Quite a good bit of growth in the little garden that could:
Here it was just a week ago.
by John Cole| 37 Comments
This post is in: Garden Chats, Open Threads
Quite a good bit of growth in the little garden that could:
Here it was just a week ago.
Comments are closed.
Looks good. Nice mulching job.
“I find one vast garden spread out all over the universe.
All plants, all human beings, all higher mind bodies
are about in this garden in various ways,
each has his own uniqueness and beauty.
Their presence and variety give me great delight.
Every one of you adds with his special feature to the glory of the garden.”
Sri Anandayami Ma
That will be mine next year, when I finally return to having a back yard after a 5 year hiatus.
I’m greedy next year’s plants already. Lots of things to come first, though.
Your beans are coming along nicely. What cabbage family plants are those? Broccoli? Collards?
Those look like peppers of some sort. Is that eggplant? I can’t quite tell.
And the tomatoes look nice. Careful with tying them to the stakes. As they grow, the ties can cut through the stalks. I like using old pantyhose for ties because it has some give. I’m sure you have some lying around somewhere (ha ha) but if not, any dollar store will have some for cheap. It’s wide enough that it doesn’t cut through the stalks, and it gives ever so slightly in a breeze. But overall I prefer tomato cages. I don’t have to worry with tying them at all that way.
Big City Mary
The plants look very happy. I hope you are blessed with a mild summer so that they can continue to grow. What about the stern watch dog from that post last week (and her portly white sidekick)? How are they faring?
South of I-10
Wow it looks great! We have a much smaller garden, it our first attempt at veggies. We got them in the ground late, but they seem to be doing well so far.
@Violet: I use biodegradable ties. These, actually.
Every time I tie them I untie previous ones and redo them so I don’t strangle them.
Those look cool. I like to think my old hosiery is my version of being green. I never wear the stuff anymore, so I’m putting it to good use. Eventually it disintegrates in the sun and rain. Recycling!
The gardening expert I learned from said to use tomato cages. After several tries with stakes, I finally gave in and bought cages. I’ve never looked back. For tomatoes in my area, where we get quite a bit of wind, he’s absolutely right. Cages keep the stalks from bending and breaking in the wind.
OT – via TPM slideshow:
White House Press Corps Rookies of the Year.
I was going to make a worthless mean spirited comment about a nascent dust bowl in your back yard. But I clicked the pic, and when you can see the mulching, it looks pretty good.
Not sure can see the whole thing though. Melons? Summer quash?
Looks good John, are you “pinching out” your maters or are you leaving them be? I am “pinching out” (as I was taught back in the old country),
Oh and from a friend of mine over at HGTV garden forums
“he who plants a seed in sod, and waits to see believes in God”
In my mind the quote ends with “mother nature” but it doesn’t rhyme.
Summer squash? The scourge of the earth, I swear that this time of year in Eastern NC they end up in everything! I order veggie soup from the local restaurant and it has squash in it (all slimy and nasty), I order curry from the Jamaican restaurant and it has squash in it (all slimy and nasty). Squash are thrown into every dish everywhere this time of year I hate it. The only good squash is a zuccinni (or courgette) which is grown to full size (ie a marrow) which is then hollowed out, filled with brown sugar and hung in a stocking over a bowl. The result Marrow Rum.
Nice. I’m just happy that everything came up this year.
What kind of mulch is that? And how do you keep it from blowing around. Mulching is my biggest weakness in gardening — I never get around to it. But this year, I’m mulching!
I pinch the sideshoots. It seems to help the plant grow bigger before it begins producing. That way I get more fruit.
A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot!
No, no, no. Get the gray Lebanese summer squash, or the gigantic “tromboni” Italian summer squash (which is really fun for kids and grows up trelli and fences very nicely). Saute in olive oil with garlic, finish with some nice basil or oregano or rosemary, depending on mood. Or do an Italian pickle with sliced squash, vinegar, olive oil, garlic and oregano — cook all together, then jar and store in the frij. Truly yummoly.
Or cook in a gratin — slice squash long way and insert thin slices of sweet onion and fresh maters between the slices. Drizzle with oil, s&p, herbs, finish with some crumbs and another drizzle of oil, then bake until browned and delicious.
Although the best is taking the squash blossoms and stuffing them with goat cheese and fresh herbs and frying them in olive oil (dredge them in egg/milk and flour or crumbs first). Sublime first course.
“In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.”
@Litlebritdifrnt: I am indeed!
@Svensker: Just hay.
James in WA
Very nice — I’m envious. My garden took off with the warm temperatures in january, but the continued rains have left me infested with slugs… all my carrots and radishes are now ex-carrots and ex-radishes, thanks to them, and the lettuce looks like swiss cheese.
I see no fence. How do you keep the critters out?
If you use 6″ reinforcing wire, usually used in garage floor cement pads, forming 2′ diameter circles and 5′ tall, you’ll never have to stake or prune a tomato plant again.
So I picked up 4 plants at the farmer’s market (Basil, thai basil, oregano and rosemary) and honestly have no idea what to do with them other than put them in the Sun and water them. Is there an urban gardening website that is a particularly good reference?
Anyone know how to dry basil? I have a bumper crop in a couple of containers. Also thyme, rosemary, oregano.
What part of the country do you live in. That will affect what you do with them.
I find the GardenWeb forums pretty helpful for a lot of stuff. I don’t hang out there, but do find answers to questions. A lot of stuff has already been asked and the threads are helpful.
Sun and water is pretty good for most things. What kind of rosemary did you get? The trailing kind or the bush kind? Honestly, you can’t go that wrong with sun and water, and if it doesn’t work out, just replant next season or next year.
Oh. I am just west of downtown Chicago. I have no land (true urban hell hole) but have about a 4 foot by 8 foot southern facing balcony that gets sun pretty much non stop. I’ll probably add mint and (german) thyme as time goes on so am more looking for advice on what size pots I need, whether i can plant them all in one large planter, etc.
The rosemary is the bush kind.
my tomato plants are frickin huge right now. i’m not sure what i did right.
Well, as you’ve no doubt seen here multiple times, mint takes over everything. Put it in its own pot! Oregano is actually in the mint family, so it can take over things too, but in my experience it’s not quite as determined in that regard. It plays better with others than mint does.
Bush rosemary can get big and take a lot of water during sunny, hot times. I have mine in its own pot (but I’m in the south), and if I don’t water it every day during summer it gets very unhappy with me. Bush rosemary can get really big and the roots can be very thirsty. It might be happier i it’s own pot, unless you want it to take all the water from the other herbs. I’d go with a medium to large pot for the rosemary. If you start with medium, you can always replant in a larger pot later
The basil, thai basil and thyme will probably coexist reasonably well. Thyme should stay more as a ground cover and the basils should be taller. They would work okay in a shared pot or planter. The oregano could go in the planter too, but don’t be surprised if it acts like a mint. Worst case scenario, cut it back, take it out, start over.
Some of gardening is just figuring out what works for your climate and space. I’m far enough south that I think in terms of providing afternoon shade from the heat and making sure things have enough water. You might think more in terms of making sure everything has enough sun. Have fun!
Mr. Cole–your garden is lovely and so promising. I love coming here and reading about everyone’s gardening habits (challenges and successes)! It is prime production time for my kitchen garden and I’m spending early morning hours, before my indoor nursing duties start, picking veggies, canning and freezing produce, and training errant vines to stay put in their own areas.
Tomatoes are just days away from my kitchen counter. We’re just now running out of last season’s canned and frozen tomatoes. This is an ongoing seasonal race for my household, a natural rhythm of sorts. It sometimes seems that if I keep this in balance, if I can keep my own lovingly tended produce nurturing my fading loved one in my home through all the seasons, then I have achieved some measure of control in this crazy world.
James in WA
I’m no tomato expert, but I have always thought/heard/been told that pruning is necessary for ensuring a few quality tomatoes, instead of lots of inferior ones, rather than keeping the plant size in check. By that, I mean “pruning the suckers from indeterminate tomato plants.” So by that measure, pruning would always be necessary.
On the other hand, I’ve been known to be wrong before.
Sweet! So three smaller pots, and one largish pot.
Off to the store in the morning.
Post a picture when you get them planted! Can’t wait to hear how it works out.
John, this downeast farmer, gardener is jealous of your head start.
Simplest way to save basil that I’ve heard about is to chop it up together with a little olive oil and freeze it in ice-cube trays. You can actually buy frozen basil in the local grocery stores, in a little tray of half-inch individual cubes, and I’ve been saving the packets to recycle for the basil now growing in my yard. Instead of just the usual two for-immediate-consumption basil plants (one genovese, one spicy globe) this year I’ve added lemon, sweet aussie, something called ‘Marvelous Michael’, and some cheapo large-leafs. Now I need to buy a food processor to deal with the harvest — as long as I remember to pinch off the flowerheads in mid-July!
I strip everything off the stems and spread it out on a dry cookie sheet in a low oven–like 100-125 F– for about an hour-90 minute and watch them until they look about the same texture as the stuff that comes in jars. Ovens vary, so trial and error with a small sample size of your crop is probably best.
I also make a LOT of pesto– cilantro/almond, basil/pine nut, rosemary/walnut, etc.
@James in WA:
Sounds right to me.
Pinching depends on determinate or indeterminate, the point in time in the growing season (spring vs. fall), numbers vs. size vs. leaves, and on and on.
Searching for relevant gardening info is quicker for me many times when I include “master gardeners” as a term.
Last year I was able to get folding tomato cages for 25 to 50% off in early summer when a farm supply store figured it was getting late for anyone to be able to use them. In other words, it’s possible to get them cheap before it’s the end of summer.
And bless you James, for feeding the lowliest of creatures, the garden slug.