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Adventures in Gardening: A Garden Update

05/13/2011
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The growing season is well under way in southern Georgia. I am amazed at how quickly everything is growing. I don’t go out into my garden every day, and after three or four days of not seeing it, there has been noticeable growth. Its incredible! I’m having fun watching everything grow. I’m honestly having fun working out in the garden too. I weed once a week and it usually takes about 2 hours. I go out early in the morning (at least for me) and listen to my iPod and work out there while my mother-in-law watches my kiddos. Its rather relaxing and very rewarding to look on a nicely weeded garden. Although I am in desperate need of a shower after I get done!

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It makes me happy to look out and see this. It actually looks like a real garden!

Pictures!

Here are some pictures of the different kinds of plants with some commentary by me when needed.

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Heirloom tomatoes – Brandywine, Homestead, and Riesentraube

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Yellow summer squash in the middle, with catnip and lemon balm to the left. These squash plants have some very territorial stink bugs that live in them. Every time I weed,  they come out and see what I am doing. I’ve left them there because I haven’t had any bugs trying to eat these plants yet, so I figure they must be earning their keep. {Edited to add: These aren’t stink bugs! They are squash bugs and they and their eggs need to be removed pronto! Thanks to my Organic Gardening Expert friend Laura for mentioning this to me in the comments. I removed and  killed a dozen bugs and hundreds of eggs today! I got them before much, if any, damage had been done to my plants.}

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Stink bug—No, that is not me holding it. Eww. I found this picture on another site.

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Black Beauty Zucchini Squash on the right and the tiny little plants are the eggplant. Its kind of hard to believe the eggplant was planted at the same time as the squash. I guess that’s why you need an extremely long growing season in order to grow eggplant. (Or just start it indoors so it gets a really good head start.)

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Tiny eggplant seedling

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Bell pepper plants – These haven’t grown as quickly as I thought they would, but they are still doing well.

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Hybrid tomato plants – These started out much bigger than the heirlooms when I planted them and they have taken off like crazy! The Early Girl plants my pastor gave me are certainly living up to their name!

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They already have little tomatoes on them!

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North Georgia Candy Roaster Squash – Aren’t the leaves pretty?

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Georgia Rattlesnake Watermelon the the left and lavender on the right.

Since I mentioned lavender, I wanted to bring up the point that I have had a horrible time growing lavender from seed. Its taking forever to germinate and then it doesn’t grow very quickly. Both of the plants you see there were bought. I’ve also had lots of trouble with rosemary (seeds won’t germinate) and feverfew (seeds germinated, but quickly died and the ones that didn’t are taking forever to grow). Next year, I won’t be trying those from seed again.

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Bush beans – I’ve had some trouble with bugs eating these, but that seems to have subsided at this point. On the whole, I haven’t had much trouble with bugs yet, but I kind of feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like one day I’m going to go out there and the garden is going to be decimated by bugs. Hopefully not though! I have found a few grubs and a couple caterpillars on plants, all of which I promptly killed (without the use of crazy chemicals).

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Pole beans—I put an old chair in the middle for them to climb up. Speaking of them climbing, I’ve kind of let them go crazy since I didn’t have any poles out there for them to climb on. I fixed that today.

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See how crazy they are? There are tendrils everywhere and they are winding around each other.

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I put four bamboo poles out and then strung sisal string between the poles and also between the poles and the chair. I used sisal because it was left over from baling hay last year and wasn’t going to be used again this year. I like when things are free. :) There are some other good ideas for pole bean supports over at the Grow Blog.

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I’m not done yet. I still need to put up some more string, but I was getting too hot to finish it. I’ll work on it tomorrow. :)

One final note:

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I planted borage all around my garden as a natural pest repellent. I’ve had more bugs and bunnies eating this than anything else in the garden!  So either its not working, or the bugs are eating it instead of the rest of my plants. The jury is still out about which theory is right.

Gardening Around the Blogosphere

Others around the blogosphere are gearing up to garden. Here are some gardening related items I’ve read recently.

Emily at Live Renewed is starting her garden soon.  I found some useful gardening tips over at Open Eye Health. There is some good advice in the comment section over at Simply Rebekah if you are having trouble with the plot of ground you have for gardening. After reading this article on the Grow Blog, I decided to prune my tomatoes a bit.

How about you? How is your gardening coming along? If you’ve read anything helpful online about gardening, I’d love to hear about it in the comment section.

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17 Comments
  1. 05/13/2011 4:54 am

    Wow Kate! Your garden is beautiful! I am definitely jealous of your early and long growing season!
    I’m curious to see how your peppers do. I had trouble with mine last year, and I’ve heard that they’re hard to grow – I don’t know if it’s not hot enough here, or if the growing season isn’t long enough, or what. I bought starts from the farmer’s market and they were very slow growing and only produced a few little peppers that never really ripened up. I just decided to skip growing them this year. I hope yours turn out well for you!
    Thanks for the link! ;)

  2. Betty permalink
    05/13/2011 5:16 am

    Beautiful garden! I love the chair idea in the garden!! :-D

  3. Nana Phyllis permalink
    05/13/2011 8:42 am

    Your garden looks great! I have had a rosemary plant (bush) for many years. A friend gave me a small plant and when I put it in the ground it took off. I think they like hot dry weather. Mine thrives when there isn’t too much rain – which is pretty much always here.

  4. 05/13/2011 10:25 am

    I’m so relieved to hear that I’m not the only one with an apparent inability to grow lavender from seed! Gorgeous garden.

  5. 05/13/2011 11:14 am

    Your garden looks awesome! Your full dinner plants this summer will look even better!!!

  6. Laura permalink
    05/13/2011 12:50 pm

    The garden looks great, Katie! Sorry to be the bearer of possible bad news, but are you sure those aren’t squash bugs on your squash plants? They look similar to stink bugs, and they will kill your plants. I have gotten these just about every summer. You have to hand-pick them and squish them before they start to damage your plants. http://www.vegedge.umn.edu/vegpest/cucs/squabug.htm

    • Kate permalink*
      05/13/2011 1:19 pm

      Ahhh! I’m not sure those aren’t squash bugs! I need to drive over to my MIL’s immediately and check! Ummm….I’m not so sure about the hand picking and squashing thing though. When would they start to damage my plant? I haven’t seen any damage yet.

  7. Becky B permalink
    05/13/2011 4:58 pm

    Kate, I went nuts when I saw your lavendar! Until I read the part about you buying them. I totally sympathize with you. I have tried for years to get it to grow from seed since it’s so expensive to buy as a plant. I’ve never been successful by seed… still trying though – lol.

    Also, I LOVE that you used a CHAIR in your garden! Brilliant and Beautiful (both you and the chair addition) – I can’t emphasize this point enough :)

    Your pictures are SO EXCITING!!! Everything has grown so fast, very impressive. Great work Kate!

    BTW – if you put any of the tomato plants I gave you in the garden, don’t bother with them. I hadn’t figured out the whole hybrid/heirloom thing because I usually grew everthing from seeds that I researched prior, but these were plants we bought for my parents last year. They are turning out enormous and with funky shaped tomatoes. :( Embarassed = me. I wish I had learned about that before I gave so many away!!!

    Also, for your future composting note… I found some crazy funky looking meal wormy looking creatures in my compost bin. I know bugs are good for compost, but I’m wondering what these things are… I hope it’s good! Solution: one of us needs to make a friend who really, really likes/knows bugs, so none of us in this circle has to google too much about it – I hate the pictures of creepy crawlies that show up! Laura, is that you???

    • Kate permalink*
      05/13/2011 5:21 pm

      Becky, I had to throw away all of the tomato plants you gave me because of the leafminers on them. I tried to save them, but they were taking over the plants and I didn’t want to run the risk of infecting other plants in my garden. Hope that doesn’t hurt your feelings! I planted the basil and the eggplant, though, and they are all doing lovely. One question: was there another kind of plant in there with the basil and eggplant? There is a third type in there and I can’t figure out if it is a weed that I let grow or if you gave me another type of plant. Thanks for your kind words, by the way!

      • Becky B permalink
        05/13/2011 6:58 pm

        hmm… just basil (one type, sweet) and eggplant (I think only one type). I think that is all I had in that one pot of plenty – lol. my memory is TERRIBLE. I say pluck it out – probably a good bet.

        • Becky B permalink
          05/26/2011 1:09 am

          btw – I’m definitely not offended. don’t worry about me. I’m embarassed I hadn’t thought of the hybrid thing or known about the leafminers sooner.

  8. Becky B permalink
    05/13/2011 5:00 pm

    thank you for your link laura… I spotted one out on my zucchini just yesterday. next time, I’ll get him!

  9. Becky B permalink
    05/13/2011 5:06 pm

    me again. I’m back, haha, your garden is just THAT exciting.

    Two years ago, I did almost exactly what you’ve done here. But in time, my poles would lean really far over with the weight of the bean plants spiraling up them though.

    So this year, I did four poles like you have (minus the super-cool chair!) and then, as if drawing a line between each of the tops of the poles, I strung a bamboo pole between them. Attached it with a combo of duct tape and electrical tape. Though, the electrical worked best because it didn’t dry out and crack (and was flexible). I know you have a lot of bamboo sources, so this may work perfect for you too :)

  10. 05/18/2011 11:03 am

    Wow! Your garden looks amazing. Things start out a little later here in Colorado, but I am hoping to see the fruits of my labor soon.

  11. 05/30/2011 11:34 pm

    Wow! Your garden looks great! I’m a little further north than you (just south of Atlanta) and got a late start. This is my first attempt at gardening and since I’m in a rental house, I couldn’t plow up the yard so I’m doing everything in containers. I swear I’m worse than my kids about running outside every hour to inspect everything and see if it’s changed yet! It’s definitely a lot of work and worry but kind of invigorating too. Hopefully in a few months I’ll be able to say it’s rewarding!

Trackbacks

  1. What's Your Inspiration for May?
  2. Adventures in Gardening: Trouble in Gardening Paradise « Kinda Crunchy Kate

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