Tag Archive: garden


The first pepper to start growing in the garden!

Over the past few weeks, I have posted information about my garden.  I decided that instead of posting heights and counts, I would write about what I have learned about gardening in my first attempt.

I was a little nervous starting this venture, as I had never so much as grown a single food-producing plant in my life.  Sure, I’ve kept the Christmas cactus and a few other household plants alive, but they were bought at a store and all the hard work was already done.  All I had to do was water them.  No big deal, right?  Here’s what I learned…

-Zucchini plants take over a garden.  We got this tiny plant from Hewitts and it couldn’t have been more than 6 inches long with one leaf.  Now, it is a massive, 3 foot round, 3 foot tall monster covering a strawberry plant and a banana pepper plant.  Next time, I will give it a very large area to grow in and make sure none of the smaller plants get shaded out.

-Tomato plants get HUGE!  I gave them about a foot and a half in between, but they still have grown so big that I can barely walk between them.  They are also almost up to my chest in height.  Next year, I will plant them about three feet apart so I can walk between them to pick the tomatoes when they are ripe.

-I also need to put some type of weed control down.  Not a chemical, but maybe weed cloth.  I have kept up with the weeds for the most part, but some have grown a little more than I would like.

-I need to work on a compost pile.  I was told that the pile will help to enrich the soil and make it much more fertile.

-Putting something down (grass clippings, leaves) around the base of the plants will help keep the moisture in the ground for the plants.

The first zucchini from the garden

So far, the garden has been a success.  I have harvested two large zucchini, a grape tomato and a cherry tomato.  There are two small sweet peppers starting to grow as well.  A lot of the other tomatoes have started to grow, but aren’t quite ripe yet.  One thing is for sure – I am going to have tomatoes out the wazoo pretty soon!  Guess I better learn a little bit about canning!

Actually, it’s hot and I have some spices growing in the garden.  I wanted to give you all an update on the progress in the garden.  Things are really taking off, and I couldn’t be happier.  The basil and parsley are technically herbs, but that wouldn’t sound as catchy in the title.  Humor me, will ya?

With the extremely hot weather we are having, I am making sure that they are watered well, so they don’t wilt.  If you haven’t read this blog before, you should know that this is the first time I have planted a garden and (knock on wood) it is going much better than I had hoped.

There has been a slight learning curve, but all in all it is going well.  The peppers (red, yellow and cubanelle) are growing taller and I see a few small buds on a couple.  Hopefully, they will turn into delicious peppers in just a few short weeks.

The zucchini plant is getting huge and trying to take over the garden space.  I had no idea how big these things grew.  Next year, I will give it a lot more space.  I am afraid it might overshadow a few of the pepper plants around it and they might not get enough sunlight.  I have about 18 pepper plants, so losing one or two wont be a total disaster.

The tomato plants are really impressing me.  The have started to grow over the tops of the 33 inch cages I have around them.  On top of that, most (if not all) have at least one tiny tomato growing on them.  Some even have 5 or 6 green tomatoes growing.  I have a few different types to choose from when they are ripe.  I planted Big Boy, Early Girl, Jet Star, Roma, Cherry and Grape tomatoes.  If they grow and ripen, we will have more tomatoes than we know what to do with.

I guess I better learn a little about canning…

Last week, I put up a chart with measurements of the plants growing in my garden.  I measured again this week, and there is quite a big difference.  I am really starting to get excited, as things have really taken off.  I have a few new tomatoes, and the plants have grown by leaps and bounds.

We also found three strawberry plants and a red pepper plant at Price Chopper for $1 each.  What a deal!  I planted them on Sunday, and am hoping it’s not too late for them to produce this summer.  Time will tell.

Here are the charts for last week and this week.  Look at the difference!

After last week’s rain and this week’s abundance of sun, my plants in the garden are really starting to take off.  I decided to start measuring them once a week to chart the progress.

The tomato plants seem to be doing the best.  There are about four of them that have tiny little tomatoes growing already.  I was shocked when I looked and saw them on the plants.  One of the Grape tomato plants has five tiny tomatoes growing.  I am thrilled!  It wont be long now.

After I measured them, I built a chart to show how tall the plants are.  My goal is to update the totals next week, and every week thereafter so I can see just how well (hopefully) they are growing.   I will also try to get pictures of the tomatoes as they grow.

Here is the chart I made today;

As you can see from the chart, the tomatoes are growing much more quickly than the others.  The Green Peppers and Banana Peppers are taking forever to grow.  In case you are new, this is my first time growing a garden.  So far, it has been a lot of fun.  I can’t wait to see what grows and is actually edible.

Did you plant a garden this year?

The other day, as I was wandering around the yard getting pictures for my garden blog, I saw the rose bush had a bunch of blooms.  As I was looking over the rose bush, I saw this group of five roses.  When I looked at it a little closer, the five flowers seemed to shape a heart.

I have looked at this bush quite a few times, and the image never stood out to me.  I spent some time shooting it and then I cut the group and put it in a vase for Rose.  I was even more shocked that they were all growing on the same stem.  One cut got all five of them.

You can see from the picture that the few extra roses on the bottom and a little farther back seem to extend the bottom of the heart.  That was just a little bonus.  I didn’t plan that.  So, you never know what you’ll see, even when walking around in a place that you think you know well.  Keep your eyes open!

Take a look at the picture.  Can you see the heart?

For the last few days, the weather has been pretty cool and rainy.  That’s not helping the pool very much.  Over the last few weeks, it has been in the 80s and 90s outside, and the pool was around 76 degrees.  That’s not too bad when you consider that I had to backwash it a lot and had to keep adding cold hose water to fill it back up.

Yesterday when I checked the temperature in the pool, it was about 71 degrees.  I haven’t checked it today, but with the constant rain and temps around 58 degrees, I can only imagine what it is now.  I don’t think I want to look.

The pool is finally starting to clear up.  I figured it would take a little longer this year, as it wasn’t opened last year and there was a lot more to clean up.  It turned blue quickly, but it hasn’t cleared up the cloudiness quite yet.  I can see the shallow end bottom and halfway down to the deep end, so it wont be long now.

One good thing about the rain is that it is filling up the pool and I don’t have to run the hose into it and waste the water.  It’s also watering my garden.  Two birds, one stone I guess.

My question is this – Why did we get Summer weather in Spring, and now that Summer is about to begin, we are getting Spring weather?

Last year, I planted some seeds in a starter kit inside the house to see if I could grow some flowers and veggies.  I managed to grow some stuff, but never got around to transplanting them outside and they got too big for the small containers they were in.  The roots couldn’t go any farther and ended up dying.  Not so good on my part.

This year, I decided to try again.  This time, I was going to start the seeds outside and hope for the best.  I planted some radishes, green peppers, basil and parsley in a small strip around the outside of the pool fence.  I got the seeds at Walmart for a few bucks, so if they didn’t grow, I wasn’t out much.

After a few weeks, I started to see little green sprouts.  Cool!  I had always wanted to have a garden, but didn’t know if I had a green thumb or not.  I went to Home Depot and got some green coated chicken wire to keep the animals out.  After a few weeks, the radishes were starting to grow big leaves.  I was pretty excited.

When I planted the plants in the ground, I also planted some of the seeds in pots.  The potted plants were slow to start, but they took off a little while later.  The parsley is really growing well.  I was pretty excited by these results.  I was so excited that I decided to start a bigger garden.  I was a little scared it would not work, but you never know until you try, right?

I decided where I wanted to put the garden and measured out what I thought would be a good size.  I went back to Home Depot and got two 12′ 2x10s, 2 8′ 2x10s and 2 8′ 4x4s.  Or, so I thought.  I brought them home and stained them to make them look nice.  In the meantime I had begun removing the grass in the area I wanted to put the box.  It was tough work, as I don’t have a roto tiller and had to do it all with a shovel and a pitch fork.  That was not a lot of fun, but I got it done.

We had gone to Hewitts and Gade Farm before this to pick up some tomato plants and a few other veggie plants.  Along with the tomatoes, we also got zucchini, sweet peppers and green peppers.  At a tag sale two weekends ago, we picked up six grape tomato plants for a buck.  What a deal!

After all the dirt removal and shoveling, I put the framework for the garden together.  When I got it out by the garden area, I made a startling discovery.  The 2x12s were actually 2x14s.  And the 2x8s were actually 2x10s.  Crap, more digging.  I guess I have plenty of room for the plants.  I might even need more.  Thanks Home Depot for incorrectly labeling your products.

After I got the box in place and leveled out, I planted the veggies and put up the fence to keep the animals out.  Now, we wait and see what happens.  I hope to have an abundance of tomatoes in a month or two.  Here’s what I built.  I am not mechanically inclined in the least bit, so this is an accomplishment for me.

In a lame attempt at humor, I came up with the title to this blog.  You see, I am on day two of a terrible migraine.  I get them a few times a week.  I get them so frequently that I have learned to cope with them and carry on with my daily activities.  It is not fun, but life must go on.  Usually, my prescription Maxalt will get rid of them within an hour or two, but for some reason, this one keeps hanging on.

In other news, my seeds that I planted a few weeks ago are starting to pop up through the soil.  I went out to check on them today after a few days of strong sunlight and some heavy rain last night, and I was quite pleased with what I saw.  The radishes are popping up nicely and even the basil and parsley are showing signs of life.  I also planted a bunch of flowers that seem to be coming to life.  In a few weeks, I should have some flowers (or at least buds) to take pictures of. Here is a picture of the area where the wild flower mix was planted.  Pretty exciting!

I am pretty excited, as I wanted to do this last year and never got around to it.  I planted a bunch of seeds inside in a starter greenhouse and never got them outside, so they didn’t do so well.  This year I decided to plant them outside and kept it small just in case I am not the green thumb type.  Time will tell.  I did fashion a ‘cage’ around the area wear the veggies are planted, in hopes of keeping critters from eating them.

How about you?  Did you plant anything this year?  If yes, what did you plant?  Do you have tips for beginners?

See ya soon!