Photos From Our Garden

Here are a few photos from our garden for your Sunday viewing pleasure…

We’ve harvested 10 yellow squash and 6 striped zucchinis so far from just 4 plants. This was our first time to try the striped zucchini. It’s a fun plant because the fruit can grow super long really quick. They taste the same as the regular zucchini – delicious! We planted 2 more of each about a month ago and those plants are now starting to bloom.

We are growing Kirby cucumbers (pickling cukes) up a trellis this year. So far, that has been really successful and we’re getting 4-5 cucumbers a day. We’ve already had enough to make a quart of refrigerator dills (garlic cilantro dills, to be exact). They are yummy!

We tried Ox Heart carrots this year. They are short and fat little carrots. I think they were supposed to be a bit bigger but summer came on full force and the heat didn’t help them much. Same for the “pencil” onions. We ate them anyway. 🙂 And our potatoes that we grew in bags – well, they produced about 8 pounds of white and purple potatoes. Though the bags worked great, I think next time we may try putting them in a raised bed.

The Minibel tomatoes are doing terrific on the new patio. We’re getting a handful from each plant every day now. These are meaty little tomatoes that taste great when roasted with squash. We are also growing Blueberry Tomatoes, which are tart and juicy, and a volunteer tomato that looks and tastes a lot like a San Marzano (though I have no idea where that seed came from!) We also have an entire row of Bonny, Beef Steak, and Cherokee Purple tomatoes that we keep forgetting to take photos of.

Speaking of volunteer plants, I think we have a pumpkin growing in the raised bed. It certainly looks like pumpkin leaves, but I’m no expert. Last year, we grew a cantaloupe that we thought was a cucumber. I do know that the tiny plant in the red bucket is ginger. We found a YouTube video from Epic Gardening on how to sprout ginger, so we’re going to see what happens. We harvested our cabbage on Friday. Of the 6 heads we planted, 4 made it to maturity. We’re pretty happy with that.

And the blackberries! This is our 4th season with these plants (from Baker Creek) and I think this is going to be the best one yet! The canes are loaded, and if you look closely, you’ll see they are now leaning over the cucumber trellis.

Our green beans did not do well so we pulled them up and replanted the space with cowpeas. We always have great success with these peas. We also have 7 okra plants bordered by a ring of chamomile. We’ve harvested about a cup of flowers so far to try making tea at some point.

How’s your garden growing this year? Any odd volunteer plants show up out of nowhere? What has been your greatest success so far?


The Sprouts Are Taking Over!

Okay, not really but it is kind of fun to look around our apartment and see things sprouting in almost every windowsill and on top of our dresser.

We are now under a “safer at home” directive in our county, which means that all non-essential businesses have been asked to close for at least 7 days. My Target gig sent out a memo saying that we were still being allowed to service our stores but could opt out without any repercussions if we did not feel safe going into them. Right now, I feel okay about it; however, my sister was sent by her employer to be tested yesterday. She works in a grocery store and they have reason to believe she may have been exposed (and she is exhibiting symptoms similar to bronchitis). The doctor advised her to stay home for 4 days while she awaits the test results. Right now, she’s in good spirits, just relaxing and watching Netflix. (In case you’re wondering, my sister lives an hour and a half away and we have not seen her since February 10th – so we’re good here.)

In a lot of ways, we aren’t really feeling the impact of having to stay home. We pretty much stay home anyway. But we are missing our niece and nephew. They are too little to understand what’s going on and just want Meme and Monkey (that’s what our niece calls Angie) to take them to the playground.

Why does she call Angie Monkey?? Because it was the first word Angie taught her so she has always associated the name with Angie. And also because Angie LOVES monkeys (and bananas). Plus, it probably didn’t help that we (the adults) all liked it so much that we started calling her Monkey too – just maybe not in public. 🙂

In the meantime, we’ve been building a playground of sorts in the backyard – a playground for plants that is. A few weeks ago, we built a raised bed next to our blackberry bushes and garlic. Over the weekend, we finished the space (or at least finished what we can right now).

A lot of the materials for this project were sourced from the creek. You see, last fall, Angie and I decided to clean up the creek that runs behind my mom’s house. The creek does not belong to us but we do have to look at it (and we figured that the factory that now owns the property probably cared less about it than we do) so we adopted it. We pulled out all sorts of trash, cut branches and barbed wire, and removed a lot of old cattle panels that had fallen across the creek bed and were collecting trash. We saved the cattle panels to use as trellises and we started removing some of the rocks to allow the water to flow better. The result – we now have a tiny waterfall!!

Our newly cleaned up creek.

We used the rocks as a border for our new garden area and filled in the walkways with mulch that we bought in “busted bags” for half price at Lowe’s. When the garlic is harvested in June, we plan to mulch the rest of the space and add a couple of tubs for growing potatoes. The area with the small trellis is for our peas.

If all goes well weather-wise tomorrow, we’re going to put our cool weather crops in the raised bed – onions, radishes, kale, and spinach.

Have you started your seeds or garden projects yet? How are you adjusting to staying home (if you are also under a safer at home advisory)?