Each time I tried to sit down and write this update, I kept getting distracted by the next new thing that was happening with the plants. The garden has been hopping this week to say that least! So here we go with the gardening going ons and what we’ve harvested!
This week, a lot of stuff is going for a bloom in our garden. Super exciting cause blooms are the sign of hope that produce is coming. YAY!
- Male zucchini blossom (we can tell it’s male due to the lack of fruit or ovaries behind the flower). Interestingly enough, I took this picture in the morning and 1 hour later, the flower had closed back up.
- Strawberry flower.
- Yellow summer squash flower (the one open is a male, but you can see a female flower with the yellow fruit/ovary above the open flower)
- Dwarf Lime tree flower after the rain storm so not as pretty as it could be.
- Corn…I have no idea how these thing will become an ear of corn. But I guess that is what makes gardening fun, the surprise of learning.
- Bell pepper flower
- Cucumber flower (you can see the fruit at the base of the flower)
- Sugar snap pea flower
- Tomato flower, all 4 of my tomato plants are flowering and/or fruiting. Excellent!
Finally seeing some of my fruits and veggies really get off and go. I didn’t get pictures, but I have some lettuce that actually is doing nicely right now and one batch that is ready to be done. Clearly based on the pictures above, the cukes and yellow squash, are sorta starting to fruit, albeit they still have to be pollinated. But they make me smile regardless cause I can see them working. A rewarding feeling.
- Limes are growing. The interesting revelation I had there was that the ovary left behind when the flower falls off plumps slightly, but that doesn’t mean it was pollenated and going to continue developing. See the things you learn when you grow it yourself?!? Clearly the larger guys are likely the pollinated ones that are going to keep growing. In truth, this is actually a relief to me because this one tiny 3 inch long branch had 22 flowers on it. Which was never going to work out.
- Bell pepper baby barely peeking out. The red, orange and purple have all had flowers. Still waiting on the green and yellow. But I did experiment with picking the first few flower buds off the plant in order to give the pepper plants more time to get better roots down, more leaves and get larger in general before letting them flower. The hope here being that I will get more peppers overall. I probably would have done it just a bit longer, but the 3 yr old pepper monster is getting restless.
- Strawberries … one of the few produce items that I’m not sure if me or the hubby has gotten one to ourselves. These sell like hot cakes to the kiddos, even a tart one.
- Neon lights swiss chard. You can see the hot reddish pink and the yellow. There is also a hot pink, but some how, the 8 seeds I planted, not one is the white. But as far as kids go, these colors excite them more anyhow.
- Sugar snap peas. I was told by many that these are “not a big producer” so I set my goal low. I just wanted to get one per plant. And currently there are easily 30 growing on my 19 plants and at least another 20 flowers and more buds coming each day. So looks like more that I was hoping which makes me thrilled.
- Tomato, this my my Amelia tomato. They are getting to be a lovely little handful. My Heinz Romas are getting some great bunches. No actually visible fruit from the Pineapple or the Granny Cantrell.
This part isn’t fun. Admitting something isn’t going right. But you never truly learn without some failure. At least that is what the scientist in me says.
- Not a friendly ladybug people! Wrong! This monster is a squash beetle. A hungry, hungry herbivore (Dinosaur Train reference to all you parents with young PBS watching kids) to say the least. They can nibble a chunk out of a leaf or more in an afternoon snack. Luckily they are big enough to pick up with a gloved hand and smoosh on the ground. So I’ll just keep doing that for now.
- This picture might look blurry, but really that slightly different color of green running just under the stem is a cabbage worm. Jerks! They are munching something fierce on my radish leaves. And making an attempt at my broccoli. If you see cute little white butterflies flitting around your garden, get angry and get rid of them. They lay eggs on the underside of the plant leaves that become these leaf munching disasters. Pick em off and squish them or take them far away and leave them for birds or drown them. Whatever is your fancy. I have wasps that are chewing on the wood frame of my raised bed, and I watched one wasp carry off a cabbage worm and eat it in about 5 minutes time. It was amazing. The wasps are now welcome.
- Corn nutrition problem. Corn likes loads of nitrogen. I knew this when I planted the corn. Three Sisters crop gardening is so effective because beans put nitrogen into the soil while climbing up corn and the corn just soaks it up. Either way, when I Googled corn nutrient deficiencies, they show this wedge shape yellowing and said that was a nitrogen problem. And since mine wasn’t like that, I thought maybe the roots were too wet and rotting in the pot they are in. So I let the watering go a bit and the yellowing spread. Wrong again! But that is what garden experimenting is about. They needed more food. Live and learn. Despite my accidental best efforts to kill them, they are trying to make ears so I’m still hoping.
- This is bolting. This should-be-short frisee lettuce is shooting up high and fast and making flower buds. It’s just too hot for it. I’m not surprised. I knew I was starting too late. I’d pull them out but there are a few other types of lettuce growing in close proximity and I don’t want to hurt them cause they are still fighting the good fight. Didn’t get as much as I wanted from it. But now I know to get a much earlier start or just don’t waste my time and seeds.
I really haven’t been so great at photographing what we have harvested. We have gotten 12 sugar snap peas, but my girl gets so excited seeing those come off the vine that they don’t even make it in the front door. I’ve harvested probably 10 strawberries which promptly get demolished by the babes. I’ve had 2 small salads and then took 4 swiss chard leaves and some lettuce and shredded them for taco night as well. And we’ve harvested 3 radishes to see where they stood. Which was enough for a little pop of hot pink in a salad. So it’s starting. Our excitement abounds as we wait for more and more to come into it’s own. In the mean time, here is a look at my Granny Cantrell tomato reaching for the sky! Enjoy!