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Archive for the ‘garden 2017’ Category

In lieu of a garden this year, we’re container-growing bean plants that my kids started in a library class. ¬†When last we saw the plants on the blog, they were tiny but fast-growing!

I’ve been keeping a bit of a photo record of them over the past month or so…Believe me, this is nothing scientific– just a photo whenever I remember to take one ūüôā It’s fun to see how the plants have grown.

bean plants today!

June 6

the bean plants today

June 14

the bean plants today

June 16

the bean plants today

June 29

 

the bean plants today

…and we spied flowers on June 29, too!

The kids were SUPER delighted to harvest their first beans on July 9.  We got threeРone green, one purple, and one yellow (a wax bean??).

harvested our first beans today!

First harvest! Three beans on July 9

Every day when we come home and get out of the car, the kids now rush over to the bean pot, which is just outside the garage, to check to see if there are any new beans for harvest.

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Sometimes they are a little bit over-eager (we’ve lost a vine or two to vigorous and non-traditional harvest methods), but I love how excited they are to pick beans– and then eat them! ¬†They’ve decided they like them best when they are cooked, so I will heat some water in a tiny frying pan to blanch the beans for the kids.

 

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At the end of last year’s garden, I was pretty discouraged and frustrated. ¬†As I considered what to do this year, I realized that I would have to put in a significant amount of work to squirrel- and deer-proof (or even just make an attempt, since those animals are particularly wily and persistent about garden theft) and to “heal” the soil.

And so, I don’t think I’m going to have a real garden this year. ¬†Aside from the years that I was moving right in the middle of the summer, this is the first garden season in ten years¬†that I have deliberately decided not to plant one. ¬†It’s a little sad, but really, I’m kind of glad to have a break this year.

However, you don’t think that someone with a blog named “Vegetablog” could actually go without trying to grow *something,* do you? ¬†I couldn’t resist trying to plant some old seeds in a pot that I’ve had on my kitchen counter (it occasionally held herbs). ¬†I tried some old lettuce seeds (from that first garden in 2007!) and while some of them sprouted, nothing has thrived. ¬†So I added some Tiny Tim tomato seeds (from 2008 and 2009) and I just noticed that they were sprouting at the very end of May. ¬†So perhaps, perhaps, perhaps, I will have a miniature tomato plant growing by my kitchen sink.

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It’s not pretty, but it’s functional. ¬†Ish.

I took my kids to a library class in mid-May, and the theme for the series was garden science. ¬†One of the activities was to make something that the teacher called “window greenhouses:” a zip-top plastic bag, into which we dropped some bean seeds and a wet paper towel. ¬†We taped them into the window to watch the seeds sprout.

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The kids’ ¬†window greenhouses on the day after our library class.¬†

I was pleasantly surprised how quickly the beans started putting out roots. …I was amazed to see that there were roots on the third day! I think I was just as excited (maybe more?) than the kids.

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Day Three: Do you see the little root?

We watched more and more roots appear, and then a couple of them put out their first leaves. At this point, we needed to open the bags so that the trapped moisture wouldn’t rot the leaves.

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Day Seven: roots, and even some leaves starting.

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Day Eight: Definitely leaves starting!

Look at how big that one sprout is!  We've had these for a week now.

Day Nine: time to start planting these beans

Look at how big that one sprout is!  We've had these for a week now.

Day Nine: It was so amazing to see the whole process.

Since it had been so much fun to watch the beans sprout, I decided we should plant them in a pot outsideРso the kids helped (more like watched) me fill one with soil and plant the seeds (with the paper towel, to which they had attached themselves with the roots).  V did drop one of the seeds into the pot, but otherwise, they were surprisingly hands-off!

At this point, the weather turned nice and sunny and warm, and so these beans really showed their speedy growth. On the day they planted them, the beans looked like this:

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Beans right after we planted them

The next day, we played outside for a couple of hours. At the beginning of our time outside, the beans on V’s side were just barely starting to lift the soil to poke through, and by the end of the time we were out there, they were absolutely above the soil. It’s amazing and so fun to watch.

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The beans in the pot, one day later!

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I really hope the squirrels and other beasties spare our bean pot so that we can watch these plants grow!

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