Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In Which We Garden

One of the things Twin and I were most looking forward to when we bought our house almost three years ago was the gardening we'd be able to do.
Twin always has a few guinea pigs running around (not counting the multitude of foster pigs we take in for the shelter) so fresh veggies was something we thought would be fun to grow. Anything we didn't eat could go to the pigs and, to a lesser extent, the dogs

Last year the garden went really well. We had far far more Roma tomatoes than we could ever use and cooked up our peas in a stir fry.
Normally I don't like carrots but the ones we pulled out tasted so good I felt bad about saying mean things about carrots in the past.

This year we wanted to make the veggie garden bigger so we could plant a larger variety of veggies.

Here's the before pic of the veggie garden, along with the kale that survived the MN winter.

The kale actually did so well it went out to seed, sending up pretty yellow flowers that reached over four feet in height before we had to take it out. The dogs enjoyed playing with the stalks.

Here's the new garden.

We replaced the wood borders (which we had originally recycled from our flower garden) and added bricks. We also made it twice as long.

Here's a breakdown of what's planted:

on the left we have asparagus, which is a two year crop so no harvesting until next fall. Then we have spinach and scallions. Beans begin right where the netting starts and runs into the next picture and the two seedlings are grape and Roma tomatoes.

Here we have the beans along the fence until the netting is bunched on the bricks. That's where the peas start. In front we have a golden bell pepper and a lilac bell pepper

The peas continue until the A frame where cucumber and zucchini are planted (the A frame is awesome. The plant will grow up the netting and the veggies will hang down, preventing them from yellowing or molding on the ground)
The seedling on the left is cantaloupe and we also have lettuce and carrots planted in the front under the A frame.

We will be planting red potatoes but the cut seed potatoes need a few more days to dry and callus before planting.

Also Twin and our mom want to plant some giant pumpkin seeds to try and grow a massive pumpkin, something a cousin of ours is really into. I'm not really against the idea, per se, I just worry that if we get a massive, state fair worthy pumpkin, it won't be as fun to deal with or move as they think.

We planted herbs in containers:

From the top, clockwise, rosemary, thyme, parsley and basil. We use these a lot in cooking. Except basil. We rarely use that (except on margherita pizza) but just really like the smell.

We lost a few houseplants over the winter (a few are still struggling) so I got a 3 more when we went to Ikea for a new bookshelf.

Also I planted the wildflower seeds I got from Summer from her contest.

I was really excited about these but that night something (most likely a squirrel) for whatever reason dug a huge hole in the dirt so I'm not sure how many will end up growing. sadface.

Then we moved onto trying to zazz up our main flower garden.

For some reason whoever planted this garden was crazy. As you can see from the front picture it looks OK, well filled out (the top tier hasn't been weeded yet). But the whole back side of the garden is empty. Nothing planted at all.

So last year we added some mat plants to try and fill it up a bit and this year we're going to try and give it some symmetry. I'm sure we'll need to add some more plants next year as well. Some day the garden will be filled with perennials and then we can add some mulch to make it look even prettier.

Mostly we added some lilies to even it out (which twin really likes) and some purple flowers (of which I can't remember the name right now) which I fancy. We're planning on hopefully adding a few more lilies this year (it was really windy when I took these pictures...)

After all of that we bought a few vine and creeper plants to grow along our fence.

Here's a clematis we got that has already bloomed along with a trumpet creeper.

We also planted a new lilac. We had planted 4 last year but one of them didn't make it through the winter.

And by "didn't make it through the winter" I mean "didn't make it through a certain someone who has a fondness for sticks and stick like bushes".


Anne said...

Haha Toots!
In her defense, pretty sure the rabbits went after the bush over the winter, so the remaining plant looked more like sticks and less like a plant

Kittie Howard said...

Ohhhh, your garden looks yummy! And a lot of work accomplished! And great pics! I planted a small rosemary two years ago that grew into a little bush I looove! Didn't one of the largest pumpkins ever grown come from MN?? Maybe you and Twin will be in one of those Miracle Grow commercials!!

Palindrome said...

ooooh, I want to grow vegetables so bad!!! When I start, you're going to have to help me...or else. *shaking fist*

Falen said...

Anne - i think it was less rabbis and more toots stomping around on it

Kitty - that pumpkin stat sounds about right, judging by the pumpkins we see at the state fair each year

Palindrome - we'd love to help!

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

This year all we are attempting is strawberries. We have a ton of deer and they eat EVERYTHING

But last year we managed to get some tomatoes and peppers.

That's a great looking garden!

Looks like you got a lot of stuff done :D

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

I wish I had a green thumb, but it's more like the thumb of death. I'm the only person in my family that cant keep a plant alive. Love the doggie picture, so cute!

Emily White said...

My husband and I just built some boxed gardens. I'm going out to buy the vegetables this week! I love growing food. It's so much fun to fill up a big bowl in the morning and cook with them at night.

Jaydee Morgan said...

I've tried planting a garden in the past (and the idea crossed my mind for this year). However, I'm terrible with plants and usually end up pulling up all the plants when I try to weed. (Who can differentiate the difference? - well, not me obviously)

Christine Danek said...

Your garden looks great. I wish I had a green thumb. :)

Stark Raving Zen said...

The purple ones are Salvias. Very drought tolerant and hardy. You should pinch off the new little purple buds this time of year and they'll get all big and showy for the rest of the summer. I'm jealous of your veggie garden. Looks awesome.

Janel said...

Looks like you had fun last week! I tried a veggie garden once, then our neighbors chickens came over and punched holes into everything! Not to mention they liked to sneak over early in the morning and crow right under my bedroom window. Good luck with your garden!!

Summer said...

Yup, salvia. Looks very similar to the "meadow sage" variety I have! Great plants, and so many varieties.

I need to update my photos--my garden is growing like crazy.

I can't believe you fit all those vegetables into that bed! Maybe it's longer/wider than it looks...

Pretty much none of the wildflower seeds that I planted this year came up, except cosmos, so don't feel too bad. :-)

Looking forward to more pics!!

PS: I'm thinking of doing a recipe post pretty soon that has a good use of fresh basil.

Teebore said...

Yeah, I really wish we could have a garden. For now, we're stuck with pots of flowers and herbs. And we're trying strawberries this year, after the peppers failed magnificently last year.

Falen said...

sonshine - i just walk my dog george around to pee on the bricks. that tends to keep the animals away

Erica - Ha! Thumb of death!

Emily - it's so awesome when you just have tons of veggies

Jaydee - i used to have a problem with that too. especially when weeding around plants i didn't personally plant

Christine - we just try and follow directions and it typically works out ok

Zen - thanks! i was way too lazy to look it up. good to know about the flowers

Janel - awww! I want chickens so bad!

Summer - yeah it's really quite long, i don't think the pictures quite do it justice. Maybe around 20 feet? (keeping in mind that i'm terrible at estimating sizes or distances)

Teebore - were they bell peppers? we grew salsa peppers last year so brother could make salsa. which he never did.

Teebore said...

Yeah, they were bell peppers, and they rotted out before they could fully ripe.

Anne said...

@SonshineMusic- good luck with the strawberries! in our front crazy flower garden someone previously thought planting strawberries in there would be a good idea. Now it's like a never-ending weed- we keep pulling it up only to have it reappear next year. And this morning i noticed it was actually blooming...

Talli Roland said...

What a wonderful garden. I'm so jealous - I don't even have a patch of green to call my own!

Natalie said...

I love vegetable gardening too. We planted some asparagus this year, but I didn't realize it's a 2 year crop. I guess I can wait an extra year.

Your yard looks amazing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You girls are ambitious!!

Lola Sharp said...

Wow. It looks yummy.

A certain someone is too cute and blames the...bunnies. Yeah. The bunnies did it.

Falen said...

Teebore - boo on that

Anne - how dares they

Talli - awww that stinks.

Natalie - it's ridiculous because we didn't plant it last year for that reason, and if we had, we'd have asparagus this fall

Alex - mostly we just like to spend money

Lola - dogs and cats sway us all with their cuteness. They have us right where they want us...

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Ooh, yay, happy gardening! We are starting a small flower garden and I got the stuff to start a small veggie garden as well. I have heretofore had a very black thumb, other than the 5 foot cacti I have growing in my classroom that I have managed not to kill in the past 10 years. :) My school started a garden this year and I wanted to try it with my kids, so... here goes!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Your garden is just lovely! I'm so jealous. I can't seem to keep anything green alive.

And totally off topic...did you know that in the countryside in Ecuador, some people eat guinea pig? Total delicacy.

Yeah, I know. Gave me the creeps, too.

Falen said...

Dangerous - good luck! vegetable gardening ended up being much easier than we expected

Carolina - thanks! And yes we did know that they eat peruvian cuy, which are really close relatives to gpigs (though cuy are a bit larger, have a different diet and an extra toe).
If, for whatever reason, you eat gpig in a restaurant, it's typically cuy.
Yay fun times!

AchingHope said...

I love me some plants :)

I'm supposed to be growing some herbs. *looks away sheepishly* Which means I have packets of seeds all over my room.

Hope all your plants fare well.

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