The Backyard Produce Section – 6/6/10

Well things are starting to come alive in the garden finally! I’ve gotten a few tomatoes…about 6 now, but I was starting to worry because everything else was laying dormant. But what I’ve learned is that these things take time. You can’t just put them in the ground andΒ  have fresh veggies the next day :p It doesn’t help of course that I check them all daily about 10 times a day and make time seem to pass infinitesimally slow. Let’s talk about “the bean garden” first:

It’s doing great! And I expanded it this week and doubled it’s size. My little better boy tomato bush (the one closest to the camera) just put out tons of new flowers and my creole tomato plant at the end is shooting up like crazy with all kinds of flowers. All those bean plants in the middle are starting to put out flowers like crazy now too which is really exciting. Means I should have bean pods any day now!! This is the first time I’ve ever grown anything from seed and seen it grow this much, so it’s really rewarding.

The other side of the garden is brand new which is why it looks barren. But it’s not! Last Sunday I planted 4 green bean bushes and 2 eggplant and they’ve all come up already! However, since taking this picture, I’ve torn up the eggplant because I learned that they take 20 weeks to go from seed to maturity :/ That would be eggplant in November and I don’t know if they’ll make it that long. So instead I planted a bunch of garlic! And I had about 16 inches extra space, so I planted a potato just to see what it would do πŸ™‚

The main garden is doing really well finally!! I even have a flower on my eggplant, which I didn’t think would ever happen. But as I’ve learned, they just take a really long time to mature. And look at the okra (bottom right in the pic)…it’s finally taken off! Still no actual okra on it though. The cucumbers are making me bang my head against the wall…repeatedly…As you can see, they’re growing and trellising and all that just fine, but they shrivel up and die…I figured out what the problem is. I don’t have enough bees in my neighborhood. Basically, they’re not having cucumber sex and the pollen from the male flowers isn’t getting to the female flowers. So the easy solution is that you can do this yourself with a q-tip and hand pollinate them, which I’ve done! But still no results 😦 They’re still shriveling up 😦 I don’t know what to do with them. I haven’t gotten 1 cucumber yet despite TONS of little baby cucumbers that just die 😦 And all of my peppers are FINALLY starting to produce!! Look what I found: This is a cajun bell pepper which is supposed to have a little bit of spice to it. I also have two regular bells which have a bunch of flowers now and nice sturdy stems attached! Sadly, my jalapeno just stopped producing, but it looks like it might start again. Last weekend I diced up one of my jalapenos along with 2 of my tomatoes and an onion, some cilantro and the juice of a lime and made some DELICIOUS pico πŸ˜€ It was so good!

Other things from this week….not much new stuff aside from I discovered what’s eating my strawberries!! It’s this little worm or caterpillar or centipede…I don’t know what he is, but I found him digging holes in a berry yesterday and picked him off. He’s black with neon creen stripes on his sides and has eyes! He was cute. I wonder if beer traps would work for that or if it only works for slugs? My dad has caught roaches in his beer traps :/ 2 now! I’ve also planted a few carrots in a deep bucket last weekend and I already have little tiny greens popping up πŸ™‚

So that’s it for me…what’s popping up in your garden these days??


17 Responses

  1. Isn’t it so fun to see the things you grow from seeds thrive and produce? We buy a lot of plants already started, but the year that we started a lot of them from seed was really fun. Sorry to hear your cucumbers aren’t, uh….getting any! Hope your hand-pollinating will do the trick soon. You gotta have some cucumbers! πŸ™‚

  2. I love seeing your garden, Chris! πŸ™‚

  3. Oh my, everything looks so *big* in your garden compared to ours. I was actually hoping to put up a garden post today–in honor of you! But it’s been such an ugly day, that I haven’t really been able to get out and take pics. Nor have we had power for much of the day, so I couldn’t get online anyway. Hopefully tomorrow or the next day. Rich and I did hit the farmers market this morning (and got totally drenched to the bone) though! πŸ˜€

  4. Megan, It’s totally fun!! I want to do everything from seeds next year! I’m already stocking up :p Isn’t it sad that the cucumbers aren’t getting any 😦 I find it funny that I have to help the most phallic plant in my garden pollinate :p Hopefully they start soon!!

    Amanda, Thanks πŸ™‚ I love posting about them! I think these have become my favorite posts!

    Debi, Well it’s all been there for so long now!! LOL…I just wish they’d start producing now!! I can’t wait til I can start eating the stuff. I can’t wait to see a garden post from you πŸ™‚ I can relate to the yucky weather…I love the rain so much, but today has just been nasty rain. The last three days really. And now I’m just starting to get sick of it and it’s left me with a really bad headache 😦 I’m so glad that you got to hit the farmers market πŸ˜€ You must tell me what y’all picked up!!

  5. Shoot, I’m coming over to your house to eat! (It’s too bad M&M’s don’t grow on trees, cause I think you can grow anyuthing!)

  6. Bellezza, Now if you can find me a way to grow M&Ms on trees, I promise to grow you bags full :p Hey, we can grow cocoa beans :p Though I don’t know if those would do well here :p I think you need rainforests. And of course, you’re welcome over any time to eat!!! You could use a trip to NOLA, right? πŸ˜‰

  7. Cucumber sex! heeheehee If the cucumbers won’t work, what about a zucchini plant?

    I love these posts; the pictures are always gorgeous and you’re so enthusiastic. πŸ™‚

  8. I love your garden posts! You make me want to start a garden of my own…sigh, given that I killed my Chea Pet, maybe I better refrain from carrying for live things. Oh, but I’ve got to put my expensive college botany class to use.

  9. P.S. I am typing this without my glasses so “caring! not carrying” D’oh! Also, you make me want to blog pictures of my parent’s garden in some kind of super competitive garden contest so we could measure our veggie yield!

  10. I’m glad you didn’t forget to do the garden post!! lol.. I love watching your garden grow ! (with silver bells and cockel shells… etc) anyway.. i love watching your garden and love that you are enjoying it so much! I did eggplants one year (eons ago) and just as they were about ready to be picked some sort of worm got to them.. very frustrating. everything is looking great in your garden :o) You certainly have a green thumb!

  11. I put out a beer trap last night to try to lure what I thought were slugs away from my basil plants, but there were no slugs this morning, and my leaves were still chewed up. I’m about to give up, uproot the basic, and plant it in a pot. All of our potted herbs are bug free so far.

    Our banana peppers and bells are going crazy. Our serrano pepper plant is also growing by leaps and bounds. We’re waiting patiently for tomatoes (hanging tomato garden), and I planted a tiny acorn squash plant with lots of blooms on it, but it certainly has a long way to go.

    Yay for the backyard produce section! Yours looks beautiful!

  12. Yes, getting results from gardening does take time. And yet weeds can spring up and get out of control in no time. Love how that works.

    Sorry you are not having luck with the cukes. I love fresh grown cucumbers. When I was a kid I lived off of cucumbers from the garden during the summer. Mom planted so many that we always had more than we needed.

  13. Chris! Your garden looks great!!! I love these posts so much, you have no idea. Not much happened in my garden. Well, everything got BIGGER, but nothing really ripened yet. I did pick my first jalapeno! That was exciting. My cukes didn’t do so well last year. I’m actually going to put those in the ground next year, along with zucchini and squash. They just didn’t like my raised beds I guess.

    Your peppers are so cute! And I chuckled when I saw the pantyhose, I do the same thing!

  14. Ooh, it all looks lovely! Your beans and tomatoes are way ahead of mine- I only have flowers, no fruit yet. And your peppers look fantastic! Re the cucumbers: you might try picking a male flower, and brushing it on numerous female flowers. That might pollinate better. But I’ve only read about this, never tried it myself.

  15. Eva, I’ve done zucchini once before and it was RIDICULOUS how many we got!!! Seriously, we couldn’t even give the things away. But they were delicious. And now that I have my bread machine we could totally make zucchini bread!! I’m just not ready to declare them a fail 😦 It would break my heart to pull them up 😦 glad you’re enjoying the posts!! And the pics totally just come from my iphone :p

    T.Y., I’m glad you’re enjoying them! You totally should start a garden! It rocks and it’s so much better than a chia pet…I’ve killed so many of those things :/ I don’t think they’re made to survive really. I may have killed some on purpose :O I’m all about competitive gardening BTW…bring it! >>

    Deslily, I don’t think I’ll ever forget to do these posts πŸ˜€ I have too much fun doing them! Oh no!!! You make me scared now for my eggplant! I would be so heartbroken if that happened to my eggplant, lol. You do have to be VERY patient with them!

    Andi, Don’t give up!!! I made this stuff called garlic fire spray that worked wonders on my plants! I’ll have to give you the recipe. Deslily sent it to me. Maybe I’ll post it next Sunday. It’s basically 6 large chili peppers, 3 large cloves of garlic, 3 squirts of dish detergent, a tablespoon of oil and 7 cups of water and you blend it in a blender to liquify it and then strain it… That shit is POTENT!! Put it in a spray bottle and I promise your bugs will disappear :p You just have to respray after the rain. Everything sounds so good over there though!!!

    Carl, Don’t you just wish it would all just spring up immediately? :p But it’s kind of fun waiting for when it does happen! It’s kind of scary thinking back to when I used to use miracle gro all the time wondering what the hell they put in there to make my veggies grow so quick and what I was eating! Hopefully the cukes will grow soon!! I love cucumbers with a little bit of italian salad dressing!

    Heather, Thanks πŸ˜€ Glad you enjoy them so much! They’ve become my favorite posts to write! Sounds like we have twin gardens, lol. Did you do anything with your jalapeno??? We’ve picked two so far. Put one in a pot of red beans and the other went into some pico. I hope my cukes do better soon 😦 If not, I may just pull them up and try something else 😦 I love the little peppers!! And panty hose work great as support!! LOL…they stretch with the plant!

    Jeane, Thanks πŸ˜€ I planted the beans and tomatoes awhile ago…the beans grow quick though. I planted some green beans directly into the soil just last weekend and those have already sprouted!! I tried picking the male flower and brushing the females…we’ll see how it does :/ Stupid cucumber sex….

  16. Looks SO NICE! so professional. Makes me want to go snap photos of mine but most still tiny little spriglets. My zuc is a few days from emerging but I stare at it every day, so excited to soon see baby-zuc-plants! I hate having to pull up the weaklings and allowing only a few to continue – hardest part of gardening for me…

  17. Ha! When we first planted flowers I would check them about 10 times a day. It was amazing how much they grew when I finally stopped looking all the time. πŸ™‚

    Your cajun peppers look so cute (and yummy). They actually remind me of banana peppers. Yum! I’ll be interested in hearing the progress of the caterpiller and strawberry issue. Seems I talked to someone the other day who had an organic solution to bugs but now I can’t remember.

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