Sunday, June 10, 2012

Great Garden Experiment of 2012 Update 1

Okay, so I haven't exactly been better with keeping up with the blog...  But hey, June isn't over and at least months haven't gone by since the last post.  I will give myself points. :)  Not that anyone necessarily cares, but I will pretend that they do. ;)  Gotta take what you can get, right?

So, I took a bunch of pictures of my container garden last Friday/today.  I really wish that I had done that from the get-go so that I could really see the progression.  But at least I have some while they're still growing.  And before they're dead.

Here is a note to self for next year on the ever growing list.  I will publish that list at the end of this growing season, so that, A. I will actually remember for next year and, B. If you are interested in gardening, you might learn from some of my mistakes.  I've actually stumbled upon some really awesome blogs that details people's adventures in gardening and crafting (!!).  I'll probably link to some of those at some point if you have any interest.

Anyway, here's a tour of my little garden...  (I am no photographer...these were taken with my little Canon PowerShot from my sophomore (?) year of college.  These are utilitarian at best.)

Here's the view from the front of my house.  You can see I have a LOT of pots!  Also, I have a side bed, where I am attempting to grow some flowers.  I'm not sure that's going to work out so well.  I should have added some compost or proper garden soil to the dirt.  Virginia clay alone isn't exactly nourishing for flowers.

I believe that this is my Bush Big Boy tomato.  I was impatient and took these photos in the middle of the afternoon on a 90+ degree day, so things are looking a bit wilty.  No flowers, yet, but I'm hoping those will come soon.  I actually initially thought this one wasn't going to make it.  There was something of a disaster prior to transplanting that killed most of my seedlings.  But it's doing quite well.  It's surrounded by marigolds (reputed to keep the bad bugs at bay...and mosquitos).  Marigolds are supposed to be an awesome companion plant.  Supposedly their scent confuses the bad bugs and keeps them away from your veggies.  I've also planted another flower with it...I'm trying to remember what, though.  Cosmos, maybe?

My Roma tomato.  Supposed to be good for sauces and canning.  Also planted with marigold and the mysterious flower.  I'm pretty sure I put cosmos in there.  

This is a hanging pot with Right Bite tomato (little cherry type tomatoes), Sweet Basil, and more marigolds.

This is another hanging pot with more marigolds, Lemon/Lime variety Basil (the seed packet had an equal mix, so we'll see what I get), and in the front of the picture you can see that a little Nasturtium seedling is trying to get going.  Nasturtium is also supposed to be a good companion.

This has dwarf Zinnia and Clemson Spineless Okra.  Okra can get HUGE.  But I am a good Southern girl (yes, even in Northern Virginia) and I'm going to attempt some okra.  This is a variety that is supposedly rated for container gardening.  We'll see.

Sweet Basil in a little pot all by its lonesome.  Maybe I'll put some flowers in there too once it gets a little more established.  I like for flowers and veggies to cohabitate.  It makes it a bit prettier (and perhaps my HOA will think so too), but I also get a little bit of fruit for my labor.

Here I have Sweet Pepper.  I got the Carnival Capsicum mix from Burpee, meaning that my peppers might be White, Red, Yellow, Orange, or Purple.  There's a 20% chance of each.  (I'm hoping for purple.)  These should only get to be about 12 inches tall, so they should be perfect for containers.  They are also surrounded by dwarf Zinnia.  Zinnia are also supposed to be good companion plants and they'll protect the peppers from sunburn.

I love this little sign.  I got it at Glory Be in Occoquan.  I love that little place (and Occoquan, which is a little historic town right down the street).  They have all these really cute little countrified accents and I couldn't resist 3 of these little guys.  

Here's more Lemon/Lime Basil.  Let me explain the prolific amount of basil.  Remember those damn slugs?  They kept eating this down to the quick.  Like, I would have cute little basil sprouts one day and they would be completely gone the next.  Dead.  Nonexistent.  Additionally, I was having some problems with germination.  So, in the course of the Slug War of Summer 2012, I may have gotten a little overzealous with the seed application.  I figure that a few will probably dominate the rest and kill them off.  If that doesn't happen, I'll thin them out.  Anyone in need of Lemon/Lime Basil?

Excuse my shadow- the resident photographer was bottling beer from the most recent homebrewing party.  I now have a closet full of Red Ale and Summer Ale.  I'm not complaining.  (See how exciting DIY is?)  

Black Beauty Zucchini.  I grew this last year (this is actually from last year's seed packet- they recommend new each year for ease of germination, but I had 0 problems with this pack) and they did really well.  Zucchini needs a large pot; I think this one is at least 18 inches.  Last year I did two plants in a 16 inch pot, which worked out really well.  Well, at least until I under-fertilized and Mr. Gardener overwatered.  But otherwise, they did quite well.  This is just one large plant, but I did plant a second one in there last week who appears to be thriving.

Cilantro.  Cilantro is heat sensitive and will bolt easily.  As such, I'm going to try successive planting every two weeks.  I just put in new seed today.  We'll see how it goes.

More Sweet Pepper and Zinnia.  You can also see some Nasturtium starting up (to the right).

Petunia.  Doing great in the pot (I have two).  Not so great in the ground. 

Dahlia given to me by my dad.  I have four pots.  This is the first to sprout.  (And the sign says BLOOM, not LOOM.)

I don't know how to flip this in Blogger.  Eventually, I'll learn.  For all the "new and improved" features that new Blogger boasts, I've really found it completely confusing.

  There's more dwarf zinnia (in the front).  I really like zinnia, can't you tell?  Plus there were a ton of seeds in the packet and they seemed like they might work as one of the best companion plants for me.  I also have two Kitchen King Garden Bean plants.  I initially was only going to plant one, but when the stupid slugs ate ALL of the leaves off of it, I was betting that it was going to die.  So, I planted a second who is doing quite well.  Then, in just the last couple of days, the sickly bean decided to sprout new leaf growth.  So I guess I'll have two bean plants.

There's also Bambino Eggplant.  It should only grow to about 12 inches.  I got kind of a late start - I ordered the seeds last minute - so I'm still waiting for it to sprout.  I planted a second seed last week, though, since it had been over two weeks.  Hopefully I'll get something.  I wasn't quite as zealous with the planting as with the basil, however.  I'm only but so stupid the second time around.  :)

More zucchini.  It's normal for it to wilt in the afternoon on hot days.  Same setup as the other pot. Plus there's some nasturtium growing in there.  I think it'll look pretty spilling over the pot if I can accomplish it.

Two Bush Champion Cucumbers, Morning Glory (it can grow up on the railing like a trellis), and another Bambino eggplant.  I do have a sprout on this one, so hopefully it'll keep growing.

That's my garden!  Hopefully it'll keep growing and I'll get some nice veggies.  Even though it's a little container crazy, I think it looks cute.  And I've gotten some compliments from neighbors and passers-by.  I'm quite nerdily excited about it.  Hence why it's on the blog when many might not care. :)  

Thanks for reading!  If you made it through all those pictures and description, give yourself a pat on the back!

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