Our new garden

14 Oct

Next to our amazing new (to us) home, is a large driveway. In the past, it was used to store cars, but luckily the wooden bridge over the creek that leads to the driveway has deteriorated enough over time that it’s no longer safe to drive cars over it into the driveway. Luckily, because we’ve found a much better use for the driveway. Though it’s concrete, and not a big patch of dirt, it’s still a great place for a garden – a large container garden.

When we moved in early in July, we brought all of our balcony plants with us, though they all looked a bit pathetic after many days of being neglected during the craze of moving and wedding planning. We nursed them back to health though and a few days after our wedding bought some larger containers, a ton of dirt, some seeds, and some plant starters.

Here’s what our garden looked like a few weeks ago:

We thought we’d be drowning in squash by now, since there were plenty of cute baby squashes growing a few weeks ago. Sadly, some creature ate all of the babies and we haven’t been able to eat even one squash off of this plant.

Our tomato plant on the other hand – which I bought as an impulse at Whole Foods the day after we moved in – has been prolific. We’ve already eaten dozens of these delicious fruits and there are about 20 tomatoes still on the plant. The best part is that they’ve been ripening at different rates so we get a few ripe tomatoes every week.

These tiny peppers never got bigger, but were delicious – sweet but a bit tangy and spicy too.

We’re still waiting for these peppers to fully ripen. They’ve started to turn red so hopefully I’ll harvest them this weekend.

Lettuce was a near total fail in our balcony garden, but it’s been flourishing in its new home. It’s so great to pick some lettuce and tomatoes and whip up a quick, fresh salad for lunch.

Much like the lettuce, sweet peas weren’t so happy on our balcony, but they seem to be doing well here and last weekend I noticed the first flowers blooming.

We’ve planted layers upon layers of potatoes, all with potatoes that were a bit over the hill and not quite edible anymore. In the few weeks since this photo was taken, the potato greens have filled in the whole container and have grown many inches taller than the container. They’ll likely be ready for harvest in November, just as it starts to get cold, and it should be the perfect time for potato soup. Yum!

This was the third time I planted radish and carrot seeds in this container. Our garden is on a slope so I think the seeds had been settling all at one end. The container has finally filled in on both sides and I picked the first radish a couple of weeks ago – it was spicy and delicious. Radishes are probably the easiest thing to grow and make salads so much more interesting. They’re great to grow with carrots because they naturally thin the carrots and are ready to harvest long before carrots mature.

Not pictured here, we also have chard, kale, onions, leeks, many types of herbs, and grown cover and flowers on the small patch of dirt next to our house. Still, this garden feels like just a start and I’m sure we will fill it in more over the coming months and years.

6 Responses to “Our new garden”

  1. Gene October 14, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    Your new garden is looking good. with our cool and foggy summer, our tomato plant didn’t start really growing until last month😦

    • Becks October 14, 2010 at 10:44 am #

      Thanks!

      That’s too bad, but at least you’ll have some Fall tomatoes, which are always such a nice treat.

  2. artemis October 14, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    You guy may have better luck a bit closer to the creek, but with squash I’ve found that I need to hand pollinate around here, especially if you only have a few plants…we have a decent number of bees and hummingbirds, but apparently they aren’t so into the squash blossoms.🙂 It’s easy to do, but if I skip it, the baby squash get soft and disappear. Our neighbors grew some ginormous pumpkins this year, though, so I’ve been meaning to ask if they pollinated them by hand or if having enough plants (they had a LOT!) was enough to tip the scales. (We usually just plant 2-3, but that might mean there aren’t enough male and female blossoms open at the same time for the bees to do their work…)

    • Becks October 14, 2010 at 11:13 am #

      Strange, I hadn’t thought of that possibility. It really did look like something ate them, but maybe not. We’ll try hand pollinating next year.

  3. artemis October 14, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    Oh, I could totally believe that someone ate them, too—lots of critters here, including hungry raccoons who don’t seem to be too selective in their dining! (We also had a rat move in this year who literally took a single bite out of every one of our pluots…) If pollination is the issue, though, you’ll be able to tell by watching the baby fruit next year—before they get much bigger than an inch or two, they’ll turn soft and yellow/brown at the end and then sort of shrivel up, similar to blossom end rot except when the fruits are still tiny. The fruits will fall off or sort of wash away/disappear, and you’ll be left with just the tip of the stem where the fruit was attached. (It’s called “fruit abortion”—uggh!) Took me two years to figure it out—a gardener friend in Albany finally tipped me off!

    • Becks October 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

      I’ll definitely pay closer attention next year. Thanks for the tip!

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