Friday, May 18

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Back in March I built myself a little raised bed to see just how green my thumb is and I've been pleasantly surprised with the results. This post is really so my dad can see my progress, but I figured others might be interested as well. For your enjoyment, here is my garden, in GIF form so you can see the before & after. I took half the pictures on May 2, and the rest on May 18, so the progression you see is roughly over two weeks.

First, the bed itself: It's hard for me to see the growth because I stare at it every day, but seeing these two pictures is amazing to me. The beans and carrots have especially taken off recently, but the whole thing looks a lot more green :)

Next to the garden I have a tomato planter my dad made me a couple years ago. These plants have also shot up in the last couple weeks! The one in front is a Juliet Roma and a Cherry in the back, which died in a frost back in early April but is slowly coming back and even has some buds.

Here's a closer look at the Juliet Roma, which has quite a few baby tomatoes, and even more buds:

Back in the garden, the romaine lettuce has been growing like crazy since the beginning. I started these as four little tiny heads and we've been eating them for a couple weeks now. I just pluck off a few leaves from the outside of the plant whenever we want a salad. I am in love with the convenience of a salad whenever I crave it and I'm even more excited for some tomatoes to add in! You can see that one head of lettuce has split into two - twice the fun!

I lost a couple green peppers in the frost and replaced them with these guys. They are starting to bud and get fruit. The plants that died got replanted in pots and seem to be making a comeback, so here's to loads of green peppers this summer.

Speaking of pots, here's a look at a Better Boy tomato plant my dad started from seed in his grow lab basement. He brought the plant down to me in early April and it already has baby fruit :) I need to replant him in a bigger pot with a cage so he can keep growing.

Here's a look at strawberries in the raised bed. I lost my first four or five strawberries to neighborhood birds so I had to put a net over the whole bed. {you can see it in a few of the before pictures} This has done wonders and we've been able to eat a few strawberries already. It seems like although the plants have continued growing, the strawberries themselves have stalled, other than that one set of blossoms. I can't wait for more because the strawberries we did eat were absolutely amazing!

On a whim, I bough a few cucumber plants when I had to replace other plants from the frost. The little plants from the store were a little sad looking, and I did lose one, but wow! this cucumber has really taken off in the bed. I moved another cucumber from a planter into the bed and I hope that will thrive as well!

I don't really like carrots, but I have charming memories of eating them straight from my grandpa's garden as a child so I couldn't resist the urge to try some myself. It took awhile, but they are finally growing like crazy. The only hangup I have about carrots is that one seed = one carrot, which is a little depressing when you consider that one tomato plant yields tons of tomatoes.

I planted these beans from seed before the frost, which hurt them initially, but most are flourishing now and starting to bud. I think the beans have had the most impressive growth lately and I'm getting ready to eat lots and lots of green beans .. mmm!

Here's a few hibiscus plants from my dad. The red and yellow varieties have been steadily growing, but the pink one is really being a late bloomer. {ha - punny plant jokes} I was surprised to see the progression in these photos because I feel like it hasn't done anything since my dad delivered it in April.

Also from my dad, a jalapeño plant full of blossoms. Not sure what I'll do with jalapeños, seeing as the last time I used one, my hands (and consequently, my eyes) were burning for a good 36 hours after chopping it. If I end up with the load of tomatoes I'm expecting, I think I'll make some salsa so the jalapeños can go in there.

Not mentioned above, I have cilantro and basil growing in the garden. I have also been growing cilantro in a planter in the kitchen window that we've been eating. It turned to coriander a few days ago and now I don't know what to do with it. Replant some more cilantro seeds? Oh, I also have a big planter full of cilantro outside as well. 

You may have noticed the pink flowers in the corners of the bed, I don't remember what those are, but they have been blooming and reblooming since I planted them. I also have some zinnias, which I planted as seeds, along the edges. They should begin to blossom within the next month. I also have a few zinnias in planters on the front steps and planted some in the ground along our walkway. There are also six gerbera daisies in pots from my dad, but those aren't doing well. I'm thinking of replanting them in bigger pots or finding a place in the ground for them. 

Inside, my African violet has been absolutely thriving since I repotted it in a proper planter. It was seriously almost dead and now it's full of gorgeous blooms!

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my garden, I'll be sure to post more when I start harvesting. I'm already planning for next year - I'd love to make another bed and do some more flowers, as well as try some berry bushes somewhere in the yard. 

What's growing around your home?

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