Garden Update

Five weeks is all it took to go from this



To this…


One of the ladies from the Building Urban Gardens class that we took at the Garfield Park Conservatory stopped by to get a few plants.  She pointed out the fact that what I have been calling turnips are actually mustard greens of the slick leaf variety.  My brain said they were turnips, so my eyes said, “Okay.  If that’s what you say.”  It’s a good thing I actually like mustard greens.

So, yesterday was the first harvest of 2009.


6.8 ounces.  Yay!!

The “hoop house” really made a difference.  The whole bed was planted on 3-15.  The same day I planted the bed with the cover, I planted seeds in the spot I reserve for my elephant ear.  100_0097

There’s a world of difference between the two.  (Left to right:  lettuce, spinach, raddish, beets)

The “hoop house” even outproduced some of the lettuce I started in the house in a long window type planter.  Some of the lettuce I kept in the long planter and some I transplanted into paper pots , which didn’t work out so well because they never really grew much in the paper pots.  I later transplanted some of the planter lettuce  into the yard.  They’re in the first four rows.   Most of the lettuce that germinated was the red lettuce, and they’re kind of hard to see against the dark background.  They’re growing, but slowly.


The lettuce didn’t grow well in the paper pots, but they didn’t die either.  On 4-14 I transplanted some of them into this self-watering container that was sitting outside from last year.


They just started putting on a little growth over the last week (during those warm days).

Well, I guess we have the results of one of my garden experiments.   Newly germinated cold tolerant seeds that get snowed on will continue to grow with the help of frost protection.

The results were so nice, I had to do it twice.


And it’s working great.  In this bed is the chives and garlic chives, the Egyptian walking onions, the few surviving garlic plants, and the strawberries from last year.  Once the cover went on, the strawberry leaves got larger almost over night.  I planted about six tomatoes and a globe basil in the tomatoes’ squares because I read that the basil enhances the flavor of the tomatoes.  I planted the borage, one squash, onion bulbs, I seeded a couple of squares with carrots and a couple of squares with turnips…really, turnips, not mustards.   I planted a few of the lemon cukes and a couple squares with bush beans.   A few marigolds went in and a couple of petunias. 

The third bed is planted with broccoli interplanted with lettuce; kale, which hasn’t hardly grown since it got it’s true leaves; collards, which aren’t doing much better; bell peppers; corn; potatoes.  That’s a lot going on into 32 square feet, but we’re supposed to be able to plant “intensively,” aren’t we?

I may have a raspberry or two…


(containerized raspberries al la Free Cycle)

I may have a blueberry or two…


(containerized blueberry I ordered)

This blueberry plant looks pretty good, but the buy one/get one free for just about $10 looked so bad to me that I complained about them.  They sent me two more replacements, but they weren’t much better looking.


The two on the left were the original and the two on the right were the replacements.  Had I known that these plants would have been so small I would have gotten something else.  But they’re mine now.  Hopefully they’ll start growing.

Here’s a shot of the perennial bed.  The bleeding hearts are doing especially well this year.


The seedlings.  They’re holding their own.  I’m truly tired of shuffling them in and out, and it makes even less sense now since I’ve planted every square foot in the raised beds.  Very soon, I’m going to pass a few on to my mother-in-law, my cousin and a couple neighbors.  I still feel compelled to make sure they’re hardened off before I pass them on.  I’d hate for them to die after all the work I put into them.

And last, but not least…



Happy Mother's Day



  1. May 9, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    WOW! You know, you’re probably going to talk me into one of those hoop thingies for next year, don’t you?

    I got my first freebie from Freecycle today…a bale of straw!

    • gardengoodies said,

      May 10, 2009 at 9:48 am

      Ahhh. Then it worked. I’ve been subliminally sending out the message: Grow a a hoop house…plant earlier…harvest later. Grow a a hoop house…plant earlier…harvest later. Grow a a hoop house…plant earlier…harvest later.

      I’m glad the Freecycle is working. It’s the greatest.

      • May 10, 2009 at 10:59 am

        ::Beginning subliminal message::

        Cheryl, get outta my brain….Cheryl, get outta my brain….Cheryl, get outta my brain….

        ::End subliminal message::


        • gardengoodies said,

          May 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm

          That was just too, too funny. Everybody in the house is laughing.

  2. engineeredgarden said,

    May 10, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Cheryl – you’re gardening, now! I’ll also be using some hoop covers this fall/winter. It’s the only way to go. Are those the sugar snap peas I sent ya?

    • gardengoodies said,

      May 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm

      Oh, yeah. I’ve had two salads already and I’m sending my mother-in-law some lettuce today.

      Glad to hear you’ll be using the hoop covers. I know you’ll be doing something much neater than what I did.

      If I was a fibber I’d say, of course they’re the ones you sent me. The truth is soon after I got them I pregerminated most of them to grow in the window, but I accidentally stepped on the plastic bag. Smushville. Then I misplaced the rest of the seeds. I had my post title already thought out:
      I’ve got a little EG in me…in me garden that is. (no disrespect to Mrs. EG).

      • engineeredgarden said,

        May 10, 2009 at 9:04 pm

        Ha! That was funny….

  3. jbest123 said,

    May 10, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Cheryl, right about now I wish I had a hoop house. It is going down to 36 tonight and I have to gather up a bunch of pots and garbage bags to cover the plants. 😦


    • gardengoodies said,

      May 11, 2009 at 7:29 pm

      That’s unusual. I thought I posted a reply last night. Maybe I was sleepy and just thought I did.

      I don’t know what we actually got down to, but we had 36 predicted too. Nothing froze, but I sure didn’t expect it to get that close to freezing.

      I hope your yard came through without any damage.

      • May 11, 2009 at 7:35 pm

        Cheryl, you’re not losing it….you did reply to John. I get the comments via email, and you wrote:

        Author: gardengoodies
        Thirty-six. I feel for you. I’m hoping we don’t see 36 until October or November.

        Thirty-six is technically not freezing, but I’d be doing the exact same thing. Have you heard of using tomato cages wrapped in plastic to put over the plants? I saw that on somebody’s blog today.

        I hope you don’t have to work too hard getting everything covered.

        • gardengoodies said,

          May 11, 2009 at 7:43 pm

          Thanks. I must have deleted my own comment. Nice to know I’m not totally nuts.

  4. Dan said,

    May 10, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    I thought you had a snow storm at first. I recalled the mid April snow we had after our thaw, so devastating on the mind! Your greens are looking awesome.

    • gardengoodies said,

      May 11, 2009 at 7:39 pm

      Isn’t the weather crazy sometimes? We had four or five days in the 60s and 70s last week and in the 30s last night.

      I gave my mother-in-law some of the lettuce. She just raved about it.

      …grow a garden…build a hoop house…plant earlier…harvest later…

  5. Melissa (Mrs.Ruiz) said,

    May 13, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I haven’t been on your site for a moment but you have made some great progress! I especially like your hoop houses that is such a great idea 🙂 and it is clearly working.

    • gardengoodies said,

      May 14, 2009 at 12:21 pm

      Thank you, Miss Lis. Hope everything’s going well with ya.

  6. Kate said,

    May 13, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Man, I’m out of the hoophouse club. Maybe I could invent the un-hoophouse for people in really hot climates whose biggest problem is too much heat and sun?

    • gardengoodies said,

      May 14, 2009 at 12:28 pm

      Too much heat…minus 30 degree wind chil. Maybe you can adopt me for the winter season and we’ll work on a hoop shade house.

      • May 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm

        Our local nursery has hoop shade houses. They work great!

        • gardengoodies said,

          May 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm

          Sounds like you and Liisa need to talk.

      • Kate said,

        May 14, 2009 at 5:59 pm

        Sure, I’ll adopt you! We actually had a few days where it was below freezing last winter and we had frosty grass and icy windshields!! It was quite dramatic for Florida! I’ve got some room in the garden shed to put a roll-away bed and hoop house supplies. :o)

        • gardengoodies said,

          May 14, 2009 at 9:56 pm

          LOL. That’s cool. I don’t mind earning my keep.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: