8.27.11 summer photo of the day

Lesley and I planted our first garden together this year. When I lived in PA I had some pretty awesome gardens, one at the house and two at a community plot. I grew mostly flowers and easy veggies. But I loved it. I have a bit of a green thumb, I have house plants that I’ve had for 10 years, and I really enjoy growing things. So we watched the sun all last year and tried to pick a spot that would give the most sun. Not too easy with out yard, we have about 25 fully mature hardwoods that tower up to 100 feet or more throughout the yard. The sunniest spot is right in our front yard. Lesley wanted to put it there, but I fought for an area in the way back yard and ran 150 feet of hose out to it. I built 3 4×8 raised beds with cedar planks and filled them with a mixture of compost and garden mix from a wholesale supplier, 3 truck loads. We have enjoyed watching our garden grow. We planted seeds and seedlings for a variety of veggies. We had a mix of success and failure. Our spring gardens did great. Awesome lettuces, spinach, arugula, chard, onions. The peas grew very well but the yield was very low, same with our summer beans although they did do better than the peas. The brussels sprouts grew fast and large but grew very few sprouts. Our potatoes did well, but we learned a much better way to grow them and will build 3 potato bins next year. ( you add more dirt as the plant grows and it keeps producing potatoes on each level )  Our carrots were awesome, but I could have thinned them out some more. We were most excited about our tomatoes. We love them and eat a ton of them. I have grown them in the past and my dad grows a butt load without really doing much to them, so we were anticipating many bushels of fruit. Well it didn’t really work out that way. They grew very tall and full, over 5foot tall, they produced some fruit and they were very tasty. But what happened is, the sun shifted, the calcium was used up ( resulting in bottom rot. It stopped once I fed the plants ), the fruit stopped turning red. Our garden which once received 8 hours of sun is now receiving about 5. We must have 50 tomatoes on the vine right now, but I hold out little hope for them to ripen. I won’t pull them yet, I will in about 2-3 weeks, as I get ready to plant some more fall veggies.

So with our mixed success, we decided to grow a fall garden too. I planted the seeds today and will plant seedlings as soon as the garden centers start to receive them, next 1-2 weeks. Today I planted one full bed of carrots ( they were one of our biggest success and soooooo good! ) some red leaf lettuces, spinach, arugala, two types of chard and leeks. From seedlings I will get broccoli. I will also try to tent some of the leaf veggies and extend their season, we should be able to get green lettuces into January if not all winter. We will plant some garlic too!

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