Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Garden Bounty

I'm so happy with the results of our first attempt at a garden this year. This first picture is of our cabbages, broccoli (both coming on), cauliflower (still waiting) and peppers in the background). Yes, I learned a ton and will do many things differently next year, but the one things I can't complain about it the bounty. From the offset, we wanted an exclusively organic, heirloom garden. With the exception of a few pepper, tomato and watermelon plants not being from heirloom seed (some of the plants we planted from heirloom seed got frozen out, so we had to go to the nursery and buy what they had), we almost achieved that goal. We will definitely being growing a bigger garden next year and will make some raised beds. We didn't plant nearly enough peas or beans. Despite the field-bind weed, everything grew very well, thanks to the pick-up load of composted horse manure we put on our garden. Does anyone know how to get rid of field-bind weed (looks like morning glory) organically? If I don't get some good ideas, we're going to have to use Round-up this fall. Something I shudder to do, but we have to get it under control before we do raised beds. I don't want to just put plastic over everything and then bring in new soil, because the soil we have is so good. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Our pepper plants are huge! They are loaded with peppers, too. So far we've used most of them in our German Dill Pickles.Here is our tomato hedge, I jokingly call it. I planted the tomatoes way too close together, but again, they are loaded with tomatoes, all different varieties. 13 plants in all. They are finally starting ripen up just this week. Things are cooling down around here, but hoping we'll get a bunch ripen before the frost hits.I'm so excited about the four varieties of watermelon I planted. These are Charleston Grays. How do you know when watermelon is ready to pick? They still seem kind of small.Here is another variety, Jubilee, I think. My 35 pickling cucumber plants are alive and well and climbing into the watermelons and up the tomato hedge. We're getting an average of 7 lbs every couple of days. So far we've canned around 50 quarts of pickles. We're giving the rest away to friends who do pickles as well. I think 35 plants was just a tad too much, LOL.

Here is a box of some beautiful veggies from our garden. My carrots are doing good, although I planted a baby carrot variety. Next time I'll make sure they are larger carrots. I'm still getting fresh spinach, despite the hotter weather. I just keep breaking off the seed heads and it keeps coming back, same with the lettuce. Bush beans in are in the background. Love not having to go to the store to buy veggies!Here is a picture of the front part of the garden. Tomato hedge is blocking the view of the cukes and watermelons.

Hope all you gardeners out there are having a successful year as well! I'm about ready to start collecting seeds from some of my plants (radishes, turnips, lettuce and spinach), so if anyone knows of a good method, please leave me a comment. I'm always open for suggestions and gardening tips!

God Bless,
Jackie

12 comments:

OurLilFullFam said...

Wonderful! I love fresh produce, and it just tastes so good from your own garden!! I love raised beds so much.

I do cover the bottom of ours because our ground where we have them is horrible, and it cuts down on the weeds.

I hate round-up as well, but we are planning on using it this fall as well due to our horrible poison ivy problem along the back of our fence.

Stephanie

Valerie said...

Your garden looks beautiful! Sadly, our weather here did not cooperate for a productive garden. We are praying for a better harvest next year. :) I like your idea of using the landscaping fabric between rows, may have to try that next year. :) I bet it helped to keep the soil warm for your peppers and tomatoes too. What an idea! :) Enjoy those melons...they look wonderful!

Paula said...

Used properly, in the proper proportions Round Up isn't as bad the anti-RU people say. If it was, then farmers wouldn't be able to plant next year in the same field. Overuse/misuse is the reason homeowners can't use RU here in Ontario. Only licensed/trained farmers can. I don't think using it this once to get a very aggressive weed under control would be bad. It will help you to maintain the new beds organically. I've had to do the same thing a couple times when setting up new garden beds.

Planting on plastic really helps with the weeds AND nearly eliminates the need to water. Our plastic mulch has lasted 5 years.

Catherine said...

Your garden looks great! You MAY have to Round-up, but raised beds, planting close together (the optimum distance apart) and vigilant weeding will do you very well with your new garden.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

WE are super impressed! The kids and I were looking at all the pictures together. Everything looks great, Jack!

This has been my best year ever gardening. I'm so excited. I pick about a 1/2 gallon of beans every day! I'm also picking around 2-3 tomatoes a day.

I have made a new bed next to my fence and have put the soil in it. In the fall, I'll put my compost and leaves on it.

I can't wait to do bigger and better!

It's saving us so much money and it's good to know exactly what you are eating. No chemicals!

Regina @VestPocketFamilyFarm said...

Round Up won't kill bind weed/wild morning glory. The roots go down too far, as in several feet. You have to plastic mulch over it. I've been told putting pigs on the ground will kill it out, but I've never tried it. ;(( Sorry I've no good idea.

No gardener is ever satisfied with what they grew, there's always something new to learn. Your grandad is still trying new things.

RaD said...

Wow! Your garden really did grow from when we saw it! Glad it was such a success for you this year. Hopefully next year we'll give it a shot, but I'm still not entirely certain about where I would put it where it would not be in our way since our yard is kinda smallish.

Jill said...

What an awesome garden! Congratulations!

Marie said...

Your garden is wonderful! We have not planted our cabbage and broccoli yet. We planted some this time last year, and it did really well. I have a post of it on my blog.
Love,
Marie

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it would work on those weeds however I use vinegar, just spray straight undiluted vinegar on the leaf during a the heat of the day and it should shrivel up with in a day if not I spray it a couple days in a row. Just make sure that you do not get the vinegar on anything you want to live because it will kill veggie plants.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Anonymous,
I'll have to try that. Thanks for the tip!

Freckles and Frogs said...

Uou can always cover your tomatoe plants at night with a sheet to protect them from the frost. You might have to get a bunch of extra large california king sheets or blankets with your huge tomatoe "hedge". Looks great Jackie! I'm super impressed!

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