Garden Update: June 2011 week 2
By Julie Sews - 12:23:00 PM
We purchased the broccoli plants since all but two of our transplants we started from seed died (pictured at the left in the middle). Every yr we plant broccoli directly with no problems but this year we started to late due to the weather and our huge landscaping project of expanding our garden.
All but one of our cucumber transplants died so I bought some cucumber plants (but haven't planted yet since it has been so hot) I guess I should have waited because now some of the cucumber seeds I planted is starting to sprout (pictured at the left) Happy surprise! I hope they live. I so want lots of cucumbers so I can make lots of my cucumber drink this summer! Last two years I haven't been able to grow cucumbers, but the previous year (our first yr gardening) cucumbers were all that grew! The only question is where should I plant the cucumber plants I just bought if my new cucumber plants survive?
In another square of this garden we have kale that is a transplant I grew. The Kale is doing so well. I will definitely plant again. Too bad I didn't plant sooner since they are very tolerant of frost. I love how hardy Kale is great too because you can freeze it. This is our first year planting kale ever.
Corn and Popcorn
Is just starting to sprout. We planted heirloom varieties from Seed Saver's Exchange Blue Jade corn and 2" strawberry corn. I so hope they grow! How fun would it be to serve friends blue corn? This is our first year planting corn ever.
My most successful transplants that I grew from seed were cherry tomatoes (right row), and a hot pepper mix ( Ancho, cayenne, Jalapeno, and hungarian wax) in the middle row of the picture at the left. They are all getting their 2nd leaves and seem to be doing well 1 week after transplanting. To the left are the tomato plants I purchased to replace transplants that died. Half of my Swiss chard transplants have made it and lettuce is just starting to sprout (or is it a weed that's the problem with direct seeding). I should have grew more bell pepper transplants, most of them grew just fine, I just didn't have much room in the greenhouse since our garden had a late start this year. I couldn't plant the cold season transplants on time, which means there wasn't room for the warm season plants. So I have a few transplants I grew from seed that are doing fine and I purchased 7 more from a nursery. This year we are being good gardeners and putting our peppers in cages, last year we only tied them to a stick, which worked up until about August. I would not do that again.
Lettuce in Containers
self watering 5 gallon bucket garden in our only sunny spot of our backyard that happens to be paved, but time was short this season, so I have scaled back much of my plans. Since I was working like a mad women to get our garden completed in time to plant, I barely had enough time to drill some holes in plastic containers throw some rocks in the bottom and make a potting mix out of compost, peat moss, and perlite, and plant my lettuce transplants from our green house, let alone trying to learn how to make a self watering container. Hopefully some time this summer I will for a fall crop maybe. That would be nice to have all ready for next spring since I'm always so busy then.
Lettuce is doing well in the containers so far. We lost a few of our transplants we started in the green house due to a squirrel digging in it the day after we put it outside. we planted more seeds in that one so we'll see if they grow. We used a friends old tidy cat containers (througly washed of course). While I'm sure the containers are probably fine, I am thinking i should seek out some food grade containers for the future or perhaps make a planter out of cedar wood. I know many people say to ask restaurants so I tried asking a Burger king for any extra containers but were told they never had any. So that didn't make me feel like asking anywhere else. I am leaning towards making some wooden boxes and avoiding plastic all together in the future.
My Tea Garden
I purchased a Stevia plant and plan to keep it in a container since it's zone 11 and can not tolerate temps below 40 degrees I definitely didn't want to plant it in the garden. I am so excited to add it to teas. Stevia is a herb that is used as a no cal all natural sweetener. You know it's truly natural if you can pick it off a plant you grow yourself....
I plan to pant a lot of mint in containers (since they are invasive) mine worked great last year, even after I brought it in over the winter, only I forgot to put it back outside in the spring and I believe it has since died. I plan to cut back the existing plant and reseed in the same container and plant a few more containers, along with lemon balm (is invasive and hardy to zone 5), and lemon grass (Perennial zones 9-10).
I still have to finish the brick on our front existing bed we extended this year, amend our clay soil and plant my herbs. I plan to plant cat nip, chamomile, and chives there. I'm going for a Perennial and self seeding pretty herbs and flowers kind of thing there. I can use chamomile, and cat nip for tea.
Click Here to read How to Grow a Tea Garden in the Midwest.
Our Rhubarb and onions are doing well. I plan to harvest some Rhubarb and make a strawberry rhubarb crisp soon. I also plan to extend out this bed and plant asparagus. I know it's pretty late for that but it's been a late year.
Our raspberries are already bigger than last year (in the spring) and are starting to flower and turn to berries. Can't wait. I just learned yesterday that berry seeds (along with other nuts and veggies) have cancer killing substances in it. I will write a blog post on that soon. So I am even more excited for berries now!
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