Saturday, June 30, 2012

And then we weeded...

This was before weeding. I only intended to stop by the garden to harvest some zucchini and maybe a few tomatoes. To my surprise, we got an armful of zucchini and only 2 ripe grape tomatoes.

Since it was difficult to even get to the garden, we did an impromptu weeding session. We each ran down a walkway and pulled out whatever we could.

This is before...

Les Courgettes!

We have zucchini! I mean we really have zucchini! When I visited the garden about 10 days ago (last Wednesday), we had one very small zucchini. After the weekend (Monday), there was a serious thunderstorm that kept me from going to the garden. Then I was out of town again for 3 nights. On Friday we finally went to see how everything was doing...


We have 6! 3 were enormous and 3 were about the size they should be to be picked. I had heard that really large zucchini wouldn't taste good, but surprisingly the one we ate was delicious. We sliced it, baked it, and topped it with marinara sauce.

I love zucchini. My only problem now is that my CSA (community supported agriculture) also gave us zucchini this past week. We're going to have to find a lot of interesting zucchini recipes!

I'm not even sure these pictures fully convey the size of our zucchini!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Webcam Wishes...

We were out of town this past weekend, starting on Friday and got home late on Sunday. And we were exhausted when we got home. Monday night it was pouring, so I didn't visit the garden. Today, I'm leaving for Baltimore and won't be back until late Thursday. I won't see the garden until Friday! As far as watering, it will be fine with the storms we've had and are expecting this week, but I won't see my garden for a whole week! Yikes! A lot can change in a garden in a week...more like 10 days.

I can't wait to check it out Friday afternoon! I expect at least one ripe zucchini and maybe, just maybe a few ripe tomatoes or peppers! Am I being overly optimistic? Naive?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Here's what I see...

As of today, my eggplant are flowering (some of them) and my tomatoes and peppers are flowering and a few fruit are growing, but they're far from ripe. There are going to be a lot of tomatoes. I can already see several bunches of grape tomatoes and a few roma forming. Oh and we finally have a very small squash forming! I hear these things grow quickly.

Check it out!

Also, another great thing about the garden? Last night Morgan and I went to water the garden. We both made a comment that we smelled mint. As we were leaving, I found a patch of mint growing wild near the bench! I ripped some out and brought it home. Now we have mint!

Friday, June 15, 2012


My new garden ornament and 3 inches of rain this week! Morgan treated me to this adorable garden sculpture at Old Westbury Gardens on our anniversary. In general, I'm against ornamentals for the garden, but this item is ornamental and functional. Ooh!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I'm a little surprised that my peppers are the first to show their faces this year. Last year, the peppers were so late that I thought the plants were duds...that was until August when they fully bloomed.

These two are Godfather and Bananarama sweet peppers.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

All in a Day's Work.

Last night, after work, I spent an hour and a half weeding. The process starts with me getting home from work, changing my clothes, packing up my gardening bag, including a water bowl for Healy and a kneeling mat for me for weeding, and walking a little over a mile to the plot. I tie Healy to the bench so she's nearby, give her a bone, and get down in the dirt. After 30 minutes I may have even put in a frantic call to Morgan that went a little like this: "Hi, it's me. If you get home from work, please meet me at the garden to help weed. Im going to be here all night! Please!! Bring beer!"

He didn't actually make it home in time, but I did a hell of a job weeding. Healy even helped by eating some weeds in the walkway. I also watched her dig a hole and literally bury her bone (ok, a dog cookie shaped like a bone). Probably the cutest thing I've ever seen her do. She was filthy afterwards.

Weeding is so helpful not only because you remove plants that might otherwise compete with your vegetable plants, but because it gives you a look at the garden that you maybe otherwise wouldn't get. A really close look! The zucchini is starting to flower! I believe they're male flowers because they didn't have fruit at their base-not yet anyway. Peppers are still fruiting and producing more flowers. The grape tomatoes are flowering and I even saw a tomato forming! I hope everyone likes grape tomatoes. I hope I like picking them....looks like I might be busy picking, cooking, and preserving tomatoes this year.

The eggplant needed the most weeding. Probably because I was responsible for that section last time and did a pretty bad job. Morgan's half was in much better shape. This time I left no weed unturned. I also noticed the eggplant were still being eaten. By the time I got to the last plant I literally saw what was eating them. I can't name it, but they were tiny black beetle-like bugs. I took my "pesticide" (ie, soapy water) and doused those buggers. I ended up doing this three times because I kept finding more. All these weeds and these buggers need to eat eggplant leaves? I also hand removed several of them (the most humane and earth-friendly method). I never thought I'd hand remove insects. I've heard about it, read about it, and always dismissed it, but there I was, picking off tiny beetles in order to save my plants. I probably need to make more frequent inspections. Sigh.

I also picked a head of lettuce that we ate with dinner. Such a treat! Once I pick the rest of the lettuce (4 more heads) I'll have room for beans.

Here's last night's dinner! Bell & Evans chicken breasts, made with rosemary from our garden, swiss chard, grown locally through our CSA (community supported agriculture) share and picked two days earlier, flavored with organic garlic, and I made organic baked sweet potato fries, and a salad picked an hour earlier from our own Bibb lettuce crop.

Not bad looking, right?

Monday, June 4, 2012

My Garden Plan

Here's the diagram of my garden!

You'll notice some space around the green bean teepee (the circle named "green beans"). Right now I have 3 heads of lettuce on each side. These will be done in a few weeks when it gets too hot for lettuce to grow. Lettuce (some types) bolt (flower and go to seed) in the heat. I've already started some bush beans indoors and will fit those in around the teepee so no space is wasted. And then we'll have more beans!

T=tomato with specific heirloom name written next to it
G=grape tomato
R=roma tomato
BP=banana pepper
P=pepper with heirloom name written next to it

I grew everything myself from seed except the heirlooms. Oh, also, as an aside, I've never felt like more of a nerd than when I drew this diagram. But I also never felt more like a gardener either.

*It's not to scale, obviously.

Things are looking good...

My pepper plants are flowering and starting to produce tiny fruit. Like the size of a peanut. But it's a good start, especially for June!

2 or 3 zucchini plants look great! One, not so much. I might pull it to make room for more bush beans.

And the eggplants seem to be rebounding from the infestation or whatever was eating them.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Lovely Morning!

Healy (our dog, aka "the fuzz") and I walked to the garden. I staked the tomatoes, planted a basil plant, weeded a little, and picked some lettuce (see previous post). It was cloudy and I got a little wet from a passing shower, but what a great morning. Just me, my dog, and my garden! I'm starting to see why people say gardening is relaxing.

As for the tomatoes, I think the staking was too late for the grape tomatoes. They're what you might call "spindly" as in curvy and twisty-not standing upright. Hopefully they'll be ok because they'll bear small fruit so they wont topple the plant over. I'm not really sure...

Here's the garden as of today!

Salad Anyone?

Fresh salad! Picked today, eaten today! And it's delicious!