Another Year, Another Attempt at Record Keeping

The whole point of this blog was so that I would have a place to keep track of the things I tried in the garden.  Maybe someday that will happen.  So far I’ve been pretty hit and miss.  Last year turned out pretty well over all.  We had tomatoes until the middle of December.  I still have tons of peppers and zucchini in the freezer.  We used the last of our carrots for Easter.  Not too bad.

On the other hand, the potato box was pretty much a failure- unless you’re into  long plants but no extra potatoes.  The peas did ok on the trellis.  They grew about chest height and had enough for me to eat every day but not enough to freeze, nor tall enough to shade the window.  The cucumber and cantaloupe planted there after the peas were done did pretty dismally as well.  I think we got 3 cucumbers and one melon that never ripened.  We got 3 pumpkins before a vine borer insect took care of the rest.

This winter was very mild.  The green onions never died out, so we had them fresh from the garden all winter.  They’ve been going to seed this spring, but I break off the flowers and am hoping to keep them going this summer as well.  The garlic I planted last fall is about ready to be harvested- a month or 6 weeks early.  Since Spring arrived early most of this year’s garden is in- either seed or transplant.  In about a month I’ll plant pumpkin, more carrots, and celery.  Here’s what we have so far:

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These are peppers (1 jalapeno, 1 red pepper, and 4 green) in front and tomatoes (Celebrity, Cherry, Steak Sandwich, and Roma left to right) in back.  The garlic is the right side of the picture with a few left over onions from last year on the left.  I’m hoping the tomatoes grow better than the peas and shade the window behind them.  We’ll see.  I got the drip system put out Monday, so now everything can be watered.  The rain this week has been very welcome, though.

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These plots will hold (left) zucchini- seeds planted but not sprouted, (center) cucumbers- Diva and Armenian, and (right) cantaloupe.  The Diva cucumber plants only produce female flowers, so they require another plant for fertilization.  The plan is to have the cucumbers and cantaloupe grow up the trellises.  Also, in the front edge of the left and right boxes are a few baby carrots.  I had just a few seeds left over that I just put out to see what they’d do.  So far, they’ve sprouted but you can’t see them.  I think there are a couple of marigolds that self-seeded from the flowers last year.

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Normally I chop the raspberries down to 12-18 inches in the fall.  I’ve heard I’ll get a bigger yield if I leave the canes about chest height.  So, last fall I left half at chest height and cut down the rest and we’ll see which half does better.  So far, the shoots on the shorter canes are growing longer faster.  We’ll see what July brings.

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I’ve never gotten lettuce to grow very well, but it’s doing great in the planter on the deck this spring.  In fact, we had salad last night for dinner and all the lettuce came from these plants.  That is definitely a first.  Chalk down at least one success for this year!  There are pole beans planted along the back edge of the planter.  Hopefully they’ll grow and shade the back door.

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I planted more lettuce and some spinach in the front garden.  The boys are SOOO excited for the spinach!  This spot is shadier, so I’m hoping both plants grow ok here during the heat of early summer.  About half the spinach and 3/4 of the lettuce have sprouted, even if you can’t see them.

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The peas are doing great.  The pumpkin will go here once they are done.  It’s a smaller plot, but I’m hoping it can grow up and down the trellis and not spread all over the rest of the garden.  Probably a pipe dream.

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A better shot of the garlic with the tomatoes behind.  There are 32 garlic plants, which should be more than enough for the whole year.  I planted them last October.  Normally they would be done growing by the end of June/beginning of July.  This year they should be ready in the next couple of weeks at most.

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The poor apple tree we screwed back together last year got smashed over by something during the winter.  It leafed out better than the other trees, of course, but I don’t expect it to live much longer.  The top of the front cherry tree was broken off a couple of weeks ago, so we trimmed all the trees way back in the hopes that they’ll leaf out farther down and fill out rather than grow taller.

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The strawberries are already producing.  I’ll probably pick the first berries tomorrow.  Greg dug out several plants over the weekend in an effort to stabilize the stepping stones, which I really appreciate on a dirt/mud slope.

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View from above.  The far left plot is full of yellow onion plants.  The second has bush green bean seeds planted.  The third has red potatoes.  The far right is the peas.

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About growstoreeat

I am an amateur grower of 2 vegetable gardens, 1 marriage, and 5 children. With the encouragement and help of my husband, I have experimented with gardening off and on for most of my adult life. The flora of the world has paid dearly as a result. The last two years I've been a little more serious- actually producing enough to store our own food for our family. This year we're trying some new things in an effort to be more productive. I'm recording our adventure here.
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