Tuesday, July 27, 2010

An Update on the Garden

This being only my second attempt at gardening, I think that it's going quite well. In a previous post on gardening I listed what I was going to plant. Almost everything grew like weeds.

The photos were taken on May 25 and June 27.

I did have a couple of problems though. Bell pepper, corn and cucumber seeds never sprouted. And I bought bell pepper and basil plants, but the things aren't growing, though the pepper plants are creating vegetables.

I did see a few slugs when I first planted but stopped watering the plants after the sun went down. The little creatures then went elsewhere.

For fertilizer I've been using a liquid concentrate made from seaweed and rabbit poo (thanks to our backyard rabbit Bluebell, whom I gladly share vegetables with).

I had two surprises this year. The first is that if you let microgreens grow, they don't stay so micro. (Duh.) I found this out because I planted too much lettuce, microgreens and chard. We couldn't eat it, or use it in smoothies, fast enough. I've given bags of it to neighbors, Lorraine and Brandon at the gym and the folks at work.

The second surprise is that I bought a seed packet containing 'mixed microgreens'. This must mean 'left over seeds; we don't know what they are since we won't list them on the packet'. Since cutting microgreens was more difficult than grabbing some lettuce, I let the stuff grow. We were happily surprised with unplanned broccoli rabe, bok choy, beets and radishes.

The only plants that died were the mail order heirloom tomatoes. Those tomatoes run $6 to $8 lb in the store so I was excited about these. They arrived wilted, small and really quite sad looking. I did what the instructions suggested to revive them, but they didn't make it. I replaced them with regular local plants and next year will only buy locally.

What I've learned so far:

Plant less lettuce. It seems to grow from seed easily and very quickly.

Do more research on what to plant when. As I plant new things I'm paying more attention to the season it grows best in. My mache' lettuce wilts in the heat but the greenleaf and redleaf lettuce do fine.