Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The great big fat garden update

It turns out that the chickens aren't the only things that grew with reckless abandon during our vacation - the garden went ballistic too. I wish I had footage of us all dashing out into the yard to oogle everything we'd left behind. After being beyond shocked at the size of the chickens, we glanced over to the garden and we were all gob-smacked by the size of the plants. Aidan raced over to the garden and was dancing around and pointing and screaming "Look! Look! We grew tomatoes!"


That was the understatement of the year. Not only did the tomatoes grow insanely fast and large, but everything else really packed on the pounds too! When we left we had lots of small droopy sad-looking plants. We returned to the healthiest-looking garden we've ever had.

Now I know what you're thinking. I know this because Farmer B already said it to me. And I quote "Wow - the best thing to happen to the garden was YOU LEAVING!" Well he's right. Apparently the gardening gods noticed that my two black opposable thumbs were far enough away to allow major sproutage and growth to take place in my absence. I'm okay with it, no matter how it happened.


Look at the leeks too! They're very strong and getting quite large. The transplanted leeks are about 1/3 the size of the "original" leeks, but they appear alive, so that's all I can ask for. I feel like these leeks have been in the ground for a year and it turns out that I have no clue when they're ready to be picked. I think the package said when they hit about 1" in diameter, but what if they never get that big? How will I know when it's time? In my world, it's usually time to pick things when they're not quite ready or when they're completely overdone.


The corn is growing well. At least I thought so until I drove out of the neighborhood and saw the garden of my gardening rival "Mr. Miagi," as I call him. His corn is so big and strong that they could film the third installment of Children of the Corn in his garden. I'm convinced he has some magic potion he sprays on the garden late at night, but that's another story.



I have two zucchini plants in the garden that are doing really well and the one on the screened-in patio is outstanding too! I have no clue if the one on the patio needs to be put in the garden for pollination purposes. I'll have to look into that. Although I fear that putting this really healthy-looking plant too close to the garden will be like bringing a lamb to slaughter.


My green beans and peas have started to grow and appear to be thinking about climbing up the teepee and trellises that we set up. I just know that as soon as they start climbing up the teepee and Aidan catches sight of them that I'll hear a crash and a snap as he tries to climb it on his way to reach the ogre. I know this because he talks about it constantly. Daily we have this conversation "Is it big enough to climb yet mommy?" "Um, no Aidan. Don't climb anything in the garden unless you want to see Mommy cry." Repeat this everyday.


My row of Jack Be Little pumpkins is looking healthy, but I think they should have been thinned. I worry they're too close together, but I'm running with it now because they all seem like they're doing fine and last time my problem was not enough flowers for pollination - well that and my complete lack of gardening skills, poor watering plan, craptacular soil, some sort of mildewy disease and oppressive heat.


My one green bell pepper plant managed to sprout a bell pepper while we were gone too. I have to figure out when you can pick these because I don't know much about how bell pepper plants work.

I have a handful of other things that aren't photographed that seem to still be clinging to life, which is a shocker. I have some okra and carrots that aren't dead and I have something green sticking out of the soil in my potato row. I have no clue if it's a potato or a weed. I'm famous for babying weeds like they're a priceless heirloom only to discover it's a big, fat dandelion, so I'm not sure if I have a potato growing or just an evil weed. I'll research this further before I claim potato-growing prowess.

12 comments:

Sande said...

Gardens and plants remind me of the old saying 'a watched pot never boils' It seems that as soon as you turn your back everything does so much better. Maybe they don't like being watched and fussed over.

Engineeredgarden said...

Very good! Your neighbor's secret, is that he knows when to fertilize the corn - that's it. Is your bell pepper a special color, or just green? If a special color (red, yellow, purple, or orange) it will take a LONG time to change to the intended color. Other than that, you can pick them when they get to a nice size. I commend you for your writing abilities, and it seems so easy for you to express your thoughts - with humor included.

Kate and Crew said...

Sande - I said that EXACT phrase to my husband when we got home. Funny...

EG - you're supposed to fertilize this junk? GAH! I sprinkle on some Miracle Gro every couple of weeks because I don't know what else to do. That's on my list of things to do this weekend - learn the secret to "real" garden fertilization. Thanks for the tip!

My big goal tonight is to catch up on all my favorite blogs... I feel so behind in everyone's gardening lives!!!!

kimchi said...

The garden looks great! Maybe I should go on vacation so that mine will perk up too because mine is looking pretty sad right now...I can't believe you have that much already growing. You will be able to eat some of your bounty pretty darned soon!

Dani said...

Kate your garden is looking beautiful! Way to go!

Darla said...

What a wonderful sight to come home to!

Dani said...

I had to stop back in to admire the garden. :)

Erin said...

Everything looks beautiful! Don't worry about your leeks...I planted mine in November and left them out all winter. Just when I thought they were done growing they exploded with growth in diameter and they were YUMMY! Keep up the good work (or vacations?) LOL

HappyMouffetard said...

Wow - everything is looking sdo good!

Worknprogress said...

Wow!! What a welcome home treat you had! Advice about leeks: the smaller, the better tasting. I try to pluck ones that are about the size that a fudgsicle is round.

They are sweeter that way.

Cheryl said...

Look at all the tomatoes. I'm jealous. I hope you all really like tomatoes because looks like you're going to have a ton of them.

kitkat said...

Kate you are HILARIOUS !! I know these comments were written in 2009, but just starting to garden,with out skill, now and i so related to everything you wrote !! including the daily battle of discouraging my 4 year old from harvesting green marble size tomatoes !
My garden is doing "okay" at best! Peppers are not flowering nor do i even see any potential buds forming ! The foliage is nice and green ( now that ive picked off all the yellow, brown spotted leaves) but not sure how to encourage flowering at this point ?? and should i have planted flowers among the veggies for pollination purposes ?? Last year i had to pollinate the zuccini/squash myself because the bee's were on Holiday!! and i dont see to many this year again!

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