In the garden this weekend.
June 01, 2011

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  1. By Sarah on June 01, 2011

    OMG! so jealous of your garden. I can’t get anything to grow, i have two horrible black thumbs. I wish i was able to grow some of my own produce, id save so much money!

  2. By on June 01, 2011

    Wonderful! I love those strawberry plants. The peas grow in such a pretty pattern too. Thanks for posting these! I love watching plants grow. We saved seeds from our most successful heirloom tomatoes last year (cherokee purple and red brandywine). We had five plants last year and ate every tomato during the summer. This year we have 16. I hope to get enough to do some canning! Every year we swear we’re not going to expand the garden… and then the next year rolls around, and we do it again. Though, my garden is pretty puny sized compared to yours! We’ve probably only got 400sq ft. This year we’re trying corn for the first time. Have you grown it before? How big of a patch do you have? What type is it?

  3. By erin on June 01, 2011

    Hah, I do the same thing as Donald - I wander around my garden peering at the soil and admiring my teeny little sprouts.  They make me inordinately happy.

    Also, just fyi, beware of gnome-sized garden thieves.  I have a “wall” of bird netting staked around my garden beds because otherwise Hannah plucks the strawberries and tomatoes and peas off the plants (sometimes before they are even ripe) and pops them in her mouth.  I’m glad she’s as thrilled about eating from the garden as I am, but I prefer when *I* can choose when things get harvested. :)

  4. By erin on June 01, 2011

    Mira, I am growing corn this year (also for the first time) and so far it is ridiculously easy.  It is doing all the work itself and all I’ve had to do is sit back and admire it (and water it).  I even noticed last week that I have what appears to be AN! EAR! OF! CORN! and this weekend I noticed A! SECOND! EAR!  They sprout off the sides of the stalk and there is all sorts of silk coming out the top, so I’m pretty sure it’s an ear. :)  I think it is a relatively hardy vegetable for those of us with Black Thumbs of Death (me).

  5. By Sarah Christensen on June 01, 2011

    Mira, this is our first year of spring planting.  I wish we hadn’t started so late - everyone around us is enjoying their tomatoes already and we’re just waiting SIGH.  We’re looking at something like fifty tomato sprouts right now, so I need to cut them back a bit.  I love tomatoes, but I’m pretty sure even I can’t consume fifty plants worth in a year.  The yellow sweet corn (Country Gentleman) that I planted a few weeks ago is very hardy and doing well.  About ten days ago, I planted another variety of corn (Rainbow Inca) - separated by enough time so that cross-pollination shouldn’t be an issue.  The second corn is doing even better than the first one.  Our RI corn sprouted in five days and is now about three inches tall at ten days old, it’s amazing.

    How were your Cherokee Purples last year?  Those and the Carbons are the ones I’m most excited about growing - everyone keeps telling me how tasty they are!

    Erin - Charlotte dumps my pots out!!!  She doesn’t steal berries really - she picked a few unripe mulberries and blackberries earlier in the year so now she always checks with me to see if it’s good to eat or not (I guess she didn’t like the sour? lol) - but I know that as soon as we have peas and beans she’s going to be out there picking them every chance she has.  The kid lives for peas and beans.

    We’re actually having a really big problem with birds.  That’s my third round of pumpkins!  I have two other well-established plants, but I’ve planted something like twelve seeds now and have taken to planting all melons and pumpkins right before sunset when the birds aren’t around because otherwise it’s hopeless.  I’m also on my third round of squash, second round of dark zucchini, third round of melons, and fourth round of watermelons.  It’s astonishing to me how much the birds love the seeds.  I’m thinking about planting catnip around my crawlers next year so that the cats freak out the birds lol.

  6. By on June 02, 2011

    Erin- I am so excited about our corn!! I am such a novice at all of this, but year after year things in the garden get better and better. Our corn is an heirloom variety (Golden Bantam). When I told my incredibly seasoned, green thumbed father what we planted he suggested we hand pollinate the patch as soon as we’ve got the silks coming out. He told me to go around and gently shake each of the pollen into a bag and mix it up together and then dust the mixture back onto the tassels. Now, this may not apply to you. Its apparently only necessary since we have such a small patch (about 50 plants) and of course that their heirloom.

    Sarah- Oh goodness… the Cherokee Purples were GREAT! They’re really beautiful too. Marbled purple and red, at least the ones we have! Every day after work I’d get one (or three…) out of the garden and put some basil and goat cheese on it with some vinegar. MMMM! I cannot wait! Our climate here (Boone, NC in the Appalachian Mountains) doesn’t allow us to start so early, so we’re still at the beginning stages too. I’m sure we could have done more to get the garden started earlier… but like I said we’re novices. Are you planning on saving any seeds this year?

  7. By on June 02, 2011

    So exciting!

  8. By on June 02, 2011

    So exciting. We live in a colder climate, so were able to just get our garden in this past weekend. It always feels so satifsfying once everything is planted. We love to go out everyday and check on the progress. We too have lots of peas planted! :)

  9. By Sarah Christensen on June 02, 2011

    FIRST OF ALL, scratch what I said about having two well-established pumpkin plants.  One vanished sometime last night down a gopher hole, so now we only have one well-established pumkin plant left, plus two pumpkin sprouts the size of the one above.  I’ll be planting more seeds today in the hopes that at the end of the season I end up with at least one plant lol.

    Mira - Right now, we’re letting some of our beets go to seed.  I think we have another two months or so before they finish, so I need to trim them in the meantime because they’re so tall they’re blocking our sprinklers for that area!  They’re seven feet, at least.  We were trying to let one specific variety of garlic and a specific variety of onion seed as well, but the onion dried out because I forgot to water it and the garlic was trampled by an animal so we pulled both varieties up to salvage them and we’re planting the garlic cloves and the onion bulbs soon and we’ll see how they go next year.  I did leave a couple of the onions in there, but they’re not looking so hot so I don’t really expect them to seed.

    As for the spring garden, we’re hoping to save seed for almost everything.  Both corns and the beans, especially.  The peas, melons, and squash as well.  The sorghum isn’t producing well - we planted five hundred seeds and have eight plants, so I’ll probably save those seeds and hope that next year is hardier.  We’ll see about the other stuff, though.  I still have plenty of lima bean, tomato, pepper, and eggplant seeds, so I might save a few just to see how it goes and learn the ropes and increase our stock - or I might skip it until next year.

    We’re also saving a bunch of flower seed.  Holly hocks, lavender, marigold, etc.  We save California poppy seeds as well, but those have such a negative effect on my neighbor’s veggie patch that I think we’ll keep them separate - we just like how they look waving in the wind so I thought it would be nice to line our front lawn with them.

    The big project for us right now is actually taming a quarter-acre section of our yard for the garden.  I have all the squash and melons randomly thrown out there right now, but I want to have it set up in raised beds, prepare trained berry plants, have an established compost pile, mulch paths, prepare a watering system, build a kiwi arbor and playhouse for Charlote, and set up a tilled area for dwarf fruit trees.  So I might skip some of the seed-saving efforts for weed-killing efforts if I wind up in a time crunch since it’s become apparent that building that garden is going to rest solely on my shoulders.

  10. By on June 03, 2011

    Sarah: On the suggestion of a friend I put netting over the top of my garden to keep the critters out when everything was small.

    Now it’s warm enough here to use the motion-sensor sprinkler so the net is gone. Totally using the net again next year.

  11. By on June 03, 2011

    Well, dang! I’m impressed! Just thinking about weeding and tilling a quarter acre makes my back ache!
    I have a sneaking suspicion you already know this… but its beneficial to plant corn, beans and squash all together. In other words, plant beans that’ll climb on the corn (my dad suggested letting the corn get to about 3 ft before planting beans), then the squash helps keep out weeds and keeps the soil moist. Called the “three sisters”. We’re gonna do crowder peas for our climbing bean plants. Also, I’m convinced… you must be a super hero.

  12. By Sarah Christensen on June 06, 2011

    I don’t know why people think I’m kidding about being a superhero.  I AM CLEARLY SUPER!! =P

    Also, scratch that about my pumpkins.  The gopher has taken down my knee-high plant too, so now all I have are itty bitty sprouts.  I’m going to try planting a bunch in a pot and seeing if that helps me get them established to the point that that meddlesome gopher can’t do any harm.  I just have to be careful that they don’t get root-bound.  We just transplanted three cucumber plants and the poor things are really struggling to hold on because I waited too long.

  13. By Lisa on June 08, 2011

    I just noticed that you are growing carbon tomatoes. I would love to see how those turn out for you. Can you take some pictures of the fruit when you get them? I tried carbon last year and I wasn’t sure when to pick them. The bottoms seemed to rot before the tops had any colour other than bright green.

  14. By on June 08, 2011

    @Lisa: Last year I read on my state’s extension office web site that when tomatoes start to turn colors, they also seal themselves off from the vine. So from that point on, they aren’t getting anything from the plant and are OK to pick.

    So last year I picked my tomatoes as soon as they started turning and then let them continue to ripen on the kitchen counter. The best part was that I was harvesting them before the squirrels got to them! In past years the squirrels would wait until the day before I was going to pick them and take one bite and then dump the rest of the tomato. Grrr.

  15. By Lisa on June 10, 2011

    I didn’t know that! Thanks! It will save me a lot of lost tomatoes this year.





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