How does your garden grow 2012

Week 1

So many times I’ve tried to keep a garden journal and have failed miserably. This year I thought I’d take a different approach. A photo journal. What do you think?

So, just a couple of days after planting our container garden, I talked about it a couple of weeks ago, I stepped out to snap some shots. I’m going to see how this type of journaling works to record how much of what we planted and how each vegetable worked out for us.

First up, my ratatouille garden. Most everything I need to make one of my favorite dishes! Not that I expect it will all come in at the same time… But who knows…

Okay, celery may not be in ratatouille, but I wanted to give this a try to see how it works. I’ve read that you can take the base end of a vegetable, in this case celery, and plant it directly in to the ground and have it take root and regrow. I soaked the root end, of this organic celery stalk, for a couple of days, in a window sill, and saw no evidence of anything, but what the heck. People on Pinterest say it works. We shall see…

container garden, whisky barrel, ratatouille garden

Hot pepper, bell pepper, my celery experiment, cherry tomato, 2 miniature eggplants, and basil.

Check out this new climbing gadget my FIL sent us. He grew fabulous container gardens before I was a part of the family, but I’ve seen the pictures! He sent them with the intention of them being used for tomatoes. We decided to use them for climbing vegetables instead. They didn’t allow us a way to tie up the tomatoes as stable as cages and ropes have in the past. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, just wait. Our venue is a tough one on top-heavy plants like tomatoes.

Four climbing cucumbers and a zucchini.

Caught the sprinklers running, that’s why there is a little blur going on. You would think I could have waited. But no.

With all the little eggplants we have going on it looks like we’ll be making Baba Ganoush, another eggplant favorite.

rTwo more eggplants and some shallots.

We all love beets. Traditionally roasted, cooked, sliced and chilled in a salad, raw in a smoothie… Some around here even love them pickled. Anxious to see how this works out!

A container full of beet potential.

We have never grown sweet peas. Husband doesn’t like them. This was his idea. I suspect he doesn’t like them like he doesn’t like asparagus and tomatoes….. We shall see.

A cilantro plant, 3 sweet peas, and another pepper, I think.

This is one of our original herb garden containers and the chives just keep coming back like there is no winter. These were in the garage, over the winter, and growing white. Hauled them out, cut them back and within hours they were greening up.

Two Parsley plants, thyme, cilantro seeds and a bit of the chives that have been around forever.

Radishes at the top, a Cherokee Purple heirloom tomato and a pepper plant.

I was SO excited to locally find a Fernleaf dill plant, it is a dwarf and he is proud of it. He will only get about 18″ high as opposed to the 3-4 feet most get. While a traditional dill is great it doesn’t look so great in a container…. And the two strawberry plants? Those are volunteers that self seeded into the rock at the edge of the deck. Even after we freshly rocked over them they continued coming. I dug them up and tossed them into this pot. They survived and have even put on flowers. I never knew strawberries were so tough. These are just for fun. Chipmunk bait. Maybe it will keep them out of the rest of the crops…

And there is a huge thyme that came back on its own. We don’t usually get that in this 5A hardiness zone. Maybe when it’s in the ground, but not usually in a container. It was a very mild winter, though… I cut this back after I took this picture, so I have my first cutting drying, as we speak!

Really not sure how these are going to work in a container.

Four cauliflower plants.

Nor these.

Four broccoli plants.

And our largest tomato plant, so far. We picked this one up at Grow Benzie. When they told me it was just some seeds the local Germans use, we decided to give it a try. Then I thought we might better look them up to see what we can find about them to know what container/space we need. Come to find out they are considered a rare variety of heirloom that produces huge tomatoes! This is where needing a traditional tomato cage, with tie downs, to be added later, is required. Too much wind here on the north shore!

Elmer’s Old German Heirloom tomato plant.

The east end of the deck. All day sun. All summer long. This is going to be fun!

Not much to see here on the west end of the deck, yet. It is shaded by cedar trees, most of the day, except for some morning sun. For now most of our boxes of greens are here where there are irrigation drops available. When we are able to be here everyday they’ll be moved to a sunnier location, at least until the heat of summer arrives. Then back again. That’s why they are in these lighter weight, portable pots.

Spinach and a Gourmet Lettuces Mix have been planted.

Two more planters of greens, one of arugula and the other is an heirloom Black Simpson lettuce. You can only eat so many salads, in one day. I suspect there will be an abundance of green smoothies coming from our deck, this year.

Then we have the random seedlings that aren’t quite big enough for pots of their own. Missing is a picture of the stone planter full of beet seeds for their greens. Yes, we love beets, in all manner.

Not sure how much, in actual groceries, container gardening will produce but we are giving it our best shot. We planted organically and as many heirloom varieties, if not all, I’ll have to double-check that, as possible.

We have come to the realization that we just love to grow things, so this year we majorly cut back on flowers and opted to grow real food instead.

It’s still food for the soul. Ya know?

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2 Responses to How does your garden grow 2012

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