We’ve had so much rain here recently that I was easily able to water the whole garden from the rain barrel!

After I had the in-ground garden planted, the kids “helped” me to plant their cherry tomato in a pot on our deck. ¬†I helped them to use the spade to replace the soil around the plant, and they took turns watering. ¬†I hope that they will really enjoy watching their plant grow and have a fun (and delicious) time eating its fruit!

2016_05_15_kidstomato03-Edit

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...and then they took turns using the watering can!

...and then they took turns using the watering can!

...and then they took turns using the watering can!

...and then they took turns using the watering can!

Varieties:
TamiG grape (hybrid) tomato
Cherokee Purple (heirloom) tomato
Super Fantastic (hybrid) tomato
Burpless (hybrid) cucumber
Husky Cherry Red (hybrid) tomato (for kids’ pot on the deck)

 

 

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On Mother’s Day, I spent the afternoon taking this:

Garden: before.  All that grassy looking stuff was an awful weed that literally sprayed seeds when you brushed against it (or tried to grab it to pull it out...).

to this:

hand-tilled garden!  All ready for compost and planting.

I encountered a most vile species of weed– this grassy stuff actually fired tiny little seeds everywhere whenever it was brushed! ¬†I literally had seeds stuck to my skin and caught in my eyes. ¬†Yuck. ¬†Instead of throwing it into my compost bin, I actually bagged it up to put into the trash. I don’t want that stuff propogating, as much as I can help it!

Garden: before.  All that grassy looking stuff was an awful weed that literally sprayed seeds when you brushed against it (or tried to grab it to pull it out...).

After I got out as many of the weeds as I could, I used our tiller tool to loosen the soil.

hand-tilled garden!  All ready for compost and planting.

I opened up our compost bin and spread the new soil on top of the garden.

We weren’t able to get to a store to get plants that day, so on Tuesday evening, we took a family field trip to Home Depot to get our plants. ¬†I decided during the course of last year’s garden that starting tomatoes from seed isn’t quite working for me right now, so I planned to buy seedlings this year. ¬†We got four varieties– three for the in-ground garden and one for our kids’ container on the deck.

tomatovarietycollage-Edit

The garden layout is essentially the same as previous years’, in which the cucumbers and zucchini are on the left, and we have six tomato plants (two of each variety) are on the right.

After the jungle that was last year’s garden, we decided to lay down weed-preventing black fabric. ¬†The day after we bought our plants, I went out and spent an hour or two getting the cloth laid, the tomatoes installed, and the zucchini and cucumber seeds planted.

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After our experience with last year's weeds, and dealing with those awful seed-spraying weeds to prepare the garden, I decided that we should use the black weed-blocking cloth this year.  Hopefully it helps tame them!

After our experience with last year's weeds, and dealing with those awful seed-spraying weeds to prepare the garden, I decided that we should use the black weed-blocking cloth this year.  Hopefully it helps tame them!

…and then I added mulch.

Garden planted and mulched!  Tomatoes from left to right: Tami G (grape), Golden Jubilee (heirloom), and Red Beefsteak (heirloom)

Garden planted and mulched! Tomatoes from left to right: Tami G (grape), Golden Jubilee (heirloom), and Red Beefsteak (heirloom)

Garden planted and mulched!  Cucumber seeds (background) and zucchini seeds (foreground) planted.

Cucumber seeds (background) and zucchini seeds (foreground) planted.  I cut small holes in the weed-blocking cloth for them.

Garden planted and mulched!

 

My daughter and I took a quick few minutes to plant a tomato in a pot on the porch an evening or two later. V helped me to move the soil around the plant and water it.

Vivian and I took a quick few minutes to plant a tomato in a pot on the porch before we headed to small group this evening.  Vivian helped me to move the soil around the plant and water it.

 

I was delighted to find, just a week later, that all of my seeds had sprouted. ¬†I had been pretty worried, since we got a couple big rains, that the seeds may have washed under the weed-blocking cloth… but thankfully, everything seems to be in place!

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zucchini sprouts

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cucumber sprouts

My tomato plants were looking healthy, happy and growing, too!

The tomatoes are looking happy :)

 

One of my main goals with the garden this year is to make sure to prune my tomatoes regularly to keep them under control. ¬†I really don’t want a buggy jungle this year!

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Turns out, having a baby takes a lot of time! ¬†Add in a smart and energetic toddler/preschooler, and things like writing blog posts take a back-seat role for a while ūüôā

I’m popping in today to share part one of a few¬†wrap-up posts about the garden this past summer. ¬†I took photos throughout the summer, but it proved to be too hard for me to get them edited and posted on the blog in anything close to real-time. ¬†So I’ll share some now, with some things I learned and want to remember as I plan my future gardens.

The three photos below show what my garden plot looked like in mid-July. ¬†On this particular day, I harvested one zucchini– the very first piece of produce from this year’s garden!

garden today

cucumber, pepper, zucchini

tomatoes

Let’s talk about the zucchini first, shall we?

I had two varieties in my garden, a Lake Valley seed company variety and a Burpee seed company variety. ¬†I got a grand total of one small zucchini (a strangely-shaped 1/2 pound one) from the Burpee plant, which surprised me. ¬†The Lake Valley plant grew to a monstrous size and gave us 10 fruits! ¬†Yum. ¬†We grilled some, we made fritters, and of course we made zucchini bread! ¬†The plant got quite unwieldy by the end of the summer, and started breaking when we harvested. ¬†However, this is the first summer where my zucchini harvest even approached the “feed your neighborhood” quantity touted on the packet!

Cucumber

The cucumbers were underwhelming this summer. ¬†After last year’s amazing yield, I was super-excited for cucumbers to come out my ears! ¬†But they seemed to get started late, and the vines never got very full. ¬†In fact, I got half the number of fruits off of approximately twice the garden “real-estate.”

Carmen pepper

our first carmen pepper

Also in the “disappointment” category are the peppers. ¬†I didn’t expect much from my from-seed-seedlings, which was good: they died almost immediately (or got trampled??). ¬†But I had high hopes for the store-bought plant. ¬†We ended up getting two red peppers from it.

The tomatoes, on the other hand, were plentiful!

Indigo Rose tomato

Indigo Rose tomato

The Indigo Rose tomatoes (purchased plants) were beautiful to look at. ¬†The flavor wasn’t anything spectacular, though, so I don’t think we will get them again.

Bonnie Grape tomato

We absolutely loved the Bonnie Grape (purchased plants) tomatoes.  They yielded like crazy, and we could hardly keep up with them.  The flavor was fantastic and they were perfect for salads.  Usually I am loathe to cook with delicious home-grown tomatoes like this, but we had so many that I actually tried them in a soup recipe that called for cherry-type tomatoes!

We got only a few tomatoes from the plants I started from seed (Best Boy and Fourth of July varieties).  In comparing them to the other varieties, though, we did decide that we liked the fleshiness of the Best Boy fruits, especially for things like sandwiches.  The flavor of the Fourth of July tomatoes was much better than the flavor of the Indigo Rose fruits.

Well, you can tell which half of the herb box is under the overhang...  whoops.

My herbs were a bust. ¬†I don’t think I even used any from this box!! ¬†How disappointing. ¬†I was good about watering them until the baby was born, and after that, they were dependent on the rain. ¬†As you can see from the photo above, part of the box is shielded by the second floor overhang of our house. ¬†Bummer. ¬†They all dried out and died really quickly. ¬†I’m glad they were freebie seeds or I would be even more sad than I already am.

gorgeous harvest from our garden today

quite a harvest awaited us in the garden when we got home from our trip!

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We got some really beautiful harvests this summer. ¬†The colors were gorgeous, and even though I was picky about the tomatoes’ flavor, I really did enjoy the luxury of home-grown produce. ¬†I am most thankful to Husband, though, because he ended up doing almost all of the work for the garden this summer. ¬†In the first part of the summer, I was so pregnant that I couldn’t even get over the fence easily, and in the second part of the summer, I discovered that if I went outside, especially into the garden, I got eaten alive by mosquitoes. ¬†I got bitten in at least 19 places to collect the tomatoes shown in the photo with the kitchen scale! ¬†Husband seems to be mosquito-resistant, so he graciously harvested for me.

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I think that this blog is overdue for an update post on the garden; after all, it is¬†Vegetablog¬† ūüėČ

 ~ ~ ~

Let me just start by saying¬†that Husband is awesome. ¬†Since I am pretty much unable to do anything in the garden, he spent some time in the hot sun on the day before Father’s Day,¬†weeding (and pulling out a ridiculous number of tomato volunteers) and tying up the tomatoes to the stakes. ¬†He is so great ūüôā

I couldn’t bear to even take photos of the garden before the weeding, but I did take a bunch afterward!

 

The garden today, after a big weeding session by my wonderful husband.

 

First, the left side of the garden:

cucumbers in background, peppers in middle, zucchini in front

cucumbers in background, peppers in middle, zucchini in front

 

I was glad to see that there are finally cucumbers coming up. ¬†They seem to be off to a slow start, though. ¬†I’m impatient to eat what is probably my favorite of my garden produce!

cucumbers: getting a slow start, it seems

cucumbers: getting a slow start, it seems

 

I think it’s interesting to see the disparity in the two¬†zucchini plants. ¬†The plant from the Burpee seed is in the corner, and the plant from the Lake Valley seed is in the foreground. ¬†Planted at the same time, and sprouted at almost the same time, too!

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The Lake Valley zucchini has some buds on it.  Hooray!

zucchini-- blossoms coming!!

In the photo two above, you can also see the Carmen pepper plant. ¬†There’s a little pepper growing on it!

pepper: Carmen

 

 

The pepper plant we started from seed is¬†barely there (no photo this time). ¬†But somehow it still seems to be alive. ¬†We’re leaving it for now, but I don’t think we’ll be getting much off of that plant this year!

The right side of the garden is the “tomato side.”

tomatoes.

tomatoes that we started from seed: 4th of July in foreground, Best Boy in background

tomatoes that we started from seed: 4th of July in foreground, Best Boy in background

 

tomatoes: Bonnie Grape

tomatoes we purchased: Bonnie Grape

tomatoes: Indigo Rose

tomatoes we purchased: Indigo Rose

 

I’m happy to see that at least the tomato plants we purchased are starting to form tomatoes.

Bonnie Grape

Bonnie Grape

 

Indigo Rose

Indigo Rose — can you see the purple tinge?

 

On the back porch, the herb box is filling out. ¬†It looks like just basil and dill have come up (the savory and marjoram didn’t appear), but that is totally fine with me, since those are the herbs I would have chosen anyway.

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And my daughter’s cherry tomato plant is full of tomatoes! ¬†I’m so excited for them to turn red so that she can pick them ūüôā

V's tomato plant

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So we gave in and bought some new plants. ¬†Four of the tomato sprouts¬†and two of the pepper sprouts had died (or all but died), and since Husband put in so much work to get the garden ready, we didn’t want it to go to waste.

garden today.

We picked out two varieties of tomatoes (Bonnie Grape and Indigo Rose varieties) to try, as well as one new pepper plant (Carmen variety).

new (purchased) plants for the garden

Since it’s a lot of work these days for me to get down near the ground to work, Husband graciously planted them out for us.

planting the new tomato plants

Here are some closer peeks at the “new-and-improved” garden:

First, the cucumbers (back)– I added a few more seeds in front of each trellis, since I’d only seen one sprout so far, peppers (the new¬†plant¬†is on the left, if it’s not completely obvious ;-)), and zucchini (front):

2014_05_17_cukepepperzucchini-Edit

 

Here are the tomatoes [columns left to right]: Fourth of July (front stake), Best Boy (back stake); Bonnie Grape; Indigo Rose (apparently this one is a purple tomato that turns red when it’s ripe!)

2014_05_17_tomatoes02-Edit

Bonnie Grape:

Bonnie Grape tomatoes

Indigo Rose:

Indigo Rose tomatoes

While Husband planted our new plants, I investigated our daughter’s cherry tomato plant in the pot on our deck. ¬†I was happily surprised to see a little tomato forming on it!

tiny tomato starting on Vivian's cherry tomato plant

 

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Yesterday, I posted about the planting of our 2014 garden, and today I wanted to share a bit of an update, as of Thursday of last week.

First, the not-so great news:

It looks like only 3 tomato plants have survived so far… 2 Best Boy, and 1 Fourth of July. ¬†You might be able to barely pick them out in the photo below (they are on the left two stakes in the back row and the far left stake in the front row). ¬†I fully admit that this is mostly my own fault– I didn’t “harden off” my seedlings, and they weren’t looking so hot to begin with. ¬†After all the work Husband put in to prepare the garden, we just might be adding some store-bought seedlings to the empty spaces.

2014_05_12_survivingtomatoes-Edit

 

The peppers aren’t faring so well, either. ¬†The right-hand pepper (of the three sprouts planted) died pretty quickly. ¬†The remaining two are looking a bit worse for wear. ¬†It kind of looks like something is getting into the garden (despite the fencing) and nibbling on the leaves.

left pepper.  barely surviving.

left pepper

right pepper.  barely surviving

right pepper (formerly middle pepper)

 

But there is a bright side!

My herb seeds are sprouting!

look at those herb sprouts!

look at those herb sprouts!

look at those herb sprouts!

I’m not sure what dill, marjoram, and savory sprouts look like, but I’m pretty sure the shorter sprouts with the rounded leaves are basil. ¬†My (wild) guess is that the spikier ones are dill.

And there are zucchini sprouts!

Lake Valley zucchini sprout

Burpee zucchini sprout

And one lone cucumber sprout under the left trellis.  Can you spot it?  (I hope that in all of the in-ground garden photos you are graciously ignoring the fact that weeding needs to be done!)

one cucumber sprout under the left trellis

 

Finally, my daughter’s cherry tomato plant is growing happily. ¬†She makes sure to look out at it each morning when she wakes up, and we have been faithfully watering it with her tiny “watering bucket” (as she calls it) on the days that it hasn’t rained!

Vivian's tomato plant-- seems to be growing happily!

 

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