Garden Update – June 17th

OUR GARDEN 6-17-13

We cannot pinpoint the exact reason that our garden is doing so well this year, but we’re happy about it!  The multiple factors that we have changed from last year (our first year ever gardening), to now, made all the difference.  As I have mentioned, being a gardener you learn some hard lessons along the way.  For example, last year we did not use a rain barrel.  This year we are.  That in itself, made a huge difference, as we all know that rain water is much better for the garden and it shows in the growth of our plants.  Not to mention, the water bill will be kept to a minimum, as we have not watered our garden with anything else, but rain water.

FLAT DUTCH CABBAGE 6-17-13

I know that I have complained about all the rain we have been getting lately, but it has kept our garden well watered.  It is great in that aspect, as just when I think that I have almost exhausted the entire drum of rain water, a storm rolls through and it is full again!  We even have cleaned out a huge garbage can on wheels, and are using it as a backup for rain water.  We just unhook the flexible hose attached to the gutter and let the rain water drain into the garbage can.  This is awesome, because all we have to do is “dunk” the watering can into the garbage can and fill up!  What amazes us is how quick a 55 gallon rain barrel can get filled up with one rainy downfall.

CONTAINER GARDENING A JULIET TOMATO

I think I did forget to mention, that we’re trying out two Juliet Tomato plants in large containers just to see what the difference is between plants in the garden, and plants in a container.  Right now, one of our container Juliet Tomato plants is starting to bloom, so tomatoes are soon to follow!

JULIET TOMATO 6-17-13

THE SMELL OF TOMATO PLANTS

What really blows our mind is, that our whole entire garden (minus the leaf lettuce and Romaine) were all started in our basement under a grow light.  We basically ran out of room on the one table we had as the plants got bigger, so we now know that we will need an extra table and more grow lights for next year to make room for everything.  Heaven help us if we had a bigger yard, as we know that we would most definitely build more raised garden beds!

RED PEPPER 6-17-13

LEAF LETTUCE 6-17-13

We had to cover up our strawberry patch (which we are sure by next year, or even the end of this growing season will take over the flower bed) to protect them from all the birds.  We watched them one afternoon just swooping in, one after another, flying in and grabbing a strawberry, then off they went.  We knew immediately that we had to do something to protect our berries!  The chipmunks can still get through this netting, but we are picking berries every day now as fast as they ripen, so at least we are getting the chance to enjoy our harvest!

STRAWBERRY PATCH COVERED TO KEEP OUT THE BIRDS

Gardening is sure an adventure, one that we enjoy each and every day.  Nothing brings so much pleasure than harvesting something that you grew yourself.  I can just see it now… me building a veggie stand for the end of our driveway and selling Juliet Tomatoes!  (now that would make a great blog post for sure!!)

ZUCCHINI 6-17-13

FLOWER GARDEN 6-17-13

And last but not least, every veggie gardener should also have a beautiful flower garden too!  This flower garden is definitely budding with almost everything ready to bloom any time now.  It is jammed packed with Bee Balm, Moon Beam Coreopsis, Russian Sage, Marigolds, Catnip (which the deer have grown quite fond of lately & ate half the bush!), lots of wild flowers, and if you look closely, you will see little pumpkins popping up all around this garden bed.  (The cement “GROW” stepping stone was made by me last year with a mold and sealed with cement sealer.  Beautiful!)

What do you have growing in your garden or flower beds?

CEMENT GROW STEPPING STONE

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18 thoughts on “Garden Update – June 17th

  1. As I have said before, your garden looks soooo DELICIOUS!! And, your flower bed looks beautiful!! Having a successful garden and a beautiful yard does take a lot of work and commitment, but it is all worth it!! And, your pictures show the proof!! Watch the birds and your zucchini plants! Birds came flying out of our zucchini and bean garden this morning! Thank goodness, I did not see any damage! Maybe I scared them away before they had the chance to do any damage! I agree too, the smell of freshly grown tomatoes and tomato plants are wonderful!! Can’t wait to make Caprese with our homegrown tomatoes and basil! (Can’t make fresh mozzarella cheese though; we don’t have a big enough yard for a cow! LOL But, I bet Harmony would have LOTS of fun! LOL)

    • So far, we have only seen the birds try to take down the strawberries, but I took care of that with the netting. That netting I used to cover the strawberries is actually the same fence we erected around the garden area to keep the deer out. We have been picking handfuls of strawberries every day now, just can’t wait to start picking other veggies! I also can’t wait for the zucchini too, as I want to make homemade zucchini bread!

      • Sounds DELICIOUS!! I could use more strawberries for my cereal! We LOVE homemade zucchini bread! Haven’t made any for a few years now. We haven’t harvested enough at one time for me to bake it. I think that we need to rotate our crops!?

      • I do not know if you should rotate your crops from year to year. We moved a few things this year but only to make it easier to harvest them. For instance, we moved our Flat Dutch Cabbage to the center of the garden since we will harvest that at a later time, but the tomatoes are on the edge of the garden so I can pick them easier!

    • We have not yet picked any leaf lettuce yet, but it will be soon! Our Romaine lettuce is getting nice and big now, but it has a way to go. If you look back at our other garden posts, look on how big our peppers are getting! It is amazing! I wonder if it has anything to do with us using all rain water.

  2. It all looks spectacular and like you mentioned, head starts in your basement has really paid off. I know how much work it takes to keep your yard this neat and attractive, so bravo Val. You’re setting the bar really high for the whole neighbourhood. Gardening is contagious!

  3. WOW!! KABOOM!! The garden has grown tremendously since your last photos. I see a net over the strawberries – haha chippies! Way to go, Mrs. Green Thumbs!

    • Thanks! Yep, when you look back on even last week’s garden update, everything has got bigger! That netting was for the birds, the chippies can still get through it. One day I watched bird after bird fly into the strawberries so I had to work fast and cover them! Geez, if it’s not the chippies, it’s the birds, deer, and now last night the raccoons!

  4. HOLY COW! The garden is looking AMAZING! Your tomato plants are about a foot higher than mine. Beautiful! And? Also? I agree, tomato plants smell amazing. Some folks say they smell “gamey” but I disagree!

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