17 July 2008


I realized that it's been quite a while since my last garden update. And even that was kind of a sad one. As much as I'm loving polaroid (which is a whole different story in itself), it wasn't really the best method for documenting garden progress. Regardless, things have progressed, and it's time to share that progress. First, a disclaimer, I need to weed. Okay, there, I said it. I try to be good about it (which I generally am), but it's been so freaking hot, plus it just rained today so everything's going nuts. Right, now we move on.

First, here is my whole garden plot. Click on the photo for specifics on what's planted where.

The final cast of characters here (this is just my community garden plot- there's a bit more at my house) includes: zucchini, summer squash, golden beets, carrots, salad greens, bell peppers, rainbow chard, spinach (which is doing some odd things right now, including not growing...), chives, and three kinds of tomatoes. There was also a bit of asparagus and some strawberries earlier in the season. In my backyard, I've got two kinds of beans and a little herb patch. Oh, and the raspberries (this is for a different post, as these raspberries are their own beast).

(first zucchini- picked today and eaten for dinner)

Things got off to an interesting start with the garden this year (keeping in mind that this is only my second year having a garden at all). I thought I would be really on top of things and start lots of seeds super early. This was only mildly successful. The tomatoes mostly seemed to do well. But again, I had issues once I moved them outside. I built them little wind protectors out of old gallon plastic jugs (just cut off the top and bottom and stuck it into the soil around each plant). The chard that I started early did okay- I had about five plants, but only three survived the transplant. Similarly, I had four jalapeno peppers, none of which survived the move outdoors. Also- the broccoli freaked out and grew a really long stem and definitely looked wrong when I planted them outside...those lasted about a week.

(rainbow chard)

I'm still going back and forth on the seed starting thing. I think if I'm going to do it again next year, I'll have to set up more of an indoor growing system and really try to do a better job so that the plants have an earlier start and are taller than 2" when I move them outside (as was the case with the peppers). We'll see where I'm at next March.

(golden california wonder peppers)

I also tried to plant kale, twice. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, no sprouts ever came up. I have no idea what happened, but that was bizarre. There were a couple of things I wanted to plant this year that I didn't get around to investigating (aside from the things that I tried that didn't work out). These were: cucumber, onions, garlic, potatoes, and melon. I'll have to work on those, at least a couple of them, for next year.
(roma tomato beginnings)

This year's garden is a bit behind last year's, but I think that is mostly attributable to the weather. We haven't had much rain, and it was pretty cool for a while (not that I'm complaining about that part!). I looked back in the archives and realized that last year I harvested my first zucchini on July 4. This year, the first zucchini (of many many more to come) was harvested just this afternoon.

(first golden beet, not quite ready)

I also feel like last year, I was so nervous about how everything would go, and grow, that I was super attentive to everything. I weeded much more often (and much more thoroughly) than I am this year as well. I think the most valuable thing I learned last year was that there's only so much I can control. I can water, and thin out, and weed, but no matter what I do, the plants will grow as they will. They will produce their fruits. And I will eat them as they are ready.

(chive blossoms)


  1. i have been planning a garden update too. yours is nice and big. we just have a few vegetables tucked into the flower beds by the front door. xo

  2. You have so many yummy things growing in your garden. This is my first year gardening all on my own and even though I just have planters with veggies I can relate to some of your first year in gardening feelings. Hopefully next year my second year garden will look more like yours!

  3. what a tasteful, big garden you have. I think you'd really enjoy fran sorin's digging deep . she has a wonderful chapter entitled acceptance , in which she reminds the reader that we're not always in control when gardening. I'm reminding of it by what you said. the chapter really helped me get though the carrots we lost to rabbits (still have ONE left, haha). how refreshing it is to watch this process anyhow, no matter the outcome. it's life, and it's sweet.

  4. so glad you were able to have your questions answered! ben and I are trying to get signed up for a master gardening course at the university. it'll begin in the fall and carry yo to the start of next year's planting season. we're waiting to hear if it's too full already.

    I happened to read that broccoli likes cool soil, and decided to keep it for a fall crop, but wouldn't have known otherwise - I'm a complete first-timer. at least you can still look forward to it, right? that'll be nice and delicious.