Friday, April 23, 2010

Garden Update

With the warmer Spring weather we've been experiencing, our family has been able to work out in the garden more, setting up tomato cages and planting the transplants.

We've only had one little glitch that caused us to go to Plan B. We were supposed to get a large shipment of compost through a friend who is a landscaping contractor, but that fell through. So instead, hubs bought several large bags of special soil for vegetables, mixing some of it into the ground when he planted the transplants.

Everything's really starting to take off. Here's some of what we've planted:

Peppers, peppers and more peppers. My in-laws bought us several varieties of peppers--spicy, mild and sweet varieties, such as tabasco, cayenne, jalapeno, hot banana, green bell, and more.

My son's Mammoth Sunflowers are also growing. Two of the ones he planted really shot off and got an early start, even though they were planted the same time as others. We started most these out in Jiffy pots then moved them into the soil. The rest were planted right in the soil a couple weeks ago.

Last Fall, we bought 3 different varieties of grapes. We didn't know if they survived the Winter, unti a week or so ago, we saw the tiniest little leaves budding out. It hasn't taken long for these to take off, either!

Our garden was ravaged by bunnies last Spring, one of the many pests (although cute pests, to say the least) to attack our garden. The bunnies ate up several of the green leaf lettuces, and chewed up all the blueberries, plus most of the blueberry bush as well. They finally went away for good after I brushed down the dogs and gave the menfolk a haircut, and put all the fur and hair around the perimeter of the garden. I suppose that I could do that again, but we opted to try out a fake owl to start off with. So far, so good. We've seen a couple bunnies in a neighbor's yard (I know they're eyeballing our garden from a distance) but they haven't actually ventured into our yard yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it continues to work!

Another new addition to this year's garden is potatoes. We planted several red seed potatoes in these 4 blue barrels. The bottoms are cut out of these barrels, and we filled it with good compost. As the plants grow up, we'll lift up the barrels little by little to keep the leaves from falling over. The potato plant will stop growing potatoes when the leaves "fall over" the edge. As long as you can keep the plant growing "up", it will keep producing potatoes, which you can pull out from the bottom of the barrel as you lift it up.

The seed potatoes definitely seem to like their home. We've got quite a lot of little plants growing in each barrel.

In addition to the blueberries, the bunnies also helped themselves to most of last year's strawberry crop. Last year's crop didn't produce a huge number of berries, but holy cow, we have a ton of little white flowers and little green strawberries growing this year! I sure hope that the owl does his job and keeps out the bunnies so we can truly enjoy our strawberry crop this year!

Here's our blueberry bush, full of new little blueberries. It will be awhile before these ripen. Again, keeping our fingers crossed that they'll be able to ripen to maturity before the bunnies devise a way to sneak into our garden! lol

When we planted the blueberry bush last year, we also planted a blackberry bush. It had just started flowering, and when we planted it, all the flowers died off but didn't produce any berries. We pretty much missed the timing. The plant, however, continued to grow. And this year, it's loaded with beautiful white flowers. I'm looking forward to when it produces berries--they'll be great as a topping in some yogurt or for cereal!
Are you growing a garden this year? What are you planting? What are your success stories? Are you going organic? Lots of questions, but feel free to leave a comment and share your gardening story! :)

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