Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Adventures in Gardening

Last year, I ventured into the world of vegetable gardening.  I wasn't too successful, only getting a few green beans for all my hard work.  This year, I am determined to do better and actually get more than 2 meals worth of vegetables!  I made a few changes to last year's plan and got started last month.

My husband found this little upside down planter on clearance at the end of the season last year.  It has rosemary, parsley and basil on the top.  Planted in the holes on the bottom are tomatoes and strawberries.

 Last year, I used a pot for my potatoes, I didn't get any edible ones.  This year, I went for a different variety and also used kitty litter containers with the bottom cut off.  There are 4 plants in each container.  As they grew, I added dirt to cover the plants until they reached the top of the containers.

These little plants were in the soil from last year.  I am pretty sure they are green beans since they are in the same spot I planted them last year, and now the leaves are looking like green beans.  I hope I am right!

One month later, the herbs and tomato plant are still thriving.  I even have a tomato growing, and have used the herbs to cook with.  The strawberry plant is all but dead.  Back to the drawing board on that one!
 As you can see, the potatoes (in the yellow containers) and green beans are doing great!  I bought a tomato cage that unfolds and is perfect for supporting the green beans as they grow.  I have also planted peas and carrots in the open space.  There is still room in the center for something else.  I am not sure what I will plant there, if anything.  Last year, I also planted pumpkins, which completely overtook the small garden space I have, then the vine was inundated with bugs and died!  This year, I am trying to start the pumpkins in the blue container in the grass to the left.  There is plenty of room for them to spill out of the container and grow to their heart's content in the grass.  We are hoping to use these for our Halloween pumpkins *fingers crossed*!
 Last but not least, this is my lemon bush.  I have had her for 2 years and she has yet to produce any lemons.  She looks MUCH healthier and happier this year, so hopefully we will see something good soon.

At the beginning of the year, I got sucked in by the Arbor Day Foundation.  I sent them some money, and they sent me 12 "trees".  Now I had done some research, so I knew I would be getting "sticks" and not "trees".  When they arrived, my husband laughed and said "Honey, we have tree mail."  I opened my tree mail and had a good laugh when we looked at a bag of 12 sticks.  I really should have taken a picture of them, it was quite priceless.  Flash forward about a week when I finally had time to plant my sticks.  I started to dig my first hole, and realized that there was no way I was going to dig 12 holes in our horrible hard, rocky, clay soil!  I got one good hole in the ground and gave up.  I only had 3 pots laying around, so only 4 "trees" were planted.  The rest were given away to friends or tossed in the trash.  Here are my 4 sticks in all their glory...

This is how my trees looked this morning.  Still sticks, but now they are sticks with leaves (which are really hard to see in this picture because the grass is finally growing back).  Two of the trees have some sort of bug which is eating perfect half circles out of the leaves.  I have to do some research on how to get rid of them and not hurt my precious babies in the process!

I can't wait until I can start eating my veggies this year.  There is something so satisfying in eating something you planted and grew in your own yard, don't you think?

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