Saturday, June 11, 2011

How Does My Garden Grow?

 Well, the first attempt was weak at best. My husband built this big beautiful raised bed with high quality cedar wood, complete with piping and bird netting to keep out the little creatures that frequent our yard and act like they own the place. He really did great. The downfall was maybe in buying topsoil to fill it. My little seedlings of lettuce, kale, spinach, onions, carrots and others were unable to push themselves through to ever see daylight. And it's no wonder- have you ever seen a lettuce seed? Miniscule. Practically nonexistent. I suppose most things start out that way. But it didn't stand a chance. This topsoil was heavy and rocky. So for weeks, all we saw in the sprouting production department was a tiny leaved individual in one corner. We actually thought it was probably a weed, but since it was the only thing growing, we didn't have the heart to pull it. I'm not even going to show a picture of our first attempt. It's like posting pictures of yourself when you have the flu. No fun. Not pretty.

So master gardener mom comes in to save the day, replacing the topsoil with lightweight potting soil. Looks like it worked! Even though the first attempt was a fail, we have managed to grow a few things from seeds. My husband bought lettuce seedlings that were already a nice size. Half the red potatoes ended up coming up, my grandpa gave me some bean seeds to plant and those seemed to have sprouted overnight. We had herbs like sweet basil, oregano, cilantro and parsley growing from peat pellets inside and they transplanted outside nicely. Oh, and one small little chive plant that has about three sprouts to its stature:). So did the peppers, which we have a TON of. My poor tomatoes did not survive this year. Oh, and we have artichoke plants that are THRIVING! I actually had to look up how to harvest artichoke plants because i really had no clue what part you eat and what part you don't. Right now, there are just spikey leaves, but it should grow a stem up through the middle and right before it buds and becomes a flower, you chop that sucker right off and eat the flesh from the leaves and carve out the heart. It's actually quite an ordeal. Don't know if i'll be up to it, or even do it right. But they are growing, so i gotta give 'em some props!
Sweet Basil, Artichoke

Lettuce, Potato, Beans, Peppers, Broccoli

They grow up so fast:)

The peat pellet project. How it all started.

A pre-watered pellet

Poor tomatoes did not make it, and the jury is still out on the watermelon:( You win some, you lose some, eh?

Starting from seedlings is hit-and-miss. But kinda fun to see what survives and what doesn't. You just never know.
You know that one little plant that survived the first round? Well, now it is huge and we have been eating its leaves for a couple weeks now. Nothing like fresh salads:) We still aren't sure if it's spinach, lettuce, or maybe the tops of a carrot and we shouldn't be eating it??? But we are novice gardeners, my husband and I. What's the fun of knowing everything, right?

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