Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mary, Mary. How does your garden grow?

This year's garden started with three artichoke plants, given to us by a friend of my husband's, who said, 'two of the plants were just for looks'. Not sure what he meant by that, and at first, they were so limp that I was sure that the two-to-spare was a good thing.

We have the hanging pots out again this year. After a trip to a local nursery on about the first of May, we came home with three peppers, a green, a red and a gold, two tomatoes, one cherry and one for slicing, four cucumbers. We added six peas after a stop at the drug store.

Every body seemed pretty stagnant for the first few weeks. I'm really trying not to over water them. I think the reason our harvest last year was so very minimal was because I'm from a very dry climate where we spend a great deal of time watering every morning and this area has it's own watering program pretty much.

So, for the next few weeks it rained, showered, down poured, sprinkled, and pretty much every other kind of precipitation you could imagine. In abundance and then some. I did not water, but I have been concerned that everybody was drowning out there. The few days the sun did shine we pushed that whole set around the pavement trying to catch every ray we could.

Yesterday we had our first eighty degree day. I'm sure I heard huge sighs of relief out there, quite possibly a Choir of Angels. The cherry tomato has about 30 - 40 blossoms on it, maybe half a dozen on the other but it has also grown at least a foot taller. The artichokes have taken off and the cucumbers have added a few leaves. The peas have sprouted plenty of blossoms, there are two pods, one of them is almost two inches long. The peppers all have bead-size buds on them. These are upside down, in buckets from last year's attempt at inverted tomatoes.

We went back to the nursery and added three more peppers to our collection. Now, we have two gold and two red and a Purple one. (You knew that was going to happen didn't you?) We were looking for a cage for the tomato, but the one at the nursery seemed expensive so we didn't get it. Came home and re-potted the newbies and gave everybody some plant food.

A couple of plants have had some gnawing on them, one of the cucumbers is nearly gone. A tree outside of the patio has similar chewing going on, but I don't see any bugs. Talking with others, including my mom who came for a visit a couple of days ago, it could be earwigs. I don't seem any slugs or evidence of any. We picked up an organic pesticide today, too, and will have to address the issue of bugs on the tree the next regular visit with the pest control people.

On a completely other note, the roses out front had a huge aphid thing happening earlier this spring. I sprayed them down with dish soap like everybody said, but I think the thing that may have saved them was one of my knitter buddies (the one that walks with the dogs and I every non-rainy day) came over the last week of April and showed me how to use a rose systemic that she had a little of. So, will have to add that to the garden supplies, too.

She and I have had some really good news this last week. Everyday, we walk past a community garden and wonder how does one get in on that. Well, I finally heard back from someone about that and we are number two on the waiting list. They have one plot left for this year and seven new going in next year. We will share a 20' X 20' plot, plus the stuff at home. We are both apartment dwellers, she and her daughter have filled her patio and little garden area, and except adding more pots and re-using more buckets, I don't have anymore growing area here either, and think that sharing the one plot will be plenty.

Now, our morning conversations are all about making lists about what we'd like to grow and wondering what might be productive. Also, a few laughs about 'should I knit some overalls?'

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