Sunday, July 19, 2009

How Does My Garden Grow?

What a difference a day makes! Such a beautiful Sunday. Sun! Warm! Time for an update!

So here we are nearing the end of July and how does my garden grow? I would say some things are good, some not so good. Even with the not so good, i'm still hopeful.

I found a blog for a fellow square foot gardener from Nova Scotia at . I've gotta say i'm a little jealous. Things at the Veggie Smith garden seem a lot further along on than mine. Of course, it says they are located in the valley, which traditionally has warmer temperatures than here in Halifax. Then again, we all have been suffering from too much rain and not enough sun.

Lack of sun is definitely a problem for me. Even during the 'rainy season' we had for 3 weeks at the end of june/beginning of july, we had a few sunny breaks here and there in the otherwise cloudy wet days. However, those sun breaks didn't seem to coincide with the times the sun would actually reach my garden due to the position of my house and all the trees surrounding my landscape. It also didn't help that I was late in getting my boxes constructed and ready for planting this year. A lot of the vegetables that could have been planted in April, weeks before the average last frost date, didn't get in until mid to late May. So my garden has a lot of catching up to do. I will hopefully be enjoying a nice fall harvest.

First on tap- the broccoli. Despite a rough road (see: The Incident and First Came the Rain, Then the Bugs), the broccoli continues to grow well. The heads have been multiplying on a weekly basis. Soon I will have to harvest it, I think. The heads almost look like they might soon turn to flower, which is past the harvesting window. So far my strategy to get rid of the Cabbage Worms seems to be working. Not a worm in sight:

I'd like to say the bell peppers are doing well, but i'm really not sure how they should be looking at this point. The good news is that they aren't dead yet, but they do seem to be losing a lot of the bottom leaves. Here is a shot of the best looking one:

The self watering container is doing just great. It definitely seems to be thriving, especially when I compare it to the original shot I took immediately after planting. I am going to have to come up with some sort of support system very soon:

The Earlirouge Tomatoes I planted in the SWC are already starting to bear fruit:

The Tigerella and Cherry Tomatoes in the big box are growing, albeit a little slowly. I think I should have placed the box a little further south in the yard as the amount of sun hitting the back of the box isn't as much as I had thought. It gets about 1-2 hrs of morning sun, then about 3-4 hours of afternoon sun. Hopefully that will be enough. Of course, the general lack of sun we have had of late may be the main factor. Once the plants get a little higher,they should have a little more exposure.

The green pole beans have really taken off. After less than a month since planting, they are starting to climb up the trellis. They are located on the north side of the middle box. Pictured below, there are also bell peppers in the middle (looking a little sparse), and the carrots in front. I spaced out the planting of the carrots every two weeks starting from the left of the box in the hopes of staggering the harvest. The square foot method allows for 16 carrot plants/ square foot, which is quite a lot at one time

The zucchini is finally starting to grow a bit more....I read a lot about how the plant can take over the garden because it gets so big. I was expecting a little more at this point, but i notice a big clump of what looks like a bunch of leaves in the middle of the plant that seems on the verge of sprouting.

The Salad Table is finally growing! I'm hoping to have salads in a couple of weeks. My first attempt at growing the greens was a big failure. It only produced small plants that didn't seem to grow. The spinach grew a few leaves then went to flower. I believe the main problem was the soil combination. I was in a rush at the time and I think I did not have the right combination of peat, compost, and vermiculite to make mel's mix. A second attempt was in order. I carefully dug up the little greens that were not growing, emptied out all the old soil and replanted the 'seedlings' I was able to salvage in a new mix. I only had enough for 2 blocks, and in the third block i re-seeded. I did this approximately a week ago and already I notice a HUGE difference. I hope to re-do the spinach again once we get into the more cooler weather for a fall harvest.

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