Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Vegetable Garden Update

Scotia tomatoes doing very well in my Square Foot boxes
I really haven't said much about my vegetable garden lately.  I walk past it almost every day and check in but it hasn't felt like there was much to report.  This is a GREAT sign.  The reason there isn't much to report is because nothing has gone sideways.  The Square Foot Gardening boxes are working out just as they were supposed to.  The peat, compost, vermiculite soil mix is virtually weed free and the vegetables crowd out the few weeds that have made it in.  And when I do find weeds they are exceptionally easy to pull out.  This has been a good year in that we've had plenty of sun with good amounts of rain thrown in so watering is not an issue.  And the cats have left the boxes alone for the last month which is a bonus.

Overall I couldn't be more pleased.  My biggest complaint would be I need more boxes.  I planted five boxes.  One of these has been underused since I left space for the cantalope which died but I could easily double the amount of boxes next year.  I'm finding many of my plants are quite crowded.  I lost a square of cilantro to the carrots, and the lettuce is fighting it out for space and trying to overtake the onions.  I followed the guidelines set out in the Square Foot Gardening book but I'm starting to see bug and snail damage and personally I think a little air circulation between plants would help this problem.
Lettuce is lovely but crowded
Some of the plants are new to me and I'm getting a sense of whether they work or not.  I have grown the Simpson Elite lettuce pictured above before and am quite happy with it.  However, the Tortoiseshell spinach was a bit of a surprise.  The plants were quite small and had white patches all over the leaves.  Then they bolted.  So we've basically had no spinach this year which is a huge disappointment.  I just pulled all the plants this evening and planted some more seeds.  Maybe we can get a fall crop of spinach instead?

As well the First Crop beets are a bit of a puzzle.  The leaves are quite nice and we've been using them for salads but there's no beets attached!  Seriously, if you pull the plant there's a tiny somewhat shrivelled beet and a long thin root.
Where's the beet?!
On the plus side the cilantro has been absolutely delightful.  It's now starting to go to seed after all our hot weather but I love it because it still smells great and looks pretty too.

Cilantro beginning to flower
Some new pests have shown up in the garden but so far it's a minor inconvenience.  It appears the crows love the Sweet Millions cherry tomatoes as much as we do.
If we don't pick the ripening tomatoes every day the birds steal them.  Recently I've noticed they're taking the green tomatoes too.  The remnants I find strewn in the grass.  The plant is loaded with tomatoes though so I figure we can share.

More concerning is the fresh pile of dirt that has appeared next to one of the boxes.  Somebody has tunneled underneath.  I have no idea who, or why.  More importantly, why aren't those cats doing more to solve this problem?

And finally, the carrots are ready

8 comments:

  1. Wow, you are inspiring me to grow some veggies. They look fab. I went up on the weekend to find my lowest (and almost ripe) tomatoes removed from my plants, grrrrr

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  2. Deborah - It was a lot of work to put together the boxes this spring but I have to admit this is the easiest veggie garden I've ever tended. I wonder what animal would take tomatoes from the bottom of plants. raccoons maybe?

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  3. Look at those carrots! I made a terrible mistake when I planted my carrots. Wrong spot. The corner of the raised bed I put them in has hardpack almost right underneath them. Doesn't bother my tomatoes, but the root vegetables. Why didn't this hit me then? Your beds are looking great! Congrats on all the hard work!

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  4. Laura, thank goodness we get to plant veggie gardens every year and learn from our mistakes! I purposefully planted a short and wide type of carrot because I wasn't certain how deep my boxes would go.

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  5. Your cilantro is really doing great as well as the lettuces! Tomatoes are really bird favorites. My tomatoes are also being raided everyday. I always see my tomatoes having pecks.

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  6. Love those lettuce, looks like its crowded and needs some harvesting to make room. Time for a great salad for dinner with lettuce and carrots from your garden. Wonderful garden you got there.

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  7. Those lettuces looks delicious! I think I wanna pick them up and have them for my quarter pound burger! LOL. Looks really fresh and well-taken cared of. It really shows. The carrots are also nice. But if rodents, squirrels and all for those barbaric pests will come a have a bite of your crops, that will bea different story! That is WAR! LOL

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