BEGIN Garden Update | Corina's Corner

Garden Update

8.25.2014
I've been wanting to do a little garden update for a while now, so here we go! If you look back at my original garden post (here) you will see that because this is our first real year with a garden, we wanted to plant a bunch of different things. On our original list was asparagus, basil, beans, broccoli, carrots, cilantro, corn, cucumbers, garlic, onions, oregano, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, strawberries, tomatillo, tomatoes, and watermelon. Whew! That is an exhausting list, but we wanted to try a wide variety to see which ones we really liked. Next year we're planning on narrowing down our selection a bit. Here's what's worked and what hasn't this year so far:



Strawberries - Our strawberries have been phenomenal! When we first planted them, I was a bit worried but as the season has progressed, I have just been more and more impressed. Our plants have really thickened up and we get about a bowlful of berries twice a week. It is so fun to go out and pick strawberries and they are a delicious treat.



Tomatoes - Our tomatoes haven't been the best this year. They have been very average. We are getting some but with the amount of plants we planted, we had hoped for more. We're not sure what is causing our problems, but we have a feeling our tomatoes are getting eaten by deer, and we're not exactly sure how to stop them. Oh deer! We planted Abe Lincoln's, Beefsteak, cherries (in a few different colors), romas, and one goliath.



Peppers - The pepper plants have just recently started to produce. They took forever it seemed like, but now that they are, we're frequently getting a fare amount. This year we planted bell peppers (in a few different colors, but have yet to see the colors. I don't think we're patient enough...), banana peppers (which have been super yummy!), and jalapeños.



Cucumber - These have been super fun. I love walking out to the garden and seeing how big the cucumbers are getting. We are growing them on the same trellis that the peas were on (the peas have all been pulled out now). They are really delicious. They have a great crunch and are sufficiently juicy. We only planted 2 and that seems to be the perfect amount for us.



Carrots - Growing carrots has been SO fun. Pulling those things out of the ground is a total (garden) thrill. You have no idea how they are doing and then, wham! A good looking carrot! We definitely want to try carrots again next year. We planted two varieties: long and thin and short and thick. They all seem to be doing pretty well. One thing that was pretty funny for us about the carrots this year, was that we planted them from seeds (like you have to do with carrots) and we weren't sure how well the seeds would do, so we ended up putting a few extra seeds in each hole. Well almost all of them grew! So we had some MAJOR thinning out to do right at the beginning because like 4 or 5+ carrots were growing out of each hole.



Watermelon - Watermelon, like some of our other plants has taken forever to grow. We don't have any melons yet, but the plant has really taken off in the last few weeks and is looking really healthy. I'm not sure if we will end up getting any watermelons this year (I'm not sure how long they take to grow) but I think we'd still like to try these again next year, because they still sound so fun to me.

Onions - We planted way too many onions this year, and ended up having to really thin them out (very similar experience to our carrots), but since we thinned them out they have been growing great. We planted both yellow and red onions. I'm excited to see how big they get. Right now they are about the size of golfballs.



Pumpkins - They have also taken forever to grow, but we are finally seeing some little pumpkins out there. Hopefully we'll have some good sized one(s) (I'd be happy with just one) by Halloween for carving. These were mostly just for fun.



Basil - Our basil has been doing awesome. We planted 5 this year and we can't decide if that's too many or not, but we ALWAYS have fresh basil, which is really fun. We have made a tradition of making fresh bruschetta every Sunday after church. It is wonderful.

Potatoes - Only about 5 of the 15 we planted actually grew which was a bummer, and then on top of that we didn't really plant them in the best way (next year I was to plant them in a bit of a trench, so they're easier to mound). Because of this we weren't sure if any of the plants were actually still alive, so I dug one up last week and found 3 potatoes (I was just digging with my hands and we think there still might be a few more out there)!

Peas - We loved the peas this year but we didn't plant nearly enough! We planted 24 plants which we thought was a ton, but it turns out we need like 3x that many (or maybe more!). With the amount that we did plant, we ended up getting about 2 or 3 good bunches. I'm definitely excited to try these again next year. I hope we can get enough to snack on for a few weeks and even some to freeze and enjoy throughout the year.

Beans - Like the peas, these were very tasty, but we didn't plant nearly enough. One of our neighbors plants a huge area of his garden (about 15ft by 10ft) with peas and then rips them out to harvest them and then plants the whole area with beans after. I think we want to try something like that next year.

Apples - These aren't technically in our garden but they are in our backyard, so I thought I'd include an apple update too. We didn't have time to prune the apple tree this year (because of when we bought the house), and we also didn't spray the tree. We wanted to see if we really needed to spray or not and it turns out we definitely do. Most of our apples have worms :( I hope that we will be able to get some that don't but we will just have to wait and see. We're still trying to figure out what kind of apples they are. In the above picture they kind of look like gala, but I'm not 100% sure. We're also torn about whether or not we want to prune this tree because it is such a wonderful shade tree and we would hate to lose that (in this picture it's the tree with the tissue flowers).

And now for our sad list:

Asparagus - We learned that asparagus is a plant that doesn't yield anything the first year. Dang! We also learned that asparagus doesn't grow in planter boxes (which we're planning on building next year) so we might give up on these. We'll see.

Garlic - Also doesn't yield anything the first year. (We're not huge fans of these kinds of plants, we want to eat the fruits of our labors!) We'll see about these next year too.

Broccoli - Broccoli was a disaster right from the start. They seemed to be growing great and then about a week later, they pretty much just burned up. The tops got all crispy. Little did we know, broccoli is a cool weather plant! Who knew! (Guess we should have done more research) Definitely wont be doing broccoli next year.

Corn - Our corn was doing SO good, and then all of the sudden they just stopped growing (coincidentally, around the same time everything else started growing...). It was so weird. Our little ears got about 6-7 inches long and that's where they stopped. I had heard that you need a lot of corn in order for it to work, so we planted 24 but maybe that's not enough. We want to try corn again next year, to see if we can have a little bit more success.

Oregano - This was growing pretty well, but we didn't really love how it tasted once we dried out a batch so we ended up letting it go a bit. We don't really want to try it again.

Cilantro - We really liked the cilantro, but we weren't very diligent in cutting it and it went to seed pretty early on in the summer. We do want to try again though. Hopefully we'll have more luck next year.

And just for fun, here are a few of our harvests:

5 comments:

  1. what a fantastic garden! i'm a total plant killer, but i've always wanted a little garden. those strawberries look fantastic, the colors is looking delicious.

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  2. This is a great update! Man, I was just out thinning our carrots this morning, I didn't even realize that was necessary until I pulled one this weekend that I thought was going to be huge and it was itty bitty haha! But I'm hoping thinning will help! Your red onion looks beautiful, that's a good idea! Also, the peas that you planted - were they sugar snap or the kind that you have to get out of the pod? Be thankful you didn't plant squash. Oh my, I can't even do a garden post now, it has taken over everything! lol We are definitely narrowing down next year too

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    1. That's exactly why Jordan didn't want to grow squash (I kind of wanted to try it). He wouldn't let us grow zucchini either. Haha!

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  3. This post has me SO jealous! I think I am done with apartment living. I need a yard for a garden. I love everything about this post! My brother-in-law lives like a mile away from me and they have some strawberry plants and an apple tree in their yard. We always want to pick the fruit, but unfortunately they live by a wildlife greenbelt and the raccoons and skunks think that both of those are their bathroom.

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    1. Haha! Oh man! That's the worst. we live right across from a huge field too. We haven't seen any raccoons yet but we've heard they're around. I hope they stay away!

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