Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Delayed garden post

OK so I lied about getting this posted on Saturday... sue me.
So here is the almost completed garden!

Notice the lush ground cover of wild lilac and wild strawberry that I've chosen to landscape the backyard with that my backyard is mortally infested with. At the point at which I wish to spend $1000 in water bills and another few hundred for vegetation killer, seed, fertilizer, etc. I will kill the entire backyard and replant it with grass. In the meantime my kids get semi-sweet little wild strawberries in between mowings.

Here we have the cantaloupe bed with several sprouts. The melons got planted the latest and to be honest I think it might be too late for me to expect a very good harvest, but this is my first go around and next spring I can plant early now that I have a garden in which to plant. I have yet to build the melon trellises but I do have a design and a four day weekend right around the corner. The idea is to make a 2x4 frame with heavy gauge metal mesh stapled to the frame... this will allow me to grown melons vertically instead of in a huge flat area. You train the vines up the metal mesh and when the fruit gets to be a pound or two, you wrap it in a large fabric or netting sling big enough for the full sized fruit and then tie the 'hammock' to the mesh which should be strong enough to hold them (the cantaloupe and watermelons both should only be around 8 lbs per fruit as we used baby bush watermelon seeds).

The watermelons are a bit sluggish to germinate but the seed packet did say 7-10 days before they come up so I must be patient. A couple have sprouted as you can see.

Here we have the corn which is really flourishing! It looks incredibly crowded and I am still sort of going on faith that this type of planting pattern will work... I suppose though if it didn't there wouldn't be such a huge craze with the 'square-foot gardening' right now. Again patience is called for. Around the corn I have green beans... some are fairly mature plants but I have several brand new sprouts as well since many did not survive the transplanting from my early indoor crop.

On the top of this picture are the bell peppers which also seem to be doing pretty good and below that are carrots. To the left you can see one of the bigger green bean plants. I was recently told though that green beans don't do well in the hot weather and I planted them at just the wrong time for a good harvest... so I may end up replanting them at the end of August to see if I can get a good Fall harvest of beans if the Summer harvest stinks.

Here are the cucumber plants which are probably just behind the corn in terms of successful growth. Again these look to my eye very crowded but once again we are giving the square foot gardening idea a try. I don't really care for cucumbers myself but the family does.

Last and obviously not least (since they take up half of the garden) are the tommy toes... I mean tomatoes (curse you Stephen Fry). These are frankly my biggest concern, especially since I am the gardener and my employer wife expects me to produce a large yield of healthy big red tomatoes for her. Well the first try got eaten by rabbits since I planted them pre-fence. This batch seems to be doing OK though so there is at least hope... but still I got them in the ground rather later than what one might possibly consider as 'best practices'.

All in all though I think I did a pretty fair job for a rank amateur. When I get the melon trellis built I will post more pics and then as Summer progresses I will keep the blog updated with how things are growing and producing and what not.


The Unabashed Blogger said...

Looks great! But I thought you were going to have cedar chips around the boxes? I'm looking forward to trying your watermelon.

Percussivity said...

Well I might mulch inside the boxes after the rest of the plants get a bit larger but I don't think I will mulch the path at this point. I dunno... more money I'd have to put into an already espensive project!

The Unabashed Blogger said...

isn't gardening supposed to save money??

The Angry Coder said...

I'm looking forward to when I can say "Hey, Percussivity, nice melons!" And speaking of the little hammocks, too bad you aren't growing any bananas...

If gardening saves any money, it's probably over the long term more than the short term. And one probably has to grow quite a bit. Otherwise, it's a nice hobby and It's at least cheaper than buying stuff labelled "organic" at the grocery store. So at a minimum, you'll be eating better for the same amount: and that's something.

I have seven tommy-toe plants growing and I didn't even plant! They sprouted up in the areas lying dormant after last years fungal fiasco.