Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Trials and Triumphs in the Garden

Time for another garden update.  My first blog post was filled with all the hope and promise that a new season of gardening brings.  My pepper seeds were planted and my basement setup was ready to give them a good home.  Well, sometimes our best laid plans go to hell.  The peppers did poorly.  Very poorly.  I'm not sure what the issue was as the environment seemed identical to previous years but they didn't thrive.  I'm planning on culling the few remain sad sacks.

I have failed you my friends.  Forgive me!

A few weeks later I started my tomato seedlings.  I had better success with them than the peppers but they still haven't done great.  Unlike the peppers I'm hopefully I'll be able to transplant a few of 'em and get them in the garden.  Perhaps the lamps in the shop lights I've used for the last few seasons have finally started to diminish.  I think I'll replace them in the off season.

Tomatoes are faring better - but not by much.

Reinforcements have arrived!

With a poor showing with the homegrown stuff, I went to the URI East Farm festival this past weekend and loaded up with some of their awesome heirlooms.  I replaced all my dead hot peppers with theirs - habaneros, jalapeno and a chocolate cayenne.  I got some good tomato strains too - purple cherokee, chocolate cherry, sun gold.

Outside in the vegetable garden things are happening.  The garlic has been up for a while in the center bed and the sugar snap peas are starting to climb.  I had planted onions and broccoli next to the peas but those seedlings all got eaten so I've replaced them with brussel sprouts (at my wife's request.)  This was a good call as we both have really come to enjoy brussel sprouts over the last year.  If the seeds don't pan out, I'll be getting some transplants somewhere 'cause we're growing sprouts one way or another this year.

Garlic on the left / Snap peas on the right

Squash and zucchini bed

I rototilled one of the beds this past weekend, added soil amendments and planted zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers.  Lots of cucumbers.  Every year I state that I'm going to can 'em and make pickles and it never happens.  This year will be different.  I mean it!

 I also built a second raised bed in the back of the garden.  I've had the materials since last fall and finally got it done.  Soil is a mix of peat moss, hummus and dirt from a pile that we had delivered years ago.  The pile's become a weed factory but I scrape the weeds off the top and scoop the sweet clean dirt below.  Amanda questions this approach but I did the same thing with the garlic bed and weeds haven't been an issue there.  I have to add a bit more soil to this bed and then it'll be ready to welcome the peppers and some tomatoes.

New bed - new possibilities

Finally in the front of the house I've got sunflowers coming up.  I had a great batch of 'em here a few years ago but I totally spaced on planting them last year.  Behind them is my Foxglove Armada.  I started a few of these beautiful biannuals from seed a couple years ago and now they reseed and have really taken over this side bed.  Amanda hates them because now they're coming up everywhere but I think this corner will look really nice once they're blooming.

There's a half-assed net over the sunflowers to keep the birds out.

That's all for now.  Stay tuned for my next post when I detail how I managed to kill off half the stuff I just showed you.

1 comment:

  1. Plant seeds. Sings songs. Don't be a dick. Who needs the "10 Commandments" with three simple, easy to remember rules like these?