July 29, 2008

Growing Challenge Update #5

Living in a new city, posting on her brand new blog, my lovely sister has (finally) started up her Growing Challenge again. Hooray! Of course that means that I need to update everyone on how our garden grows...

This year, I ordered a majority of my seeds from
Baker Creek Seeds. They came so highly recommended from many of you that for some reason (duh!) I never looked to see where they're located. Last week the lightbulb came on and I realized that they're here in Missouri, just an hour or two away by car. I wonder if that's why the freebie seeds they tucked into my order have worked out so well in our little garden. This lemon cucumber - apparently named for the shape and color, NOT for the flavor - has taken over the strings and poles originally slated for use by the pole beans we planted earlier in the year. The beans never made it, but it's apparently a great location for the cucumber. It's just starting to flower now, so we may have tiny little fruits by the time we get back from vacation next week!

I hate to admit this, but I don't actually know the variety names of all of our tomato plants. The three varieties I planted from seed all died, so we bought three organic ones from the farmer's market. Those just didn't seem to grow at all for quite some time, so we bought two more from the Home Depot (I know, I know, but I really wanted tomatoes this year and everyone else had stopped selling plants!). Well, now all five are doing relatively well, though the Home Depot hybrids are doing better than the farmers' market varieties. I just picked our first tomato of the season this morning, and we have at least a few dozen little green tomatoes on several of the plants now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll have more to pick when we get back.

Our tomatillo is essentially an ornamental this year, since apparently they can't self-pollinate and need a "special friend" nearby to fertilize the flowers to produce fruit. Ah, the lessons we learn. The green pepper plants are pretty and all, but haven't flowered and don't seem to be growing at all. For now, they'll just sit tucked behind the cucumbers until it's time to pull out all the plants at the end of the summer.

Squash would be next. We had a little incident with our power company this week, as they came out to trim limbs in the easement along our back property line and dropped a few limbs directly on the raised planting bed. What had been the healthiest plant (table queen, an acorn squash) is now not doing so well, but the others (zucchini, yellow squash) have more than made up for it.

In a last ditch effort to have home-grown green beans this year, I planted a new round of bush beans last weekend. Hopefully they'll be up and growing by the time we get back. If not, we'll keep eating the beans that our CCSA provides.

I think that's it for now. I'll keep you posted on any new developments after we get back next week. Photos will also follow...

No comments: