Friday, June 5, 2009

Assessing My Garden Thus Far...

Today, it is just raining torrentially! It seems to me to be a good day to stay inside while Nature waters the garden for me and take stock of my garden's progress so far...

First, here are some tomato photos that I promised would be forthcoming in Tuesday's post. Without a doubt they are, as usual, the biggest success in my garden. I most definitely have a green thumb as far as raising tomatoes is concerned! The top photo is a long shot of the tomato bed, although it's hard to gauge just how tall they really are from this view! The next photo is my Brandywine and, again, the photo doesn't do it justice in terms of how large it actually is at this early point in the season, topping out at well over three feet tall! The last photo is the Patio tomato, which is not leafing out much and seems to be rather gangly. However, I have already harvested three tomatoes from it.

So, back to the focus of this post -- assessing my garden so far.

The other successes:
1) The leaf lettuces, romaine, and chard grown from seedlings have done very well and have fed me and the geese quite well!

2) The fava beans are a pleasant surprise! Twelve seeds, out of thirteen, sprouted to my delight. Flowering is almoist finished and a few pods are forming. Can't wait to harvest these soon!

3) The carrots seem to be doing well and are ready for thinning.

4) Onions, so easy to grow, are doing nicely!

Mixed Review:

1) Greens planted from seed mixes seem to be heavy on the arugula (which I do like), but lean on other types of greens. An aside -- Phoenix actually likes it, but it's too spicy for Syd!

2) The red lettuces and Swiss chard (Lucullus) planted from seed seem to be rather slow-growing -- but, hey, they ARE growing!

3) I think I will go back to growing beets from seedlings purchased from my local nursery. Germination of the Detroit Dark Red seeds has been marginal at best.

4) Some of my pepper plants appear to be stunted by the cold spell we had shortly after they were planted. Overall, though, I think they will thrive and I will have a good harvest as time goes on.

The disappointments:

1) I love fresh peas and before I left on vacation, they seemed to be progressing nicely and I was looking forward to a good harvest upon my return. However, while I was gone, they just seemed to shrivel up to nothing! I'm not quite sure what happened, but I suppose I will need to get my fill of peas from another source. Actually, I can plant a fall crop, but I think I will try something other than 'Alaska'.

2) Only one edamame seed (out of about 15 planted) has sprouted.

3) The Dandelion Ameliore, planted especially for the geese, has not materialized! I bought four packs of seed from The Cook's Garden last fall and the one pack that I planted last year didn't germinate either. So, I called them and they located my order and shipped more seeds out to me. I will plant these shortly and see if they fare any better. Keep your fingers crossed!

Now, I move on to plans for the "Summer Garden"! But that's a whole other post...
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  1. Your garden is really coming along nicely. I can't believe you've already harvested tomatoes. My plants aren't even a foot tall yet. I'm going to try edamame this year for the first time also, although I'm waiting a couple more weeks before I plant them, it's just too cool around here to start them early.

  2. It looks great and very lush! You'll be eating tomatoes before you know it!

  3. Janet... I like the way you cage the tomato plants. Is that the way things done over there?. I might just do that way the next time round....

    Happy Rain,
    ~ bangchik

  4. Yes, Bangchik, that's typical. There are also square cages. My cages are extra tall; you can get ones of similar shape that are smaller. You just have to make sure that you work the branches up through the center, which doesn't always work out.

  5. Janet, I updated my fava bean post to include the recipe for the spread. Hope you like it :)

  6. Everything is coming along great! I started swiss chard from seed this year too. I lost most of it for some strange reason and the rest is growing so slow I'll be eating it next year. I just can't figure out what I did wrong with it since everyone says it's so easy to grow. -Jackie

  7. Those tomatoes look wonderful. I wish mine were that big. I cage my tomatoes too, but mine are so old and rusty I'm not sure they will support the tomatoes when they produce. I'm crossing my fingers they last one more year.

  8. I know what you mean...I had to upgrade last year and chose the extra large ones because the smaller ones just didn't support...

  9. Hi Janet, love the tomatoes, I am going to finally get mine into the ground tomorrow. Living in a swamp makes it hard to garden if you get 2 inches of rain... thanks again for visiting my blog.

  10. Peas are not easy to grow here, I'm glad you use the landscape plastic ground cover, no more weeds :-)