Sunday, May 19, 2013

I'm feeling much better, thank you...A Garden Update in Pictures

Well it's hard to know where to begin when things start to take off.    So let's arbitrarily start with the herbs.  Not only are we having a nice response from the larger plants that we bought at Home Depot but the ones I started from seed in the Jiffy Pots are coming along as well.  First up, as I'm sure you know, is basil.  Let's keep our fingers crossed for this very nice beginning.  Things like to chew on basil and it doesn't take much for the edges to brown so we'll be extra nice to these guys.  In the picture below, you see mostly thyme around the top and right edge but the small sprigs in the front are tarragon (one of my favorite herbs, by the way).  Very excited about those little babies.
As we continue down the page, our hardy crew from last year's herb garden makes a grand appearance.  I've already had to cut that beautiful sage bush back and the rosemary is almost ready for kitchen use.  The sage was trying to bloom.  I cut back all of those tops so it didn't go to seed and get leggy.  See how lush it is!?  Be sure to always cut back your herbs when they start wanting to grow flowers (unless you're at the end of the growing season when they'll re-seed themselves).  If you stay on top of that,  you will have big, bushy plants all summer and you'll never have to buy any of those ridiculously expensive boxes of herbs at the grocery.
I know, I'm just a little partial to my sage so had to throw in another picture of him...just love that guy.  It really has more to do with amazement than anything else.  I would never have dreamed that he would have bounced back after I allowed him to dry out and be thirsty all last summer.  Your plants can really prove you wrong so try not to give up on them!  To the left of the mighty sage bush is my new batch of oregano.
It is also looking great and is one of those perennials that will keep coming back, year after year.  I have high hopes that it will outdo the sage!  So that accounts for our herbs at this point although my older daughter sent me this for Mother's Day...a bag of seed bombs.  I'm pretty interested to see what happens.  It said just to throw them on the ground!  I confess that I felt compelled to plant them.  I will definitely let you know if I end up with anything.

Now on to the garden proper...Positive reports all around.
The sugar snap peas are making their way up the trellises so we should have some pods to show you next time.   Then, the little pumpkin patch is also happy.  It may be too happy so I may be baking a lot of pumpkin pies this Thanksgiving and Christmas.  In my defense, I couldn't find any pie pumpkins in November last year so had to resort to the canned pumpkin which makes a respectable pie but not as good as freshly roasted.  However, this may be one of those "be careful what you wish for" situations.  What do you think? 
Following on the heels of the pumpkin patch are the peppers and the eggplant (peppers on the left and eggplant on the upper right bed in the picture on the left.  If you look really closely, you can see some of the pepper plants that I started from seed.   The tomatoes are coming along but as you can tell I'm not as excited about them as I was last year but they are doing better.  I don't know if there were cutworms but, Joe, I put paper collars around everybody and there hasn't been any additional stem loss but I also put down blood meal as suggested on one of the Internet sites as a way to get rid of squirrels.
Interestingly enough, when it rains and washes away the blood meal, there is some digging until I add more blood meal.  So we will be continuing with the blood meal program and see if it keeps working.

Finally, here are the seeds that we put in the ground two weeks ago.  The only bad thing is...I can't remember what I planted where!  OOPS!  With the exception of the radishes that are in a bed by themselves next to the sugar snap peas.  I can tell you that there is arugula, bok choy and beets, for sure and there may be one or two other things but...oh well.  So here is what is on my "to do" list for the coming week or two.  Happily, we're getting lots of rain so that's much better than last year but it puts a damper (so to speak) on the amount of work I get done in the garden.  I spent a bit of time last week doing some weeding.  It's the Bermuda grass that is a pain but if you stay on top of it...not so bad.  I need to thin out the rows to allow the best plants, you know, survival of the fittest, to mature.  Then to hopefully help the tomatoes along, I will be doing some feeding with the Miracle Gro sprayer thingy.  So if you're following my plan with your garden..
  • Thin your plant rows
  • Weed between your plants (a little everyday then it's not so bad)
  • Feed when you think they could be doing better (be careful with this, though, or you'll burn them up)
Finally, last wild rose bush outside the back door.  I don't do anything to it!  HAHA!

And as always...

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