The Backyard Produce Section – 5/22/10

I’m learning so much about gardening AS I go along. The number one thing I’ve learned is that you can worry yourself sick over a garden and convince yourself that everything is just going to die and that your garden is doing absolutely horrible and nothing will ever produce and you’re the worst gardener EVER and that you must be doing something absolutely wrong….and then a pepper sprouts. Every morning I go out to my garden wondering if my leaves are looking just a little too yellow, and they probably are, but the next day, they might look a little greener. I worry that maybe my peppers will never produce, but now I have two peppers growing on my cajun bell! I worried that my cucumbers would never grow and now look at this!:

The only thing I’m worried about now is that they don’t have enough room! That’s a lesson that I’ve recorded for next year…give the cucumbers more space! Luckily, I’ve been able to train them pretty well and they’re going along the trellis and weaving throughout the burrows in the garden. And there must be 20 little cucumbers on the vine already! I don’t know what I’m going to do with all of them! Hope my friends like cucumbers :p

I still worry about everything else in the garden, but overall, I’m starting to learn that plants WANT to grow and produce if you let them. And I’m so happy with how well everything is doing WITHOUT pesticides πŸ˜€ I’ve just been picking the little bugs off of the plants, I’ve drowned slugs in beer :/. But I just don’t have the heart to kill the cute little worms that I find on the plants :/ I’ve been finding one on the okra that’s just adorable! It’s black with a neon green strip. I usually just pick them off and throw them into the neighbors yard knowing that they’ll just find their way back :/ *sigh*. I wish they’d all just go pick one of the giant cucumber leaves and share…I’d be willing to let them all have one of those if they left the rest alone. Here’s the garden this week. Not too bad, eh? The okra is really starting to sprout up! I just wish the eggplant would start doing something, but if I remember from past years, those are late bloomers:

And finally, there’s the container garden. I’m about to just do away with the strawberries. Seriously, I’m so frustrated with them. They’ve just been awful. Every single one is unedible because either some bug is eating them or it looks fried..I don’t know what to do. But everything else seems to be doing well. The mint is just gorgeous and is so luscious! And the parsley is absolutelyΒ  delicious!! I made way for a couple of tomato plants in the bean garden, so I transplanted three bean plants into a pot. We’ll see how that works out. Might not work too well. And today I added a patio cherry tomato to the mix so I can have some little cherry tomatoes. Oh, and you can’t see it in this picture, but my little satsuma tree is growing a satsuma!! First one πŸ˜€ So excited about that!! I’ve also got some green onions going that I started from seed and those are growing like CRAZY! I never did space them, so we’ll see how that works out when they start bulbing at the bottom :/ Here’s the containers:

How about you? How does your garden grow this week? Or for those who haven’t yet planted their gardens, what are you most looking forward to getting in the ground? Made anything good with your own produce lately?


11 Responses

  1. First, don’t give up on your strawberries! My mother-in-law is a big gardener and she says it takes about 5 years growing strawberries for them to really take root and produce edible berries. She’s says they’re very finicky but you just have to be persistant with them.

    Second, what to do with all those cucumbers?? PICKLES!!!!!!!!! πŸ˜€

  2. Wow, it looks fantastic! I can’t believe how big your cucumber plant is already. Mine have just barely put out their first leaves. I’ve heard strawberries don’t produce very well the first year, but they grow back and make more fruit next year. (My neighbor’s strawberry patch is four years old, and she has tons now!). I’ve never been able to get parsley to grow, I don’t know why. Planted the seeds and they just didn’t come up. Yours looks great!

  3. It looks like you have the green thumb for sure!! Everything is looking really great!!

  4. Amanda, I won’t :p I just get frustrated easily. They’re looking very lush and full, I just want to be able to EAT them!! Every now and then I’ll get a really good and juicy one, but most of them have to be picked and tossed 😦 And I do indeed plan on pickling some of the cucumbers πŸ˜€

    Jeane, Thanks!! The cucumbers turned into a giant overnight! One day they were tiny and then BOOM! I’m learning that strawberries take a little time….I didn’t start my parsley from seed this year…we bought a little starter plant and it’s totally taken off and done really well!

    Staci, Thanks and thanks πŸ˜€

  5. LOL.. I love all the surprises you are finding as you have your first adventure into gardening! lol.. I might say that up north when I gardened 4 plants of european cucumbers (the long ones with little seed) fed my whole street of neighbors! heh.. oh and a little known trick.. should a cucumber get over ripe and turn yellowish… you can slice that up and cook it in a plain white sauce and it tastes exactly like squash! (that’s my tip of the day LOL)..

    searched some “natural” ways to get rid of pests and will email it to you.

  6. I love reading about your gardening adventures. Especially the funny bits like throwing the bugs into your neighbour’s gardens πŸ˜›
    I remember when my dad was into organic farming that he was using lots of sulphur, which apparently is organic, and also he was using some good bugs to eat other bad bugs, not sure which ones. Maybe you can find books on organic gardening?

    with cucumbers, you can make lots of tzatziki, I love it with grilled or barbequed meat.

  7. I am so envious of your baby cukes that are sprouting up! Mine all died this past week along with a tomato plant and a pepper plant. D and I can’t figure it out because all of the other plants are looking so lush. In the same location, even! *le sigh*

    I’ll have to take pictures of my own garden and post them. πŸ™‚

  8. Haha, I love reading about your gardening adventures! We’ve got a handful of tomatoes growing and I just finally found some lavender. Wahoo! As to the strawberries — Amanda’s right. It takes several years before they’re really any good. We’ve had trouble with slugs eating them. In the past, I’ve put shallow dishes in the garden and filled them with beer. Feed your slugs beer and they drown in it. Slugs are pretty darned stupid. LOL But, really, I just grow strawberries for the fun of it. They’re pretty, even harvesting a few is better than nothing, and whatever’s no good will be eaten by the wildlife. This year, I’ve let the herb garden go fallow, so they’ve been choked out by weeds and I’ll have to start all over with new strawberry plants, next year.

  9. Deslily, I got your email and it was SO awesome of you πŸ˜€ I made the garlic fire spray!! I’m about to email you back

    Valentina, Well it’s not exactly their gardens…just their yards :p I’m the only one around here who does any sort of gardening…and now my neighbors have to put up with my stinky organic stuff like fish emulsion and garlic spray, lol. I’ve thought of getting some earthworms for the garden as I’ve heard those will do wonders for your garden…right now though, things seem to be doing pretty well. And tzatziki is a great idea!! Hadn’t even thought of that!

    Christina, You totally need to post some pics of your garden! Sorry to hear that your poor plants died 😦 That’s so sad 😦 I would be heartbroken at this point if my plants died 😦

    Nancy, Yay tomatoes! And even more yay that you have some lavender!! I’m going to stick with my strawberries. I actually picked one right off the patch today and ate it and it was delicious. Some of them are good…others just become fertilizer :/ I’ve caught a few slugs off the strawberries with beer. I’m amazed at how well beer works!! They are fun to grow…and I love the little white and yellow flowers that they produce too πŸ™‚ Sorry to hear about your herb garden 😦 Dammit! I really do just want to come spend a day with you some time Nancy!! Wouldn’t it be fun just to plant a new herb garden together? :p We live so close (well relatively close) I don’t know why I haven’t come to see you yet!

  10. Oh my goodness, everything’s looking so luscious and green and healthy! If our garden this year looks like normal, you’ll surely laugh at it when you see it…we are quite the lazy gardeners here. πŸ˜› But I’m excited because we’re finally getting underway here. Spent yesterday clearing the weeds out of Annie’s garden and adding buckets of our lovely, rich composted soil to it. We’ll hopefully get it planted this week, and then start work on our new big family garden. πŸ˜€

  11. Beautiful! We’re getting ready to plant some herbs and peppers (bell and jalapeno), and I can’t wait! Oh, and we bought one of those hanging tomato gardens to save space on our very small patio. Good luck to you for continued bounty in the backyard!

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