Thursday, October 8, 2009
Over the past month or so we've started and completed all sorts of projects. Some will be super boring to you, my loyal readers. Some will be super exciting. Lucky for you I plan to post a project a day for the next little while so you can see what we've been up to. And these series of posts will culminate in the best project of all. So stay tuned!
I love growing a garden and this year was my first attempt in the new yard. The yard isn't very big and there really isn't a suitable place yet (I want a planter box eventually). So I threw together a make-shift plot and although it was tiny, I had high expectations.
If you are not converted to the Jiffy greenhouse seed starter kit, let me recommend it to you. My sister turned me onto it last year and it's one of the greatest inventions ever. I started several types of seeds this year and had pretty good success.
Here's a rundown of what I grew:
Tomatoes from starter plants. They did well, but not as well as last year -- when I had homegrown tomatoes through December.
Peas. A few starter plants and several seeds. The seeds did much better than the starts, by the way.
Broccoli from starter plants. It did pretty well until the bugs took over. Still, we had several harvests before that happened. Any ideas how to keep the bugs away?
Lettuce from starter plants. It did OK in pots, but not in the soil.
Spinach from starter plants was a bust. I think a critter of some sort ate it. Same with the lettuce in the soil.
Basil from seed did great.
Cilantro from seed did OK. Cilantro is my all-time favorite ingredient and I'm always so disappointed it doesn't do better. Still I harvested a few small bunches.
Carrots from seed in pots did pretty poor but I got a few at least.
Zucchini seeds grew really well at first then died once in the soil. I didn't put them in a good spot, so I didn't have much hope to begin with.
Green peppers from starter plants in pots did really well.
Corn from seed did really poor. I'm never doing corn again.
Nasturtiums from seed did really well.
And then there was the beans and marigolds. They took forever to sprout, and I never kept up watering them well enough in the Jiffy pots. They always seemed to dry out quickly. So one day when I was about to throw them out, I noticed a small amount of green, so I planted them in an awkward place in the soil just to see what would happen. Well, wouldn't you know, they turned into monsters and took over the entire garden.
So that's why the tomatoes didn't do as well this year. They got choked out by green beans and marigolds! I planted two bean seeds and got so many beans we've been eating beans several times a week for the past month. And I still have a very full gallon ziploc bag in the fridge. And there are still beans on the plants. And it's been sunny and warm all week. It's like the bean seeds that keep on giving!
Same thing with the marigolds. A few measly plants that looked like death turned into giant marigolds that couldn't be controlled. Every time I cut them back, they grew another foot overnight. Finally yesterday I ripped them out to give more room to the beans and tomatoes.
Next time: Sewing 101