Saturday, August 30, 2008

Each day, I'm able to harvest enough pole beans for a side dish with dinner and also freeze enough for later. The pickling cucumbers are starting to come strong, but I have to admit I forgot we planted the pickling cucumbers next to the regular cucumbers. This one got quite large before I realized what was happening.

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Learning in Lakewood

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Green Tomatoes

We have 14 tomato plants drooping with tomatoes, but not one has given up a ripe tomato, yet. Gardening has been such a learning process.

This week, we had family come by for a visit. While here, mom walked through the garden, checking out every single plant. She expressed her suprise to my hubby at how well the garden is doing since I have no previous experience with gardening. The tomatoes aren't ready, but I was able to share some of our cucumbers with her.
I don't know how much longer these tomatoes need until they ripen, but I check several times a day. As if a major change will occur between the morning and afternoon.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The corn and pole beans have taken off. Actually, the pole beans are growing at a much faster rate than the corn causing some problems.

The beans are taking down the corn!

The pole beans have grown so tall, with no where to go, that they stretch over to other vines or corn stalks. The multiple beans vines get together and pull over stalks. I've added some large poles and twine to give the corn stalks some relief. I'm not sure if I'll plant them together again next year.

I had my doubts about the success of the corn, but ears of corn have started to pop out on several of the stalks. Of course, progress reports will continue. ;-)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Growing Potatoes in Tires -- 7 days later

When I started my garden, my mother suggested that I grow potatoes. Even though this is my first attempt at vegetable gardening myself, I have memories of helping my parents at their attempt to grow potatoes in a large plot of land a family friend let them use.
If my memory serves me correctly, it was unsuccessful. I only remember turning over some very dry soil. Actually my parents were doing the real work, while my younger brother and I explored the huge property. I remember the area was large, it took up a lot of garden space, maybe 50'x50'. What I don't remember is ever returning to check on the potatoes or reaping the rewards of a harvest.

So, at first, I quickly dismissed the idea of growing potatoes in my suburban backyard because of the space requirement. After a little bit of reading, however, I found out that trash cans and tires are being used by many suburban gardeners to grow potatoes in a small space.
Everything you have heard or read about potatoes growing in any soil condition is true. I have potatoes sprouting in my vermicomposting bin! We dug up some hedges in the yard, and I tossed the dirt and grass from that into a tire, then waited.

It didn't take long to see results. July 1, I noticed a bit of green in the tire, but almost dismissed it as a fallen leaf or some garden weed I had through in there. The picture was taken the next day, July 2. That plant seems to grow right every time I blink. Imagine how fast it was growing each day to look like this seven days later. Amazing.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

2nd Raised Bed -- Its Transformation

This second bed is located on the NW corner of the yard. Maybe I was just tired after preparing the first bed, but it was much harder to turn over the soil in this second bed. This could have been the neglected bed, but I'm so thankful the previous owners even put it in!

After an unusually wet spring, here in Washington, I began to question if I should have planted the 30 ears of corn. They look like this, not growing a single inch, for at least two weeks. Actually, everything planted in this bed seemed on hold; the lemon cucumbers (far end by the wood trellis), loose leaf lettuce, pole beans, peas, radish, zucchini, and the pumpkin (the closest little plant in the picture). This is also the bed we ended up planted the seeds that were soaked. Making it the Surprise Garden.

When the sun finally came out, and the temperatures soared, I noticed immediate changes.

These pictures were taken a week ago, but show the growth in this bed.

The lemon cucumbers, zucchini, sweet peas (that have been moved and trellised into the first bed), and pole beans.

First Bed -- Seeing Results

I was worried that I would do all the work it takes to start a vegetable garden, but nothing would grow. Thankfully, everything planted is growing quite well, especially for this first time gardener! The radishes are keeping us busy. So far, I have planted three packages. Nothing like a first timer to get overly excited about a seed packet. No, I didn't plant them all at once, but every two days or so, for several weeks, I would stick a few radish seeds in the ground. So much so, that I almost named this blog Seeds in My Pocket or Radish Seeds in My Pocket.

My youngest daughter, who is 18 months old, checks the garden with me every day. Ok, we check several times each day. She enjoys looking for results as much as I do. One of her first stops is at the bell peppers. There was so much excitement about the three bell peppers growing. She must have been a little too excited because I turned my back, and she handed me one!! Ooooops. Well, I could look forward to the other 8 that we flowering. Nope. She yanked everyone of them as well. So, now I have to guard the two bell peppers that are left.

The sweet peas started blooming a few days ago, and we have a few peas to pick.

Only have one tomato so far, but it receives plenty of attention from my little girl.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

1st Raised Bed -- the transformation

This is one of the raised beds. The first picture is after I had turned over the soil, but before cleaning out the blackberry bushes, crawling ivy, and rhoddie bushes. The previous owners must have been very busy because the two raised beds were a mess.

May 19th

June 7th

July 2nd

It has 6 tomato plants, 2 bell pepper plants, 2 hot pepper plants, the teepee has 16 pole beans planted around it, sweet peas, carrots, cucumber, two types of radish, and herbs... cilantro, parsley, rosemary, basil chives, sweet majoram,oregano, and fava beans. Plus, potatoes in the tires.