Friday, May 23, 2014

Garden Update: May 23

 The first blossom on the straightneck squash appeared today. Actually two appeared. They may or may not get pollinated, we'll have to wait and see. I did see a bumblebee yesterday, but not many insects have visited our garden, so far.
It's nice and cool in the morning and beastly hot in the afternoon. No wonder everything is growing so fast. Lots of water, good soil, with good drainage and ample sun make a perfect environment for the plants to thrive.

Yesterday the first cucumber blossom opened and little baby cukes are formed. The bush still has tendrils, even tho it won't climb very far out of the tub, I see it has secured that watering stick already.

The first Big Bertha pepper has formed! I neglected to record its blossom, since I expected it to fall off, but no. Here is the resulting fruit. woowoo. The pepper plants are so wonderfully robust, and it makes me laugh to think I tried planting peppers on the mountain so often with awful results. Heat and sun are totally the reason these are doing so well.

Beets and rutabaga, both grown from seed are jumping up and sayin' Howdy! I must thin those beet greens for salad. In front of the rutabaga are newly planted sprouts, since I had the space, I thought I would do a second crop. They'll soon catch up. The seeds poked up two days after planting.

At the end of that tub is the Dahlia patch, with one rutabaga which musta wandered over when it was just a seed. I have never grown the big variety of dahlia before, so I may have to get tomato cages to support these big girls. 
The green tub holds hyacinth bean vines, nasturtiums and some basil too small to see. We have a trellis to hang for the vines to grow up.

From seed: cilantro, parsley, and chives. I tossed in cilantro wherever there was space, and will try to harvest them by cutting, since I've read that they will come back if cut.

I believe we will have basil in something this weekend, as it is ready for its first cutting. I have it growing everywhere, and more seeds and starters to come. New leaves have formed in the axils and that means I can cut the tops off and make a bushier plant. Fresh mozzarella is in the fridge.
 May 2nd.The same tub 21 days later.

The fab five figs. I'm counting on them to provide shade with their big leaves in a few years. And figs too.

Now that the garden is growing, it looks less industrial and more like a real garden.

Watermelons in the wading pool seem happy, and they are covering the chronic low spot in the yard. Tomatoes got moved to a more sunny location and topped off with compost, as I felt they looked spindly. I see a bit of improvement in their color daily.

Tony inspects along with me. So far no tomato hornworms, Yay!!!

Sun Sugar cherry tomatoes in a nice cluster.
Hollyhocks - by Delightfully Manic
I like to presprout some seeds, like these hollyhocks, before putting them in the soil. The white root tells me they are excited to grow, so in they go. I figure, if you have a fence, you need hollyhocks. They are biennials, but reseed willingly and they will add much color and height to the garden in coming years.
Where's Chumley in all these garden pictures? In bed. He likes to sleep in. Tony gets up and follows me around every morning. Notice the tomato cages in that tub on the left? Cantaloupe will be supported by those. I hope. And there is one blue ceramic pot that remains unfilled. I am hoping to get a special hydrangea for it. Haven't found it yet, maybe Pinky Winky...
Pinky Winky® - Hardy Hydrangea - Hydrangea paniculata Of course, I am waiting for the sales.
Dave continues to bring in mulch in bags, since we no longer have our trailer. We have a very close spot with free mulch, so he sometimes goes twice a day, or night as it turns out. He's a very busy guy, playing golf every day. I think he has adapted nicely to our new place. I certainly have.


  1. Ah, in every way a "real garden" and quite beautiful and inspiring. I enjoy your photos and updates. Barbara

  2. Anonymous11:06 AM

    I am wondering if the tubs will be big enough to hold the fig trees once they grow? How much space do you need for the roots?

  3. Wondering if you happen to follow Terry Grant's blog 'And Sew it Goes." Serendipitously, she posted a picture yesterday of their fig tree with "knobs" that will be figs. NOT how I would have expected them to grow!. Such an education from quilters.

  4. Anonymous5:25 PM

    on the topic of pollinators. what are your neighbour's gardens like? if there is sparse food for them in the neighbourhood in general, they may take some time to find you. Maybe encourage a bunch of people to make something besides lawns with insecticides and fertilizers and roundup to keep it golf course appearance. That can kill off a lot of your benificials.
    Nina M.

  5. The speed with which everything is growing is STUNNING -- so great to the progress pics!

  6. Anonymous8:11 PM

    Your garden looks wonderful! The leaves on the fig trees are actually beautiful, I bet you could work those into a quilt. Julie

  7. I, too, am wondering if the figs will have room for the roots. I've heard that roots look very much like the tops of trees, only down in the ground. If you cut the bottom of the tubs out that would allow the sap root to go down into the ground. Otherwise they might get root-bound very soon or fall over in the wind.

  8. I definitely look forward to seeing how your figs fare. Here in Hawaii it is difficult to plant in the ground (most of my hard is Lava). I might try some container figs.

  9. Anonymous7:46 PM

    I was inspired by your large container garden so I purchased two smaller containers for my vegetables because we have the same type of soil as you and I never thought I could grow vegetables. I live in the St. Louis area and we are a couple of weeks behind you but I'm getting there. I have never planted vegetables before so I have my fingers crossed for tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers and beets along with a few herbs. Everything is looking good so far. Thanks for your inspiring pictures.

  10. Those are watermelons? Wow! I can’t wait to see how big they'll be! It seems you’ll have plenty of crops to harvest in due time. That’s amazing! You’re making your garden look fantastic, and growing your own food at the same time. Cheers to that!

    Gwendolyn Reyes @ Tapestry, NJ

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