Garden journal

We're on an interesting journey.  An attempt to bring back some sort of control to what finds its way onto our table and into the bellies and bodies of our family.  

This is simply my journal of that journey.  Documenting what we've done.  Thoughts for the future.  Learning from our mistakes.  Definitely not about the destination.

Garden Journal 2010

2 4x4 Raised beds...left a thick layer of leaves on the bottom, filled with worm rich soil and “garden mix” (2 bags in each bed).

Bed 1...”traditional”
planted marigold seeds around parameter
started seeds indoors: yellow tomato, cucumber, okra, peppers

Bed 2...”poly-cultural”
seeded bed: “gourmet mix” of lettuce, carrots, chives, spinach, 5 bush beans

Rosemary, lavender and Mexican oregano

Everything started sprouted almost immediately.  One of the bush bean plants was pulled out--mistaken for a tree by the 4-year-old.  An honest mistake...wee little oak trees are popping up all over the place and the bush beans sprouted up huge.

Transplanted seedlings into Bed #1, added bamboo “teepees” around 3 tomato plants and 3 okra plants.  Marigolds really weren’t growing well.  Maybe start them indoors as well?

Dug out 4x6 bed, raised up 3 rows and planted corn...pumpkins in between one row and watermelon in another.  Watermelon seeds took forever to come up and then were promptly eaten.

Added squash seedlings to corners of both beds.

Cleared out back fence area and planted tomato seedlings.

Started harvesting baby greens for salads.

Sean surprised me with a peach's settling in in the back corner.  It came with blooms but they didn't survive the transplant.

Couple weeks later--another peach tree!  Blooms stayed on and turned into wee little peaches!

Pumpkin is doing great--need to figure out a method of keeping critters away from the tiny fruit.

All evidence of tomato plants is removed by renegade raccoons.  Or aliens.  Most likely raccoons.  Bastards.

Greens are doing fantastic.  I have no idea what a full grown chive looks like so I’m not sure if I’m pulling them too early or not.  Carrots are doing fantastic.  We’ve pulled a few baby ones and enjoyed them.  Bush beans are being ravaged by critters.

Front peach tree developed some sort of fungus.  Dang it.  Everyone recommends Captan but after looking over all of the Rules and Warnings I don't want it anywhere near us.  Isn't there anything that works that doesn't contain poison?!

Planted random tomato seeds (nice plants growing now) in Bed #1

Late June...pulled some of the plants out of Bed #2, planted eggplant and beet seeds.  We’ll see how they do.  I need to start them indoors next year.

Thoughts on beds for next year:
The polycultural bed really isn't working out.  The lettuce mixture has been great but I’d like to give them their own area. Plant stuff in groups/rows.  Carrots are thriving--but I think they need deeper soil.  I need to create a tent of some sort for the beans--it looks like 5 plants will produce all that we need if I can just keep the chipmunks away.

Finally-tiny tomatoes appearing on first 3 plants in Bed#1.  Pepper plant hasn’t grown at all--not sure if I should just pull the plant or not.  I need to start the plants indoors earlier next year--February? Hopefully they’ll start producing earlier.

Okra is finally growing. Hopefully we’ll start to see production on them soon.

Cucumber plants are covered in tiny cucs.  Need to remember that for next year--they’re huge plants.  Maybe try to get them vertical.

Squash plants in Bed #1...about to bloom.  Plant in #2...not so well.  Maybe pull that one as well.

Planted eggplant in Bed #2 and beets in Bed #1.  Think I was supposed to get beets in months ago.  Crap.

Corn is about knee high.  Two pumpkin plants are thriving.  Squash plant in the corn isn’t growing, but it’s not dying either.  Not sure what to do about that.  I think for next year I’ll make the rows going the other way...make them higher and plant the corn a little closer.  Earlier too.  Apparently someone wrote that down somewhere.  Somehow cage the pumpkins.  Stagger plant the corn too--prolong the harvest. Yeah, someone else wrote that down too.

Containers:  all thriving.  Lavender bloomed last month and is beautiful.  I moved it over by my bench under the oak tree...maybe help cut down on the mozzies.

Spotted the ballsy little chipmunk this morning...casually wandering through the veggie bed.  Didn't even scurry when I approached.  Little bastard.

The one lone peach that was ripening on the back tree disappeared overnight.

I used to like wildlife.

Wowie...plucked the first cucumber just now.  Cut it up, little bit of salt...still warm from the sun...heavenly!

The renegade raccoon returned--this time the focus was on one of the pumpkin plants.  Ripped it up and left a straggly, drying carcass behind.  I think the only way I'm going to be able to protect the plants next year is to build another bed up by the house and enclose them all in a wire mesh tent/lean-to.  I'll need to look up the list of does and don'ts regarding what plants follow what.

Yanked out the bush bean plants...never managed to beat the bastard chipmunk to one single bean. No sense in having them take up root space.  I also pulled up some of the lettuce plants that had outgrown their tastiness.  All made a nice layer on
the compost.

Harvested carrots, greens and another cucumber for a most delicious salad tonight...added in a chopped up mango...because I could and I love mangos.

Thursday, 22nd
I figured out today that I may have accidently planted yellow plum tomatoes instead of normal size ones.  I should probably check seed packets a little better next time.

I'm getting about a cucumber every other day.  I think if I go vertical with them next year the yield will be better.  It looks like there's mold rot on what would be cucs but just rot away.  I'll have time this winter to work on sketching layouts.

Our little corn field is doing fairly well.  There are about a dozen baby ears growing.  That'll last us...oh, a day or two.