Saturday, May 30, 2009

Baby buds!

Finally, the garden is going crazy with growth! I found I was under watering. Even though we've had a ton of rain, it was ill timed, and the garden got a little dry and wasn't really growing very quickly. Additionally, we picked up one of those soil test kits from HD and found we were low on nitrogen and a couple of other minerals. We picked up some organic soil amendment and finally got the soaker hose put in. Once we did all that it went crazy and we've been rewarded with all kinds of baby buds! Sadly, I did lose my first couple of peppers but they have lots of new buds so hopefully we'll have better luck with the next phase.

My squash plant had ants all over it right before it really took off. I supressed my urge to "get rid of them" at the urging of a wise plant person. She told me they are great for polinating between the male and female squash flowers. So true, because we are going to be in squash this summer for sure!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Herb garden

At long last I got my herbs in this weekend! I'm so excited! Next to the anticipation of my vegetables my herbs are a close second. Last year I planted all of my herbs (except the mint) in flower boxes I wasn't using. This year I've read more and learned that some herbs need more root room to grow. I found the information sections for herbs on the Tasteful Garden site really helpful. I learned that Basil becomes root bound very easily and will bolt (grow flowers and stop growing) if it doesn't have enough room. Parsley doesn't need as much room so it goes in the smaller pots. Good for me I keep all of my old pots because you never know when you'll need them. So here is the pre-planting plan. I did throw some Osmocote on the herbs after I planted them. The garden is fully organic but the herbs got a little extra help this year.

The line up left to right:
Italian Oregano
Banana Pepper (not an herb, I know, but I ran out of room in the garden)
Mint (carry over from last year but not sweet enough for Mojitos)
Sweet Globe Basil (tiny leaves)
Kentucky Spearmint (perfect for Mojitos!)
Curly Leaf Parsley
Italian Parsley

Kentucky Spearmint around the outside (regrowth from last year). Regular Spearmint on the inside that I planted about a month ago. Why? Because I learned that mint is a perennial and comes back every year even if it sits in a pot on the deck all winter with no attention.

The other thing I learned last year is to keep mint to itself unless you want it to spread. This pot will be a whirly swirly of mint by the end of the summer.

And last but not least my first zucchini flower! Judging from the picture though, I think I have snails? What's that hole in the leaf near the flower? Maybe a beer bath is in order? Any other ideas?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Everyone Weathered the Storm

My first Red Grape Tomatoes
Aren't they so fuzzy and cute?

My first French Filet Green Beans
I just read the description again when I was adding the link and it said 3-4 per pot. Was I supposed to separate them before planting? Advice please!

My first Mini Red Bell
The first bud didn't make it too much rain I think. You can see it in the background

I'm so excited! Everything is really taking off. Most everything has buds or flowers. We had rain here in Virginia for 2 weeks straight. I was afraid everything would have gotten water logged but they seem to really like it. I'm glad I didn't plant my herbs yet though, I think they would have not enjoyed the rain as much. This weekend hopefully I'll have a chance to get them in. I also think it may be time to do a little compost collar around the plants to give them a little snack. I'm wondering when I should start worrying about bugs and slugs... I haven't seen any yet.