lothiriel_1: (bill milquetoast opus)
[personal profile] lothiriel_1
Had a very pleasant visit back home, with good (if a bit cool) weather to top it off. Didn't go on the whale watch, but I did eat a plentiful amount of seafood during my week + stay - pad thai with shrimp at a restaurant in Newburyport, boiled lobster at Barnacle Billy's in Ogunquit, fried clam strips at Woodman's in Essex, and baked haddock at Westside in Peabody. Om nom nom nom.

The drive south was mostly uneventful with traffic only becoming a problem in Virginia (naturally). Still, I managed to make it home in a little over 9.5 hours, which is a southbound record for me. The cats were almost out of their minds with happiness to see me, and they have both been pieces of furry Velcro since. I took today off to recover from the drive and do things like grocery shopping, laundry, and, most importantly, garden maintenance.



For those of you not in the know, I decided to do some raised bed gardening this year. I ordered beds from Frame-It-All - the timbers are made from recycled composite materials that will not rot and need to be replaced in 3 years like pine boards would. The vegetable bed measures 4'x8'x12". I'm doing a version of square foot gardening, where you grow a different crop in each marked-off square foot. The photo below shows the veg bed with all the new plants I put in.



Photo below taken about a week before heading north:



I came home yesterday to tomato plants that were taller than I am (I know, I know - that's not a great feat), an explosion of cucumber vines, spinach and lettuce plants that had bolted, and some of the tiniest green beans I've ever seen. The red bell pepper is still waiting for a mate to join him/her/it on the plant, but there should be some new companions coming soon from the neighboring eggplant. The corn is about 3.5 feet tall. The broccoli crown is getting bigger.











I've thoroughly enjoyed having this little green patch this season, and I've been learning a lot about what I want to plant next year and how I want to do it.

Date: 2009-06-09 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-samosaurus.livejournal.com
Haha, I was just on facebook wishing for pictures of your teeny green beans, and here they are!!! It all looks awesome! :D

Date: 2009-06-09 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reckless-saturn.livejournal.com
The garden looks great especially how you designed it. Very beautiful. I am stealing your cucumber trellis idea. I haven't found one that I am happy with What are the flowers? Marigolds? I have heard they are good at keeping the pest away and I wanted to see what other people thought.

Not sure if you have grown eggplants before, so excuse the advice if you have. But pests love eggplants especially the flea beetle. If you get them I can make a few suggestions on what to use that is organic??

It took awhile, but I finally have fallen head over heels in love with gardening. I love being able to go into my backyard to pick dinner. I got a book on how to homestead on 1/4 of an acre which is what we have. I am slowly turning our backyard into a huge garden.

I am jealous of the cedar(?) you used to make your raised beds. The most I learn about raised beds the more I am convinced they are the best way to go. We have a lot of garden, but are slowly converting to raised beds. Cedar would be good to use since it is a good pest repellent.

Alright. Sorry if the long reply. I just get excited to talk gardening.

Date: 2009-06-13 10:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lothiriel-1.livejournal.com
Okay, to answer your questions...

Yes, the flowers in the corners are marigolds, and they are there to help repel pests.

I've been using an organic insecticide called Captain Jack's Dead Bug Brew (got it at a local nursery). It seems to be working pretty well. I fertilize with Neptune's Harvest fish and seaweed emulsion, and Jobe's tomato plant food stakes.

The timbers of the raised bed are made from composite materials, specifically recycled plastic and wood. The timbers won't rot, and (unlike railroad ties) won't leach harmful chemicals into your garden soil.

I've got 5 corn plants that seem to be doing well. I'm kind of looking at this year as a learning year. I've never done a vegetable garden before, so I planted a whole bunch of things to see what I like and what growing methods work (and don't work) for me and the space I have. For instance, I already know that I will be doing the cucumbers differently next year, and using better tomato/other vegetable supports.

Date: 2009-06-16 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reckless-saturn.livejournal.com
What are you going to do differently with the cucumbers?

Excuse my interest. But I like talking gardening because you never know what different answers you are going to get.

I am learning a lot about how to time my planting, so that I can get more than one or two harvests and so everything doesn't get ripe at once. Normally I wait to long to put the seeds in the ground. I am starting to realize that you can't be lazy with a garden and waiting a day or two can make a big difference in the amount of produce you can get.

I just learned to put tums in the ground with the tomato plants because it stops rot at the roots and in the flowers.

Thanks for sharing.

Date: 2009-06-09 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reckless-saturn.livejournal.com
Also I have never done corn before. Too nervous about it fitting in the garden. How much did you plant? Will you let me know how it goes. I would be interested in trying it next year and wondering if it would be worth the trouble.

We have a tiny bell pepper, but your puts our to shame. Happy gardening!!

Also you can collect seeds from your lettuce and spinach plants if you let them flower and go to seed. Saves you money for next year. If you want more information on that I can give it to you too.

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