In recent weeks, my blog has been getting hammered by people looking for gardening info. I feel badly for them… although I’m very glad to have them visit, I’m fairly positive that they’re not finding what they’re looking for here. My gardening efforts are sadly inadequate compared to all the “real” gardeners out there.

But while I’m talking about the garden, am going to record recent happenings/observations:jun17 004 copy

  • My bell peppers were languishing, but suddenly seem to have turned the corner. I haven’t done anything differently, so have no idea what made them decide to behave. Check out this little guy (pictured to the right)… isn’t he kinda cute?  And please ignore all the buggy bites on the leaves — I guess I need to figure out what to do to discourage the bugs, but just haven’t.
  • The dogs have discovered a fondness for green tomatoes… I’ve caught them on several occasions gnawing on the little baby ‘maters. I’ve scolded them soundly, and haven’t seen them stealing any lately, but don’t know if it’s because they’ve learned their lesson, or they’ve just gotten smarter about hiding it from me.
  • Putting cages around the cucumbers has been my best decision of Garden 2009. They are doing ridiculously well, and are producing like mad. I picked 13 — yes, THIRTEEN — yesterday! Quite a change from last year, when I got only maybe two the entire season. And they’re abnormally long, I guess because they’re hanging from their vines instead of laying on the ground?  Bobby, being the 13-yr-old boy that he is, has had lots of obscene comments about the size and length of the cucumbers. I’m sure you can imagine. Dork.

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  • In addition to 13 cucumbers, yesterday’s “harvest” also included 2 zucchini squash and 8 sweet banana peppers. Here’s everything in the kitchen sink. I put the ruler in there as reference because I was amazed by the sheer massiveness of the two 16-inch cucumbers. Yes, 16 INCHES.

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  • Potatoes… huh. Not sure I’ll do potatoes again. They were an impulse plant, not really something that I fully intended. I guess I’m a little confused as to the benefit of growing potatoes for someone like me, who needs a small garden with maximum productivity. Unless I’ve misunderstood, potatoes are only harvested once at the end of their season. Which means that I’m going to have a shit-ton of potatoes at the end of the summer, and then that’s it. For my gardening purposes, I think I prefer the plants that I can continually pick throughout the summer, rather than just a one-time thing….  But it’s entirely possible that I’m missing some crucial bit of potato knowledge. Dunno.
  • Zucchini plants are doing fine. Not overly excited about zucchini as a general rule, but I’m going to try some new recipes and see if I can convince my housemates (and myself) that zucchini really does rock after all.
  • And about the raised bed. You may remember that I had a whole decision-making process that went into our single raised bed, and we finally built one as a “test bed.” Well, ya’ll, I gotta say that I’m not loving my raised bed. I don’t know what I’ve done wrong, because it seems quite apparent that something’s not right. I’m kind of embarrassed to even post this picture because I hate publishing my suckiness, but let’s look at this as a learning exercise, shall we?
    Pictured below is what your raised bed garden SHOULD NOT look like. The snaky-looking thing is the soaker hose. The little plants in the upper left-hand corner of the box are parsley and cilantro.  The plants in the lower right-hand corner are basil and mint.  The herbs are doing fine… the watermelon plants, not so much. What watermelon plants, you ask??  Exactly!! You can’t see them because they’re DEAD.

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So all you gardening gods & goddesses out there, if you’re reading, do you have any input, suggestions, or knowledge that you would like to share?  Or if there are any novices like me, I’m interested to hear your opinions/experiences too!