Garden Stage V

June 26 Garden

July 6 Garden

You know, I was feeling really disappointed in the garden this week, but comparing the two pictures makes me feel a little better.  People are posting on facebook about their amazing garden yields and what do I have to show so far? A salad.

Oh, and like, 20 peas, or enough to make about 4 bites of a dish.  Huzzah.

I even gave them little trellises for support, and this is how they repay me? For shame, peas, for shame.

While I was on my trip to NYC, it rained heavily.  I think this sad tomato plant got too much water and just didn’t recover.  I also realize now that it’s in the direct path of the tree trunk behind it and thus gets a LOT less sun than most everything else.  Every time I see it, I sing the R.E.M. song “Crush With Eyeliner” because it has the words “sad tomato” in the first verse.

The other ones look robust and are flowering, though no little tomatoes yet. 

At least the lettuce has had the decency to grow well.  Ungrateful plants.  After all the time and water I’ve spent on you.  Sigh.

Maybe I should have amended the soil more when I started out.  Or maybe this is just pretty normal for Colorado.  Or maybe, just maybe, my expectations of a perfect garden when I have no idea what I’m doing were a tad unrealistic.  Nah, that can’t be it.  These hands are golden! (Or, are they supposed to be green? Perhaps therein lies the problem.)

Next year, though, I’ll definitely move some things around.  I bought a couple more basil plants to replace the pepper (Susan, you were right about that.  Little pepper plant never got any bigger than the start I put in) and will see how they do in a sunnier spot.  I need to start the spinach earlier–it was an afterthought this year and bolted already, so I ripped it all out.  I did also apply a light fertilizing of an organic fertilizer about two weeks ago, and that did seem to help a bit.

I’m also going to plant some fall veggies now, such as Brussels Sprouts and another round of spinach.  Hopefully by next time, all those little flowers will have turned into fruits.

Or else, garden, or else.

Garden Stage IV

It’s been a few weeks now and everything seems to be coming up well!

I noticed earlier that the pea sprouts were looking a bit chomped on:

After an email consult from a friend, I determined that it was the cheerful, yet sharp-beaked, robins that were after the tender sprouts.  I covered them with a floating cover, and now look at them:

I also couldn’t believe how quickly the beans came up:

May 27 Bush Beans

May 28 Bush Beans

June 6 Bush Beans

Tomatoes doing well:

And some carrots:

The swiss chard has had a little trouble, which is odd since it’s supposed to be the easiest thing to grow.  All the instructions I read said to put it in the most hostile part of the garden and it would still thrive.  I soaked the seeds overnight like the package said to, and had mediocre results.  I then took a second batch and soaked them for 48 hours and those did MUCH better.  I wonder if the seeds were a bit older and had dried out more being here in Colorado.  Anyone else here plant chard with the same experience?

One thing I’m not sure about, though, is how much to water them.  The area is mostly set up with drips that run at 2 gallons per hour.  Some of the tomatoes have 2 drips going to their bases, so they have 4 gph, I suppose.  The row plants have drips set up every 10-12 inches or so per row.  I’m currently running it for 10 minutes once a day, unless it’s a very hot day and then I’ll run it twice.  One person I asked said that this wasn’t enough water for the plants and I should be running it longer or even twice daily every day.  Another gardener said that I should run it only 3-4 times a week, but for longer duration.  So what to do? I mean, everything seems to be doing well so far but I wonder if I need to change it as it grows.  Thoughts? Advice?

Next update in a few weeks!