Thursday, July 30, 2009

Garden Update: 7-30-09

Well, it looks like my summer garden is almost done. The annuals are beginning to die off and its time to get a fall garden going. Before I talk about that, though, I'm going to share a little about some of our "experimental" gardening.

The garlic I planted because our garlic from the pantry had sprouted did not make it. I think it really needs to be planted in the fall. As soon as the heat really kicked in all of the plants fell over and dried up. When I pulled them up, there were no new garlic bulbs, only the one clove I had planted. They obviously needed more time. We'll try this experiment again in the fall.

My Black Krim tomatoes never made it past the baby plant stage. They are still hanging in there, but have not grown. I wonder if they might grow some once the temps cool. I guess we'll see :o)

The fig trees are still providing figs, though we seem to be losing a lot of them to the squirrels. We are only able to pick a few handfuls per day, but at least the squirrels are fat and happy, lol.

Also, we decided to try worm composting a few weeks ago. I still have not bought a container for it - the compost still resides in the planter that I brought it home in, but that's not stopping the worms. For a few weeks, the boys put everything they could into the planter and before I realized it, it was a little over-filled with food items. So we stopped filling it and let it do it's thing. I'm so happy to report that the worms have been working overtime and it looks like it is working. And I'm most surprised that it does not smell nor does it attract animals, especially with the large amount of food scraps it held. As soon as I can, I hope to get a permanent container for our worms :o)

Container gardening has been a fun experiment, but I'm not really satisfied with the small amount of food we were able to grow that way. Since we are planning to stay in our little rental house for a bit longer, I want a more large-scale solution without actually tearing up the yard. There is one landscaping bed that gets pretty good sunlight and is in a convenient place that I think I could put raised beds on top of to make a semi-permanent garden. My plan is to put black plastic down over the current bed, then put 3 2x4x1 foot deep wooden "planters" on top of the plastic that I will fill with "Mel's Mix" (compost, peat moss and vermiculite) and then toss in some of our worms from the compost container to help build up the soil. It is still much smaller than I'd like, but it is far better, I think, than a dozen or so containers. I'll get some pictures up as soon as the garden beds are made (in about a week and a half).

We are hoping to plant lettuce, spinach, onions, garlic, parsley, carrots, broccoli and potatoes. I am really eager to get my hands back into the dirt on a larger scale. Most of the fall garden plants will need to go into the ground mid to late August and much of it will grow in our climate for most of the fall and we'll be able to harvest all winter, then plant many of the same plants again at the end of winter for a spring harvest.

Head on over to How Does Your Garden Grow hosted by A High And Noble Calling for more garden updates and to enter her giveaway.


Melissa said...

Raised bed gardens are also easier to maintain; containers need so much watering!

Someone told me that garlic should be planted around Columbus Day (mid October?) and left through the winter. I haven't grown it for several years, but maybe I'll plant some this fall. I've always used supermarket garlic for this, BTW.

Alea said...

I had the same thing happen to my garlic. I left it in the ground to see if something happens to it next spring. I have just been planting herbs around it the bulbs.

Anonymous said...

As much as my family likes garlic I should see if it would grow in a greenhouse up here (Alaska). It would be great to have fresh garlic whenever we wanted it.

I have had great success with utilizing wading pools for growing my lettuce and strawberries in. Next year I hope to have some raised beds for both those and a couple others that will grow well up here the rest will be in the green house hubby will be building me.
Elaine H