Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Garden Update

I'll plant and water, sow and weed, 
Till not an inch of earth shows brown, 
And take a vow of each small seed 
To grow to greenness and renown: 
And then some day you'll pass my way, 
See gold and crimson, bell and star, 
And catch my garden's soul, and say: 
"How sweet these cottage gardens are!"
- Edith Nesbit, the poem Seed-Time and Harvest 
from the Pomander of Verse, 1895

Now that I got my Murhpy's law rant out of the way, I'm ready to talk about all the wonderful work I did over the weekend.  I'm feeling much better now, almost back to my old self although my back is going to take a little longer to recover.  No worries though, it will recover, it feels better with each passing day.

The bulk of the work during the weekend was transplanting all the tomato seedlings.  I have about 30 of them, 13 went into the ground and the rest was planted into the big containers on the deck. We have a huge deck which receives a ton of sunlight and it would be a shame for all that space to go to waste.  That's why last year I started planting into the containers and filling up all that deck space. 

Tomatoes, sweet yellow pepper and cayenne pepper in containers
I'm not done all of the container work yet.  There are still few to be filled.  I have few leftover brussels sprouts plants, cucumbers and kale to be planted.  I've never grown brussels sprouts in the container but since I have few left over seedlings for which I don't have space in the ground, why not try a container, right?  Gardening is all about experimenting sometimes.

Tomato plants in the containers
I plant a lot of tomatoes, much more than what we will eat during summer but then all the extra I freeze for the winter.  I thought about canning and maybe in the future I'll give canning a try but for now I just freeze them.  They are just as delicious in soups, pasta sauces and sauces in general.  As a matter of fact, since we've been using our own frozen tomatoes, the pasta sauces we make are so much more delicious.  Go figure.

The picture below is of a veggie patch on the side of my house.  It's sectioned in four.  At the very top are tomatoes (10 of them), on the very right broccoli (still very small, hardly visible from distance), on the bottom you can see the red lettuce and on the left which is not quite visible is my herb garden.  Parsley, oregano, rosemary, echinacea, chives, sage and cilantro live here.

Tomatoes, red lettuce and broccoli
Cucumber plants are extremely productive and I plant about 20 of them.  Once again, more than we can eat during summer but then I dill pickle whatever we don't eat.  Last year I managed more than 20 pickle jars.  We are just finishing our last ones.

10 of the cucumber plants are present in the picture below.  There is another bed on the side of the house where I planted another 8 and then several in the containers on the deck.

I did nothing to romaine lettuce this weekend except for some weeding and it's growing so well. Very soon there will be enough for a salad. :D

Romaine Lettuce
Green beans also got transplanted this weekend.  What you see in the picture below is 36 green bean plants.  The more the better.  We all love them here and eat a lot, raw and cooked.  My goal this year is to be able to save a lot for winter.  Last year I saved some but not enough.  This year I'm hoping for more.

Once I plant a green bean, I always put a border around the plant (small planting container with a bottom cut out) to discourage pests such as earwigs.  If earwig problem is particularly bad, as it was couple of years ago, I smear some petroleum jelly around the container edge.  Earwigs hate going through that.  You would be surprised to know how much damage earwigs do.  It's quite astounding. Two years ago they got rid of two rows of carrots I planted.

Green bean plants
There are few more green bean plants I have in the containers and I'm also preparing some space on the side of the house for some yellow beans.  Like I said... the more the better. :D

The picture below shows one of the prime spots in my garden.  Centre top are the green beans, top left are the strawberries, right below them are the brussels sprouts (still small but growing) and right in the centre are my onion soldiers.  The very bottom is where calendulas (they are still tiny), day lilies and some hostas grow as well as couple of blueberry bushes which can hardly be seen because the bunny chew them almost to the ground during winter.  Uh, oh.  They will recover though.  Oh yes, and on the very right, right beside the gazebo I'll plant couple of sunflowers.  They love it there.

I absolutely love this stage of gardening.  It seems like my work never ends these days, there is always something to plant, weed, water etc, but I can hardly call it work because I enjoy it so much. I guess who ever said "do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life" was very right.  I think it was Confucius.



  1. Your garden is absolutely beautiful, I love the way it looks, and I'm so happy you're feeling better.