Saturday, August 13, 2011

Garden Pictures

I'm way overly excited about our garden's first season! Not because it's grand (like my original big intentions)...because it's not--it's basically the first 12 feet of a 100-foot long space. Not because everything is growing fabulously well...I actually planted things much too closely together and too late, and several things seem to be stunted. No, I'm excited because I decided a couple months ago, when I realized that my big intentions just weren't going to happen, that this season was going to be about learning how to garden here. Anything we actually harvested would be a bonus! :) It's definitely been a learning curve, but learn we have! And, in spite of getting the garden started at almost 8 months pregnant, it's been fun as well.

Tomatoes in the foreground, pole beans on the fence behind them

As soon as the fence was up, we had a big load of top soil delivered to make the beds. The older boys got the job of shoveling the dirt into a wheelbarrow and dumping it in beds. I supervised. :) This was a win-win, as the boys are always saving up their money for something or other, and I paid them 50 cents a wheelbarrow load. Altogether I think I coughed up about $60 to get most of 20 yards of dirt moved. I'm just glad I didn't have to do it myself, at 8 months pregnant!

A California Wonder bell pepper

Everything in our garden was started from seeds I ordered last December. This was a first for me, as I had always done transplants from Home Depot or Walmart in our Texas garden. We learned that starting from seed is an effort in patience!

This bed has tomatillos in the front, and Roma tomatoes behind those. Along the fence in an L shape are zucchini, yellow, and scalloped squash.

It has been so rewarding to see the kids get excited about the garden! Everyone down to Josiah enjoys looking for things to harvest, and while I'm not thrilled about them, the boys LOVE all the bugs they can find here!

Beefsteak tomatoes...can't wait for these to ripen!

Roma tomatoes

Purple-podded bush beans (and a LOT of weeds...)

Under the circumstances this season (can we say "busy" LOL) the weeds have gotten a wee bit out of control. I'm hoping the raised beds I'm planning to build for next spring will help us keep the weeds down in the future. Of course, we did put a garden in the middle of what was basically a hay field, so some stray grass, etc. is to be expected.

Yellow squash

We've had a few pests to deal with--squash vine borers attacked our squash plants. We've lost one yellow squash plant and one zucchini plant so far. There is evidence of the little buggers on the others as well, but so far the other plants are hanging in there and producing squashes faster than we can eat/freeze them!

A small cucumber

The cucumbers have been the most fun, so far. They sat in the ground as tiny seedlings doing absolutely nothing for so long, I just about gave up on them. I think the weather was too cool for them in June. But then they took off! Jordan and Joseph wade through them every day looking for "pickles." I keep trying to tell them they're called cucumbers until they are actually pickled, but to no avail!


I'm super excited about our tomatillos! They aren't ready to harvest yet, but there are literally hundreds of them on the plants. I'm drooling in anticipation of some home-made salsa verde!

Pole beans reaching for the sky

Okay, this photo is mostly weeds, but there are a couple zucchinis hiding in there...consider this one of those hidden picture games, lol!

A couple days ago, I found our first few tomato hornworms. Ewwwwww! I can not STAND those nasty things! Fortunately I have boys! Josh and Jordan were only moderately grossed out (probably only because I was) but it just took a little convincing (and the offer of 10 cents per worm) to get them to pull them off for me. A few minutes (and $1.00) later, Jon showed up. He was very disappointed that he had missed the hornworms, and hunted high and low to find one. He finally found a small one--and promptly popped it into a jar for a pet. The good news is that I no longer have a bunch of worms defoliating my tomato plants. Instead I have a 10-year-old boy defoliating my tomato plants--he has to feed his hornworm-in-a-jar, after all!

The nasty beast, I mean Jon's pet, before it ended up in a jar...*shudder*

Yes, this thing now lives in my HOUSE! Ah, the joys of raising boys!!

Thankfully, this season hasn't JUST been about learning...we ARE getting a harvest as well! And it's been yummy so far!

Bell peppers and 2 varieties of jalapenos, a hot one on the left, and a mild variety on the right.

We're getting LOTS of cukes!

Yellow, zucchini, and scalloped squash. Boy, do we have this stuff coming out our ears.

Of course, I'm still waiting for that first big, red, ripe juicy tomato!!

1 comment:

Annalia said...

I'm so jealous of everyone's tomatoes! I thought about putting some in my front yard (the back is ubershady)...but some animal keeps pooping in my flowerbeds! would be even grosser if food was involved!

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