Thursday, April 30, 2009

Garden update

Just thought I'd post some pics of how my garden is growing.

Broccoli. Are those seed pods growing? When am I gonna get broccoli to eat??

Lots o sugar snap peas. I'm being more patient this time around.

New blackeyed pea sprouts on the right. Old blackeyed pea sprouts on the left. The old ones got bit by the frost. Thus far I'm not too impressed with the germination rate of the blackeyed peas.

Old cream peas on the left. New cream peas on the right. Still not too impressed.

Old green beans on left. New green beans on right. 100% germination.

Flowers on my cherokee purple tomato plant

Cherokee Purple tomato. Hopefully this one won't split like the other one did.

This little quick pick tomato surprised me. I hadn't even noticed it before yesterday!

My corn is coming along nicely. All my new varieties have sprouted quite well, and they're almost caught up with the stuff I planted before it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

My first harvest

Oh happy day! I picked my first harvest today - 4 little sugar snap peas. They are very adorable. I probably should have left them on the vine a few more days, but I just couldn't wait to snack on a few. It was a very exciting day. I still have several more untouched pea pods. I guess I'll let them completely mature, so I can harvest the seeds.

My first victims, err, harvest

Just a few more days til this one's ready

I also learned today that I don't really like sugar snap peas that much... Oh well. I know I like maters, and I can't wait til those guys are ready.

My little bro went over to Cook's Nursery last week to get some tomato plants. He'd heard me raving about their selection and quality plants, so he decided to check it out. I asked him to pick me up a cauliflower 4-pack. They already have cauliflowers on them! Lookee....

Baby Cauliflower

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dang birds and lead footed husbands

I'm having to type this entry from my Wii because my husband is taking an online defensive driving course, so I'll be brief. When I checked on my garden at lunch I noticed one of my cream pea seedlings uprooted and laying on top of the soul. I found some bird droppings next to the sprout. I guess a bird mistook the seedling for a grub?? Thus far I haven't had a bird problem. It may be time to get some bird netting.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another productive afternoon.

I'm still diggin' this getting off at 5:00. This evening I had plenty of daylight to plant the corn I wrapped in wet paper towels this morning. I put in 3 squares of Country Gentleman and 2 squares of Hopi Pink. I already have three different varieties of corn planted in the other squares - Hickory King, True Gold, and Stowell's Evergreen . I'm trying to decide what sweet corn I like best hence the different varieties of corn. Hopi Pink is used for making corn meal, and I'm interested to see how it turns out. I haven't decided if I'm going to try to make corn meal or use it as a decorative corn. I plan on planting a couple more types of corn later on this season - Dakota Popping and Rainbow Sweet Inca. I think the nieces and nephews will like the popping corn.

In addition to planting new corn, I also thinned out my other corn. I really hate thinning, but it is a necessary evil.

Before thinning

After thinning

A cream pea is about to burst through

That green bean sprout coming right along

A blackeyed pea has sprouted. I didn't even see it yesterday.

ooh look at the baby maters! This is my Cherokee Purple.

The sugar snaps are really putting on lots of flowers

A close up of one of the blooms

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring is in the air, and it's picture intensive

The Confederate Jasmine blooms are filling the air with a breezy perfume, and my pea plants have finally started blossoming seemingly overnight.

Confederate Jasmine sometimes called Star Jasmine

Two of the pea blossoms with a couple more about to pop

The pea plants are loving the trellis! I counted at least 6 blooms.

I didn't get to play in the garden yesterday because we had to go to the lake house to work, so today I was just itching to get my hands in the dirt! Today I got off at 5, and it was glorious! I went to Lufkin Farm Supply to buy a replacement Fooled You jalapeno pepper for the plant I lost during the late spring frost. I ended up buying 3. Two for me and one for my brother. I can already taste the grilled bacon wrapped jalapeno peppers. mmmm

I got my two pepper plants planted, and I finally got my eggplants that I bought about a week ago planted.

Fooled You jalapeno peppers. My scraggly looking blackeyed peas are in the background.

In addition the final cherry tomato plant that Phillip gave me was looking a little yellow and unhappy, so I pulled it up and replaced it with one of the plants I had left over from the plants I bought at Cook's. While planting my eggplants I noticed a trail of fireants in the beds. I've never been so excited about seeing fireants in my life. A few weeks ago I purchased some orange oil to kill fireants, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet. I rushed back to the house to grab the orange oil (which is supposed to melt the ant's exoskeleton). I squirted away expecting to see the ants writhe in pain and imagining them screaming nooooooooooo. Alas, the results were less melodramatic. They just died. Pity.

The green beans that Emma and I planted last weekend are starting to peak through the Mel's Mix. Any day now they'll be up and looking around.

Still nothing from the blackeyed peas and cream peas. I hope this round will have a better germination rate. My blackeyed peas last time only sprouted two plants out of 18. Very disappointing.

I also decided to plant another round of chantenay red core carrots. I read on the internet about two weeks after I planted the other ones that you should put vermiculite on top of the carrot seeds to help retain moisture, so I'm trying that. We'll see how it pans out.

Carrot seeds covered with vermiculite. See the taters in the background? They're looking good.

It was a very productive afternoon in my estimation. Can't wait to see more stuff start blooming.

We have a new garden resident. Apparently s/he likes the trellis as much as the pea plants.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Enough rain already

Well, we needed the rain, but this is a bit much. Two solid days of rain? This isn't how I'd imagined spending my 3 day weekend. During a brief intermission in the rain I went out to check my garden, and two of the boxes had mushrooms growing in them. Guess that's a sure sign of too much rain.

I'm seriously considering moving the boxes. My lettuce plants are still only about an inch tall, and I planted them back in February. Aside from the late spring freeze the weather has been warm enough that they should be taller than they are. The only thing I can think is that they're not getting enough sunlight. I knew the boxes would not get any morning sun, but now that the trees on the west side of the house have their leaves, the boxes get shaded by 5:30 or 6:00, and the boxes on the right hand side don't get full sun until mid-afternoon. That's a fairly small window of full sunlight for those boxes, and especially the lettuce because it's on the far right side of the back box. Now if it'll ever stop raining I can determine exactly where I want to put them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No pea blossoms yet

Phooey. I was really hoping we'd have some blossoms on the pea plants this afternoon when I got home. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No gardening today

What a day! I didn't even get to see my garden today let alone do anything in it. Thank God tomorrow is April 15. I don't think I could stand another day like today was. My garden has really been a real stress reliever this busy tax season. Last year I felt a lot more pressure, but this year as a whole has not been nearly as stressful. I really think it has a lot to do with the fact that during my lunch hour I get to decompress a little while I check for new growth and water any plants that need a drink. And on the weekends I get to plant things (or pull up dead things as has been the case the past week), play in the dirt, and completely forget about what's happening at the office.

Oh! I almost forgot. Yesterday when I checked the garden I noticed that the sugar snap peas are about to bloom. Here's a picture.

I can't wait to check on them tomorrow to see if the blooms have bloomed out!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Lazarus garden

Well, I guess you just can't keep a good garden down. I thought I'd lost a lot of my veggies to the freeze that came through last week, so I deserted it for a few days. When I finally psyched myself up to go back out to peruse the damage this weekend I made an amazing discovery. The potato plants that I thought were toast actually have new growth on them. The green beans also look like they're sprouting new leaves on top as well. I don't know if they'll bounce back, but I've left them just the same.

New potato growth

I think the green beans are resprouting?

The tomato plants, with the exception of one of the cherry tomato plants that my little brother gave to me, were goners, so I uprooted them and replanted some new ones. I wasn't too upset about the tomato plants, because I'd seen some really great looking heirloom tomato plants at Cook's Nursery the weekend after I bought my second round of tomato plants. These plants were 18 inches or so high and several of them already had blooms on them. So my hubby and I made a trip to Nacogdoches to pick up some more tomato plants, and they looked just as great as they had the week before. We bought 4 heirlooms (2 Black Krims and 2 Cherokee Purple) as well as a 4 pack of Quick Picks, and a four pack of Super Sweet 100 cherry tomato plants. I don't have a spot for 4 cherry tomato plants, but I'll plant what I need and give the rest to a friend.

Hubby and I got the trellises put up today, and my sugar snap pea plants were very happy. Before they were just languishing around in the square foot, draped over to the ground, etc. Now they've got something to climb.

I'm afraid I made a bit of an oopsy with regard to planning. I planted my peas in the square in front of my cucumbers and canteloupes, and I'm afraid they are going to overshadow the baby cucumbers and melons. Next year I'll need to be sure the sugar snaps are planted at the back of the box. Speaking of melons another sugar baby and the other cantaloupe seed finally sprouted.

In addition to planting tomatoes and installing trellises my niece and I planted some more green beans, blackeyed peas, and sugar cream peas. What a great garden day!

The party's over

The pity party that is. A combination of long work hours (I work in a CPA firm, and we're just a wee bit busy right now), and discouragement over what happened to my garden during the freeze we had last week have prevented me from doing much with my SFG the past few days. But today, my first day off in quite a while, is going to be a busy one. We're headed off to Lowes to get stuff for the trellises, so I'll have to post more about what we got accomplished this evening.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I guess I posted too soon

Man, am I one discouraged gardner right now. I just got home from work, and my plants look terrible. I uncovered them this morning, and they looked very perky. I really thought we'd dodged the bullet, but I counted my chickens too soon. I guess it was still too cold when I uncovered the plants. This evening my tomato plants, green beans, peas, and okra are droopy. My potato plants look just awful. I'm afraid I'm going to lose them all. I can't even bring myself to post pictures of the destruction. I'm especially disgusted about the potato plants. They've been in the ground for almost 2 months now, and I can't even express how sad and disgusted I am at the thought of having to replant them.

On the plus side my corn, carrots, broccoli, lettuce, and newly sprouted melons don't seem phased. I wish I could say the same for my spirits. :(

We survived, sorta

Just went to check all my little plants, and they all look pretty good with the exception of one plant - the Fooled You Jalapeno. I forgot to cover it last night. yikes!! As I was rousing from my nightly slumber this morning it hit me like a ton of bricks that I didn't cover it up. It is in the same box as my cold hardy plants - lettuce, broccoli, and carrots, so I didn't cover that box up. I did put a cover on my little okra plants that are in that box, but I was going to make a second trip out with a large pitcher to put over the jalepeno. I got busy covering up my tomato plants (which look very perky this a.m.) and other boxes, and when I perused my garden afterwards I failed to notice my little naked pepper plant. I tried pouring some warm water on the plant this a.m. to defrost it, but I think it looked even more miserable after that... sigh.... Guess I'll be making another trip back to the nursery this week.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Another freeze??

Ack! More cold weather is on the way tonight. We're supposed to get in the mid-30's tonight. brrr. I *just* finished replanting my tomato plants because the last ones didn't fair well in the last cold snap. Sheesh. So much for the freeze free date of March 15.

On the plus side, if these tomato plants freeze I'm going to go back over to Cook's Nursery and grab some of those heirloom tomato plants. Those things were 18-24 inches tall, and some of them already had blooms on them. If I hadn't just replanted with some tomato plants from Lufkin Farm Nursery, I would've snatched up several.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I'm a plant murderer

The green bean plants have been thinned. Man, that was a tough task. Not because it was physically difficult. It was just tough to decide which plant got to live and which had to die. I guess in the long run it is best for the plants, but I hated having to do it. If I get this attached to seedlings, it's a good thing I'm not a rancher.

Green Beans before Thinning

Green Beans after being Thinned

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The melons have sprouted

Just when I'd given up hope, my melon seeds have sprouted. Or at least two of them have. One sugar baby and one cantaloupe.

My first blog

What a pivotal moment in my life. I've created my first blog entry. And what, might you ask, has preceded this monumental event? What do I have that's worth blogging about? I planted a square foot garden. And now I want to tell the whole world (or at least the 4 or 5 people that might wind up here accidentally) to know about my garden's square feet of vegetably goodness. And I want to have a digital diary of my progress. Sure up to this point, I've been using Word to keep my track of my progress, but I want to have an online journal that I can refer to no matter where in the world I find myself.

So ready or not, here I gooooooo......