Don't be distracted by the brown tips. These onions have grown a couple inches since being planted a week ago. I can't tell if it's weeds or tomatoes coming up there in the middle. I'll give it some time.
I ordered some seeds and plants online. The cool thing is that they wait to ship them until it’s time for you to plant. Click the image to the right to embiggen. I ordered the following varieties.
I'm not sure where the garlic is going. After the tomatoes and peppers grow up some I will plant a second planting of squash for ground cover and as a fall crop.
The lettuce is coming in, but the celery did not. The carrots are coming in, but the spinach is not. The Sugar Snaps are doing great but neither the tomato nor the pepper plant came up. The lettuce came in really well so I thinned by transplanting a dozen or so to where I had planted the celery. I bought a few tomato and pepper plants a week ago and planted them. They are doing well and I look forward to eating them. The watermelons have sprouted.
I weeded my gardens today. It's so much easier to do when the dirt has never been stepped on.
I have taken to a strange practice with my rain barrel. I grow catnip in it. Maybe none of the reasons I do it are any good but here they are anyway. First, because I can. Catnip grows very easily and quickly puts out roots in water. Secondly, I have found the water, if left to it's self, will start to smell bad. With a plant growing in it that usually goes away. I suspect that the catnip feeds off bird droppings and other dead plant life such as algae that sometimes grows.. Thirdly, I found that catnip is a pretty good deterrent to ants. If I can water with a natural ant deterrent then I will. I'll never forget the nightmare of stepping onto the walkway of my garden to find that it woke up the colony. I've since planted some catnip in that spot and I haven't had trouble since, but spreading the love around is OK with me.
Maybe I'm just crazy but I feel like this helps.
I planted a few seeds this evening. In Garden #1 I planted a square each of spinach and carrots next to the garlic.
In Garden #2 I planted lettuce, celery, sugar snaps, watermelon, Old German tomato and bell pepper. I was careful to not plant the tomato and pepper too close to where I had the tomatoes last year. The watermelon seeds are left over from the watermelon that grew last year.
I forgot to update on the rain barrel. It works quite well for me. The gutter system captures less than a quarter of my roof area but even an inch of rain fills the barrel. I think I have space to add an additional barrel if I could find one on the cheap.
I've been steadily watering my garden, except during out latest rainy spell. Anytime you want to feel good about gardening toss some beans in the ground. They do well almost anywhere.
I have a dozen or so tomatoes that are still green, I'm sure they'll come along eventually. I picked a cayenne pepper, it's doing OK despite being shaded out by two tomato plants. I have a tiny watermelon growing! I'm excited to get at it eventually. The pumpkins seem to be getting ready to make a fruit here or there.
The corn didn't turn out too well. Not very many kernels were fertilized. I don't really have the space to do it, and I might not next year, unless I do a whole bunch in a larger area.
Since a rabbit decided to eat all of the tomato and pepper plants that I planted I purchased replacements this weekend. I took the opportunity to also do a few up-keeping things I meant to do already.
I purchased four more landscape timbers to increase the depth that I'm capable of in Garden #2. To keep rabbits out I used 48″ rebar rods to anchor each corner, sinking each 12″ into the ground. Attached to the rods I have surrounded the plot with the same metal fencing I used to build the compost bin.
I planted all of the plants that I had growing in the seed tray. Well, the ones that survived anyway. The tomatoes and peppers look like they are going to do really well.
I'm excited about my fruits this year. All except for one raspberry plant is doing really well so I should have a decent crop this year and a great crop next year. All of the blueberries look good and are flowering. The scuppernong vine has started to break out in leaves. I'm very happy to have my grape vine. I hadn't really expected to get one this year, much less one this large. If you haven't had the please of having a scupperong grape I highly suggest you try to find some this year. The seeds and tougher skins make them harder to just munch on like other grapes but it's worth it. They're like eating hot wings, after eating a bowl of them you're hands and face may be covered in juices and it will be totally worth it.
I haven't quite kept up with my calendar. I still need to seed the muskmelon and eggplant. Also, it looks like I won't have nearly as many tobacco plants as I had hoped. I'll try to seed a few more this year, but I don't expect to have very many.
Ok, I haven't really grown up gardening but, I have continued to come back to it.
When I was about 5 years old my parents helped me grow a garden in the back yard. We purchased the book Kid's Gardening, and planted the seeds from that book. I don't think I did very much weeding there, my memories involve long and large patches of grass growing up along side watermelons and tomatoes. This garden was a row garden. We moved during the winter after this and the new house didn't provide a good place to start another one.
When I was 18 I worked for Morning Glory Farm. Morning Glory was run by a couple that lived in Union county. The farm was located on roughly 50 acres. The Raibles ran a strictly organic farm. I learned a lot from them and most of my opinions on gardening came from what they taught me while I working there. There were two sections of planted area, one in the front almost strictly of flowers and one in the back, fenced in, mostly of vegetables. Also near the vegetable plot they had a greenhouse and a bee hive. The greenhouse was of simple design, a long room with a semi-circle shape made from PVC pipe and covered with plastic sheeting. The bee hive served two purposes, first to pollinate the plants so that the vegetables could grow well and secondly, to get delicious honey. I worked there for about 2 years before school and an internship took up too much of my time.
Now, at 25 I own a home and am trying to garden again. You've seen the website where I try to keep an updated record of what's happening and obviously you are reading this where I'm keeping track of my progress.
I hope my future remains in farming. I would like to have a dozen or two acres with room for some grain crops along with a garden, some livestock and of course a beehive of my own.