Category Archives: Garden Progress Photos

2012 Square Foot Garden Tracker

I’m going to try to keep track of what I do in the garden this year.  Seems like the blog is easy to let fall by the wayside.  But if I can log what I’m doing (both right and wrong), maybe I can make some progress next time.

Planting

I’ve rearranged the beds this year.  In the south bed, there are two cherry tomato plants, two eggplants, a pepper, basil, dill, summer squash, lettuce, bush beans and a couple of squares of corn.  I’m late on getting everything in, but it’s all there and should have sufficient time to produce.  I’m going to just keep planting a row of lettuce every other week to month or so throughout the summer, and try to keep what is already growing shocked enough to not bolt.  I planted a summer hearty leaf lettuce.

The north square has more corn, a big boy tomato, strawberries, cucumber, bush bean, and winter squash.  Outside the square I have a zucchini against the porch and cilantro and spicy oregano in pots.

Water and Fertilizer

We’ve had very little rain this year, which is good from the standpoint that I haven’t had to mow much, but bad from the standpoint that if it keeps up, I’ll be watering the garden myself.  I water only when the soil gets dry, to where I can’t feel moisture more than a couple of inches down into the bed when I stick my finger in.  It amounts to watering every four or five days, I suppose.  But the squares with seedlings get it more often, as do the potted plants, which need it every day or two.  Fortunately we’ve had cool weather.

I added lime to the garden last fall to neutralize pH, and then sprayed it with Miracle-Gro this spring.  I’ve also used a fertilized compost.  My plan is to use Miracle-Gro once every week or two for the first month.  This should encourage vigorous leaf and stalk growth, which is my strategy for the early stage.  Then I will switch over to monthly applications of compost/manure.  I don’t want to spray the garden so much that it affects the critters down in the soil, but I want the plants to get a good head start foliage-wise, before letting them focus more of their energy into producing fruit.

South Bed

North Bed

Zucchini

Potted Cilantro & Oregano

Cucumber & Squash Bounty!

Check this out …

Had to harvest a bunch of cucumbers today because the weight was pulling the cage over. There are as many more cukes still growing on the vine as what I picked.

Also picked these three squash, which were ready and gorgeous.  I’m waiting on some special organic fertilizer that is high in calcium to hopefully help correct a deficiency in the zucchini.  The lower leaves are yellowing, and while the plant is enormous, it isn’t producing many fruits.  What fruits it has produced have been yellowing and experiencing some blossom-end rot while on the plant, which sounds like a nutrient problem with the soil.  Hopefully it isn’t too late to correct with some fish fertilizer and lime.  I have another zucchini plant outside the box that’s smaller but should start producing anytime.

Here is a shot of the slings I’m making for the melon … I found some netting online that worked nicely – –

Yellow Squash

Here’s the first yellow squash of the year:

It literally popped up overnight.  Wasn’t there yesterday!  I have four others growing, but this is the first contender.  This plant grew so large so fast that it suddenly fell over under its own weight last week and I had to tie it to the trellis with a plastic bag.  Seemed to do the trick.  The plant loved it and blossomed instantly.

I went ahead and picked it this afternoon.  It was five inches long and two inches in diameter, which is just about perfect.  Don’t want ’em to get too much bigger or they take on different flavors, become tough, and aren’t as good.  I sliced this one, then tossed it (and the blossom) in flower before frying in a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Salt, pepper and ranch dressing made this a real treat.  The squash flower is wonderful after frying (no dressing needed).  It’s considered a delicacy.

Five Weeks of Square Foot Gardening

Time for a few more progress photos.  I couldn’t sleep this morning, so I got up and went out to see what was happening in the garden.  Dew had made this really cool pattern on the outside edge of every leaf in the garden, so I thought it was a good photo op!

Cantaloupe Dew 2

My grapes have started changing color …

Compare these against the ones in the very first post when the garden started a little over a month ago (below) … AMAZING!

Garlic!

Well … my backyard had quite a crop of volunteer garlic this year.  Only I didn’t know that’s what it was.  HAHA  I’ve only lived in this house about three years, and I would see the stalks come up out there in the summer, but assumed they were green onions, which I’m highly sensitive to and cannot eat.

So yesterday I was over at someone’s house and they took me out to their garden to show me their garlic.  I was like “oh, THIS is garlic?”  😉

Well I came home to have another look at mine, and then decided to do some reading on the Internet to find out the best time for harvesting garlic.  Then I went back out to have another look and realized that mine looked like it was ready!  The leaves had turned 2/3 brown and the seed pods were opening.  I went ahead and pulled one, opened a bulb, and lo and behold … perfect, gorgeous cloves.  I nibbled one (just to be sure it really was garlic because I still didn’t trust myself – HA) … perfection!  Some spicy garlic too!

So I pulled about twenty bulbs and hung them to dry downstairs, though I may end up taking them outside in a shady spot.  It’s best to keep the stalks and roots on while it dries, keeping it out of the sun to avoid blanching.

Anyway, looks like my family and I will have at least a six month supply of fresh, home-grown garlic in front of us.  MMMMMM!

I’ll post a pic later –

Mike

Week Three … Movin’ On Up to the Sky!

So I decided that the cukes, the zukes, the eggplant and the melon need to be trellised to encourage them to grow up instead of out … turned out to be a wise decision!  Stuff is growing like crazy … big, broad, gorgeous leaves!  And blossoms all over the place … check it out:

By the way, the snakes are fakes … just trying to keep critters outta my space!

In short, I LOVE Square Foot Gardening!  It’s exactly what I needed to get interested in this terrific hobby again.  The squares are located about ten steps outside my back door (which happens to be three steps from my kitchen), which means that it takes me about 2.4 seconds to get fresh produce from my backyard onto my lunch plate!

The jalapenos were the first to produce (other than the lettuce), and they are ready to harvest already.  I’ve been cutting the cilantro, basil, mint and oregano each day to put in salads and in recipes and such.  The cilantro is wanting to bolt early, which is disappointing, but I’ll grow some more.  It was too late for spinach and it just couldn’t take off, so I’m planting more lettuce and radishes.  As you can see from the pics, I’m going to end up with quite a few cantaloupe, I’m thinking!  The squash and zucchini are trying to take over the planet, which can be expected I suppose.  I’d kind of like to plant more corn too, just judging from how fast this batch has been growing.  The watermelon is really struggling and I don’t know if it will be successful.  Have my doubts.

I’ll post regular updates with what’s going on with each of the veggies here, so check back! 🙂

How Does My Square Foot Garden Grow?

Here’s my spot on the web for tracking the progress of my garden this year.

When I was a kid, I have fond memories of running around my grandad’s ginormous garden each year … helping him weed and water and compost … and of course, EAT!  He always had the most spectacular garden in town.  And he consistently managed to grow some huge veggies.

My first attempt at gardening on my own a few years ago wasn’t nearly as productive.  Yes, I managed to enjoy a few fruits of my small amount of labor.  But since then I’ve learned that the more attention I pay to something, the better the result! … Hmm, isn’t that novel? 🙂

This year I’ve discovered the shear bliss of the Square Foot Gardening method, which is totally up my alley.  Very little weeding, and as many vegetables as I can eat.  Here are some pics of the garden as soon as I installed it.  I planted tomatoes, pole beans and a watermelon plant outside of the squares.

My next post will show where we’re at after just three weeks of growing time and lots of rain!