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Friday, September 18, 2009

Garden Update

I have been happy overall with my garden this year.  I have plans to expand next year.  I am going to try square foot gardening.

Here is a selection of photos from my garden.

Here is the dill.  As you can see, it went wild!Dill

I harvested the seeds.  I wish I had dried some leaves.  I will have to do that next year.  I like to use that in my homemade dip.  I also dried a lot of basil.
Dill & Basil

I grew butternut squash, by accident!  The seeds came up from my compost.  When it sprouted, it looked just like the cucumber I had growing in the pot, so I didn't pull it.Butternut

I ended up getting two small squashes from that plant.  They were both the size of my hand.  They each made a nice lunch portion size for myself.  They were delicious!Butternut 2
These are my Purple Beauty Bell Peppers.  I thought they would be sweet, but they taste the same as green bell peppers.  However, I noticed a couple turning red, instead of purple.  I let them stay on branch until they were almost completely red.  I picked them last night and ate them in a salad.  They tasted great, as sweet as red bell peppers should be.  Next year, however, I will be growing red peppers.  We just like them better.

Purple Beauty Bell Peppers

My tomatoes have disappointed me.  I did not know that heirloom tomatoes are known for cracking.  The first few that ripened were so bad I couldn't eat them.  There seem to be plenty now that aren't cracked.  I hope they stay that way.  :)  Plus, my attempt to keep away the Tomato Hornworms with my Marigolds has been unsuccessful.  The marigolds didn't get enough sun, they were too close to the tomatoes.  I have found a few big, fat worms--they make me so mad!Tomato

Of course, we had to grow some flowers.  We planted a couple of giant sunflowers for fun.  And a row of zinnias to cut and make arrangements with.  I love the zinnias because they are so easy to take care of and they attract butterflies and hummingbirds.Sunflower

Zinnia
Monarch
I harvested plenty of cucumbers and made homemade pickles.  I had an abundance of basil and made lots of pesto.  Click here to see my post on pickled jalapeno peppers. However, I did not know much about cilantro and didn't get to harvest much before it bolted (flowered).  I do have a second batch growing now, so I hope to harvest before the frost.

When the dill was done producing, I pulled them out and planted carrot seeds in their place.  I was so happy that they sprouted and were thriving and then I discovered that they are not carrots, they are dill!!!  The dill reseeded itself.  So no carrots this year, but more dill.  This time around I will dry the leaves.

I made a second attempt at growing a pumpkin.  This time I planted in a spot that gets more sun and warned my husband not to run over it with the lawn mower!  I planted it around July 1st.  It seemed a bit wilted for a while, so I worked in some bone meal (but now I think it was from the excessive heat).  It is doing great now (see below), but no pumpkins yet.

Pumpkin

I did notice some mildew on my pumpkin leaves.  I heard of a natural remedy of 1:9 parts milk to water.  I sprayed the leaves with this mixture and they started looking better, but then we started having a really rainy season, so that's not helping.

My cucumber vines really slowed down producing so I took them out and planted more seeds.  I was happy to see that the harvest time was short, only 50 days.  So, come October, we'll be making more pickles.  (Hopefully.  The little sprouts seem to be slow-growing, probably the lack of sun from all this rain.)

I'm thinking of trying out a fall batch of lettuce when I pull the pepper plants out.  And I really want to plant some garlic.  It has to be planted in the fall.  I will probably put it in when I pull the basil out.

Anyway, that's my update.  I hope it is encouraging to you.  I don't really know what I'm doing.  I just check out some books from my library, do some research online, ask friends' advice, and experiment.  You can do it, too!  Just give it a try.

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