Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Grand Experiment

I have a black thumb. I tend to either kill my plants from over watering and only by luck last year was I able to grow tomatoes, basil and egg plant in my front garden. So why did I want to try a bigger vegetable garden this year...and plant it at the end of June? I am not sure but Chris was actually on board with the idea and had the idea of doing more of a container garden then digging up our grass.

So one day last month, we decided to take on this project. The good thing about it was that we got all the vegetable plants on sale because we planted it so late. The bad thing? We spent A LOT of money on soil!! According to my husband's research, this is a "one time" expense and we just add stuff to the soil to bring the nutrients back next year.

We added cloth to the bottom so that we wouldn't have to weed. Wish me luck that it works because weeding is really not my thing.

We really wanted to get soil especially for a container garden but when you plant things at the last minute, you don't find what you want. How do I know? We went to FIVE stores to search for it but to no avail. Note to self: if we decide to do more containers next year, (and it is looking good for that) plant the stuff earlier!!

Here is what it looked like after planting. All you experienced gardeners will tell me I planted too much and planted it too close together. Do you remember I said in the beginning I haven't a clue at what I am doing?

Here is what things look like as of the beginning of this week. I let this cucumber grow and picked it today!! I decided to put cages on my pickling cucumbers because they were overtaking the garden. I know, this is not a common thing. However, at the advice of my friend Jen who has a PHENOMENAL veggie garden, I used tomato cages to prop the pickling cucumbers up and will see what happens. She says she does this and gets bumper crops of this type of cucumber every year. If it is successful, I hope to try making pickles with Charlotte this fall.

I planted my eggplant in a pot because I didn't have room in the garden. I had to plant Japanese eggplant because the store where I purchased the plants didn't have the Italian plants. I picked two today and am hoping they taste good. I love a good eggplant dish!!

We planted three kinds of tomatoes-cherry, beef steak and plum. They seem to be growing but I noticed today that the leaves at the bottom of two are a bit yellow. We have gotten a lot of rain and I am not sure the plants are loving it. We had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes last year and I am hoping that it turns out well. Again, I know if I planted these earlier I would have some to taste already!!

Last but not least, here is my zucchini. When I planted the garden originally, I thought I had one zucchini and one yellow squash plant but they were mislabeled. Instead I have two zucchini plants. Good thing we like zucchini!! I picked two out of the garden this week. One zucchini was HUGE and had large seeds. I know now to pick them when they are a bit smaller. They tend to taste better.

So far I am enjoying watching everything grow. I intend to start all my veggies from seed next year with a grow light or on my new garden window that I am getting when we redo my kitchen. (That is hopefully happening soon but that is another post!!) Chris and I also discussed buying a few more containers and cutting down some trees to shed more light in the backyard. This is coming from a man who doesn't really even like vegetables!!

Happy Saturday!!