Garden Update: What We’re Growing

One never knows what to expect when they start a gardening season. We think about the previous year, the mistakes we encountered and the successes we made. We relive the prior year over and over again, with hopes that this season will be better than last. We sure had our fill of critter encounters last year to last us for awhile, so as we near our new gardening season, we can only hope for the best, and do lots of praying!

All day long, I check on the plants downstairs under the grow lights. I make sure that I rotate them to ensure even light distribution and I keep them properly watered. I think the plants like all the attention!

So here is what we are planting this season:

Juliet Tomatoes: If you followed along with our garden last year, you will know how well our Juliets produced. We picked over 1,200 tomatoes and this was from only six plants! (yes, I actually counted each and every one, just so I could see how many we produced) Our best tip for growing tomatoes was that we used a small amount of Epsom Salt sprinkled once a week around each tomato plant. Tomatoes can lack in magnesium, so the Epsom Salt provides them the magnesium that they require to grow big and healthy, not to mention, it stops the tomatoes from “splitting” and it stops the “bottom rot” you find on some tomatoes.

PLANTS 5-7-14

Big Boy Tomatoes: Although I am a huge fan of the Juliet Tomato, we also grow six Big Boy Tomato plants. I think we produced over 300 Big Boy Tomatoes last year with only six plants, so we can’t wait to see what we produce this year! Once again, these plants lack in magnesium so we use Epsom Salt on them too.

Flat Dutch Cabbage: We grow all the cabbage plants for Grandma! One thing that we will be doing differently this year is how we protect our cabbage heads. I read on Pinterest on how you can lay netting on top of your cabbage row to protect them from those nasty white moths, or you can wrap each head individually with a nylon. The object here is to keep the white moths off the cabbage and prevent them from laying their eggs.

FLAT DUTCH CABBAGE 5-7-14

Red Peppers: We eat red peppers almost every night, so it seems a perfect fit that we have eighteen plants heading into the garden this year. Pepper plants also lack magnesium, so we use Epsom Salt on them too and it provides the much needed nutrients to grow healthy plants and produce nice sized peppers. No bottom rot on any of our peppers!

RED PEPPERS 5-7-14

Green Peppers: We grew green peppers last year too, but this year, I am going to make lots of stuffed peppers with these guys! We also use both the red and green peppers when we make kabobs on the grill!

Zucchini: Last year was a dud for our zucchini. We directly sowed the seeds in the ground last year at the end of our strawberry bed and we had not one of them produce anything. Every time we planted a seed, the chipmunks dug them up. We planted more, and the same thing happened. So this time, I have started the zucchini plants indoors in the hopes that they have a chance to make it this year. Heck, all I want is to make zucchini bread!

ZUCCHINI 5-7-14

Leaf Lettuce: If you follow along with our garden updates from prior years, you know that we plant two uniform rows of leaf lettuce that produce more than enough lettuce for our family. And, when you cut the lettuce, it regrows more! Looking forward to many healthy salads this year!

Romaine Lettuce: Last year we “would” have had some nice Romaine Lettuce, but when that one deer got into our garden and ate it down to a nub, we had no chance at it ever regrowing. This year we hope that we have a better chance at actually tasting this delicious lettuce.

Straight Eight Cucumbers: Oh boy, we are excited again to be growing cucumbers because I enjoy them every day for lunch with tomatoes & Italian dressing! Yum! I am working on creating a new trellis for the cucs to grow up this year.

CUCUMBERS 5-7-14

Peas: Now, this is one thing that we have never grown before, so if any of you have any suggestions on how to grow peas, let me know! I surprised my Sweetie by purchasing a pack of Peas this year and I have them growing under our grow lights right now. The pea plants are truly a unique looking plant, as the leaves don’t look like any of our other plants, and are so neat to watch grow! I believe that peas need a trellis of some sort to grow up, but I am not sure, so if you have any advice on this, be sure you pass it along!

PEAS 5-7-14

PEAS2 5-7-14

Connecticut Field Pumpkins: So far, I have started eighteen pumpkins downstairs under the grow light, and half of them have already popped through the soil, as we are getting them ready to head out to the back flower bed. Last year, we had the same problem with chipmunks as they dug up and ate all of our seeds when we directly sowed pumpkin seeds in the ground, so this is why we are starting the plants indoors this year. We learn from our mistakes, as every gardener knows.

CONNECTICUT FIELD PUMPKINS

Sunflowers: Ah, sunflowers! I saved every seed from the sunflowers that our Auntie Rene gave us last year and I currently have eleven sunflowers growing that I started from the seeds I saved. I can’t wait to find some awesome places to plant them around the yard this year!

SUNFLOWERS 5-7-14

So there you have it, a complete list of what we will be growing this year! On top of this, we are also planning on building a second raised garden to accommodate a lot of our new plants. The new raised garden bed will be 6′ x 5′. Here’s the difference between a “garden” and a “raised garden” and why we chose to use a raised garden bed. A regular garden is when you till up your lawn and plant directly into the ground. A raised garden bed is when you build a structure to hold your soil, add blackout weed netting on the bottom to keep the weeds out, then fill it with soil. A raised garden beds soil has better drainage, and the soil is warmer because it is not in the ground, it is above the ground. Just in case you did not know the difference in these two, now you know!

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16 thoughts on “Garden Update: What We’re Growing

  1. Holy Crackers, you can have your own market stand when all that starts to produce. You’re a busy little bee Val. Don’t know how you manage it all, but kudos’! Happy weekend and mothers day too. We’re mom’s to our furry babes, that should count 😀

    • I am a Mommy to our doggies, and that is so true. I always jam as much as I can into my days – – gotta get my chores done! LOL Happy Furry Mother’s Day to you too! ❤

    • Oh I know! I can only hope for the best! At least the little pea plants look good right now and look like they are on their way to some nice plants! Heck, if I can grow one pea pod, that would so cool! Get ready for our pea journey!

  2. Wow, everything seems to be growing really well. With regard to peas, they need support as they grow so I push in “pea sticks”every couple of inches, which are just cuttings of twigs from trees about 3 feet long, so the peas have something to twine around.

  3. I remember your fabulous tomatoes from last year, they looked so tasty, I wish I could pluck them from the screen :o) We thought it’s warm enough to put our plants in the back yard, but sadly that was a mistake :o(

    • Oh no! What happened to your plants? We are having a nice week of warm temps here, but it is still TOO EARLY for us to plant anything outside yet!!!! We can still get a frost, so we have to wait until the first of June to plant anything outdoors! We don’t want to go through all of this work to grow our plants, then take them out TOO EARLY and have then get damaged from a frost or beaten down by the rain. We don’t have a problem waiting….

      • they are damaged from the rain and sadly we have an invasion of brown snails this year, they made an all you can eat party, even with the flowers, it’s so sad to see the chewed leftovers.

      • That is horrible news! I am so sorry to hear this! It is a shame when we have to deal with these types of things in the garden. I wish all we had to do was just plant our plants and water them, and leave out all the elements that deter their growth.

  4. Oh I know John! Keeping the critters out of the garden area is a lot of work. Hopefully this year they will leave our garden alone. We started our plants a little later this year than last year because some of them got way too big indoors. So this year, we will take nice respectable sized plants out into the garden to plant. Like I said, you learn from your mistakes and make changes as you go along!

  5. A fine looking crop taking shape safely in the basement! I suppose the only way you could keep every critter and varmint from your crops would be a glass greenhouse, with a brick foundation. Well sealed at every opportunity.

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