Congratulations are in order…we’re expecting!!!

Here’s the harvest for the day:07-29-09 (7)Seven cherry tomatoes, one lemon cucumber, two cucumbers from the potted bush cucumber plant and lettuce leaves from the last remaining lettuce plant.

I was looking at Kate’s blog today, Gardening Without Skills , and saw a heart made with veggies.  It was too cute.   It even had a love poem for gardeners.  I went a little tomato crazy last year and wrote a poem about tomatoes.

This years tomatoes are doing well.07-29-09 (2)

 The vines are as tall now as they were last year on August 23rd.07-29-09 (3)I have come up with a way to support the vines once they outgrow the trellis, which I’ll post a picture later on.

Maybe the peppers will catch up.  Here they are today.07-29-09 (4)

The four pepper plants closest to the corn with the marigold in between were the first to go in the ground and they’re a little bigger, not much, than the others.  The empty space is where I had the in-ground potatoes.  The harvest was just at 1 big old pound.06-19-09No, that wasn’t a typo.  1/one/uno pound.  I am no Annie’s Granny with her tons of taters from 12 square feet compared to my 6 square feet.  I’m still holding out hope for the potatoes growing in the bin along the side of the garage.  Only a couple of bugs found the plants and they’re still growing like crazy.

I was so happy to find out today that we’re expecting….a new flush of raspberries.07-29-09 (9)I don’t know what variety they are as they were Free Cycled plants.  I got them mid summer last year and they had already fruited, so this years fruit was on last year’s wood.  I’ve repotted the plants, pulled out a few canes and repotted them and cut out the growing tips.  The plants are sending out new foliage, and now I see new future berries.  I only see them on one plant as of today, though.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get a second crop of raspberries!  One of the repotted canes is a trade with a gardening friend of my neighbor who has figs growing in her yard.  I’ve read that figs respond by producing more fruit if the roots are constricted, so they should do well in a container.  So, I’m expecting raspberries and figs.

Happy Gardening!!!


Returning after my little hiatis.

For some reason, I just haven’t really felt like taking the time to post, but I got a chance to catch up on my blog reading and I’m inspired to play catch-up now.

Starting where I left off last post, lillies make beautiful cut flowers.06-21-09 (22)

The borage plants are blooming.  The one in the raised bed that had the second “hoop house” over it is a good four feet tall, the one in the raised strawberry bed and the one in a pot are both about a foot tall.  Here’s a pic of the one in the raised bed.   This is the bloom at the very top of the plant, and now it’s sending out side shoots that have blooms on the tips.06-23-09 (2)

The broccoli started heading up (all six of them).  Maybe it was the hot weather we had for a few days straight, but this one started flowering when the head was about the size of an orange and I picked it today.06-23-09 (8)

I’ve been picking string beans every day (3 squares/4 plants per square).  I planted both yellow and green.  I like the taste better of the yellow, but the green produces more.  I keep threatening to plant more because I like them so well.  No more excuses.  I went to the store and bought some today.06-23-09 (5)

Here’s the bed with the tomatoes.  I’m using my Free Cycle stakes, but as you can see, it won’t be long before they outgrow the stakes.  So….06-20-09 (2)

Out with the Free Cycle, in with last year’s model.06-26-09 (4)I don’t know if you can tell, but all (or most anyway, some might be light peeking through the leaves) of the yellow dots are tomato blooms.   I did a lot of pruning and took the time to tie the tomatoes to the trellis.  The trellis is seven or eight feet tall and the vines are halfway up and it’s not even July.  I’m going to have to come up with a way to keep them growing past the trellis because I don’t want to cut the top of the vine back.

Looks like the majority of the tomatoes will be this kind…06-26-09 (10)

The strawberries are down to the last berry waiting to ripen, but it’s sending out lots of runners.  I hope I can remember to get little pots and put the runner tips in them like I saw somebody posting about on their blog (forgive me for not remembering where I saw it).

Most of the lettuce is bolting and with the hotter weather coming I know the peas are about done, so I went from this…06-21-09 (14)

To this…06-23-09 (13)

To this…06-28-09 (12)Those are double-decker Free Cycle stakes.  My thought was to plant pole beans down the middle and the stakes would support them.  I don’t have any pole beans in my little stash, so I’ll stop by Home Depot or Menards to see if they have some.  If not, I’ll do cucumbers there or just go with the bush beans in that spot.

All the scraggly bushes belong to my neighbor, but I don’t have the nerve to say anything to her about it because the trees along the side of the garage are growing so much they’re almost knocking on her back door.  I wish I had just bit the bullet and had everything taken out at once when I first got here.

The best news is the raspberries have started ripening.  They not huge or plentiful, but they sure are good.06-25-09 (2)


06-28-09 (5)These are from my Free Cycle raspberry plants I got last year.  They’re in four different pots, but I like being able to pick my own raspberries so much that I want to find a permanent place in the ground for them.  I’m going to really have to think on this one.

Anyway, I’m feeling the call of nature.  The weather is absolutely beauitful with a nice breeze blowing.  I’m going to go out and give my parched plants a drink of water.

Happy Gardening!!

Raspberry ruminations

Since I’ve got so much work to do right now and I can’t get outside to play in the dirt like I want to, I just have to think about playing in the dirt. And right now I’m thinking that I may have made a mistake with the raspberries.

I got the plants earlier in the year from a couple of FreeCyclers. This one was was a little bitty thing when I got it back in June, and it was the only survivor of the three plants that I got. 07-14-08 (15)

Later on I got about six clumps from another FreeCycler. I put one of them in with the first plant because it was really small and I wasn’t sure it would survive. See the two tall canes in the back?08-02-08 (20)

They’ve both put on lots of green growth. 09-26-08

The rest of the second set of plants, minus those that I gave to my mother-in-law, went into these containers. 08-02-08 (21) 09-26-08 (3)

There is new growth on the stalks which theoretically I’ll have raspberries on the new green growth next year because they fruit on second year wood. My fear is that the old canes will die over the winter along with my new growth and I’ll have to wait for suckers to grow next spring and then another year for raspberries. Everything that I’ve read says you’re supposed to cut the canes back after they have fruited, which I’m now realizing I didn’t do. A few new canes did come up in the pots, but boy, oh, boy will I be disappointed if I lose all those potential raspberries.

Okay. Now that I’ve done a little gardening in my mind, let me get back to work. I’m hoping I can get enough done by Sunday so I can get a few things done outside.

Happy Gardening!!!

Plethora of Plentiful Planters

I recently found a cantaloupe growing in one of my self-watering containers, so I figure I’ll talk about the things I’m growing in containers instead of the ground. The yard is pretty small and I’ve got something growing in just about every plantable spot in the yard, so I use pots to increase my growing space.

08-13-08 (3) This cantaloupe is about the size of a softball and it’s the only cantaloupe to actually set fruit.. so far. I was picking up around the yard and discovered it.

I have a couple of cantaloupe plants growing in the ground. 08-17-08 Lots of blooms, no cantaloupes that will grow bigger than a M&M.

Here’s the self-watering container (to be referred to as SWC) that the cantaloupe is growing in. 08-13-08 (4)And because this is my first year with the self-watering containers, I’m still experimenting with what will grow how well in the SWCs and I’m mixing a little this with a little that.

My neighbor’s friend gave me a few okra plants and I put two of them in here back on July 10 with the cantaloupe.08-17-08 (2)Okra plants are really pretty. There’s actually one okra pod just to the right of the stem. I swear I didn’t see a flower before this one. The other okra plants I put in the ground are only 5 or 6 inches tall. They’re also being shaded by other plants.

This is my first SWC that I started in early May. 05-31-08 (7) It’s got a monster cherry tomato, a sweet potato plant, and two varieties of watermelon. (I gave the corn to my mother-in law because I couldn’t find a spot for it). I’ve got a 6-foot tall stake the cherry tomato is tied to. Once it outgrew that, I tied a string from the end of the stake to the house and am training in along the string now.

Here’s how it’s doing today. 08-02-08 (44)

Only one of each variety of watermelon have actually set fruit. The sugar baby is the one with the panty hose sling and the other is a full-sized watermelon.DSCN1508 DSCN1507I really don’t expect them to get much bigger because both vines are starting to shrivel up.

I gave my mother-in-law some watermelon plants too. Hers are in the ground and doing much better than mine. This is her largest one. DSCN1459

A month ago I planted this one with cucumbers,07-14-08 (12) and today it looks like this.DSCN1504It’s even got its first cuke on it.DSCN1510

Here are the bell peppers growing in planters on the steps. That was then… 06-30-08 (13)

… and this is now.DSCN1512 The container peppers are giving the in-ground peppers a run for their money in terms of size, and I’ll definitely plant them in containers in the future. I think it helped a lot to keep the containers covered. I’ve read that peppers like green mulch, and maybe that helped too. I think this pot size is 10 inches, so I’d try larger pots to hopefully get bigger peppers.

I tried potatoes in a container too back in May. That was then …05-31-08

…and this now. 08-13-08 (9)I had some leftover seed potatoes after I planted in the raised beds, so I tried this. I snuck a peek in here and haven’t seen one potato so far.

In the raised bed, I’m trying an adulterated version of a dedicated potato bin for potatoes that I saw on the GardenWeb web site that I’ve adapted to my raised bed. 06-30-08 (11) People have gotten mixed results, but for this one I’m not going to touch it until the plants naturally die back. I’ll either be very, very happy with the potatoes or very, very disappointed.

A friend gave me some peanuts. I started a few of those in a pot.08-13-08 (8) I have no idea how this will turn out, especially since I never put any more dirt in the pot.

And lastly, this bush. 04-20-08 I wanted to make room for some raspberry plants. And since I wasn’t crazy about this bush (or the fact that I didn’t get anything to eat from it), I decided to dig it up and get rid of it.07-14-08 (11) After I dug it up, I had it leaning against a bench and thought, hmmm, that looks kind of nice there, so I decided to try to save them. That was mid July… 08-02-08 (17) … and they’re still looking good. No leaf loss at all.

And lastly (for real this time), the raspberries. I acquired some raspberry plants from a couple of generous fellow gardeners.08-02-08 (20) 08-02-08 (21) With any luck I’ll have raspberries next year since raspberries fruit on second year canes.

I didn’t plant them in the ground because I want to see what will happen with them in the containers first.

That’s it for now. (Did I hear you say finally?)

Happy Gardening!!!

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