Monday, May 24, 2010

The Veggie Gardens

This is the second year to garden. I now have two gardens. One is called the little garden because I fenced off a small area in the backyard and the other is called the big garden because we tilled up a 20 x 40 foot space between a shed and hay pen then fenced it in with 6 foot wire panels. We tried to set our own fence posts but kept running into rock so we hired a guy to drill the holes. The fenced garden area was expanded to more than twice the original size, i.e. more like 57 x 40 feet. The extra will be tilled up next year. One thing at a time since 20 x 40 is a lot to get into shape for the first growing season.

There are five, huge zucchini plants in the little garden.

So far, one zucchini. :D I've been told by an experienced gardener that once the squash starts producing that some people make midnight runs to neighbors' front doors to leave squash. Hmmm, of course, he did not say he was one of those that made the runs, but it does cause one to wonder.

Unlike last year, the tomato bushes are flourishing.

I have tomatoes! I changed some things when planting and the weather has cooperated. I've been told that if the temperature goes over 92 degrees that the fruit will not set. Last year the temps were way over 92 degrees about this time of the year. So far, I think we've only had one or two days with temperatures in the 90's. There are seven tomato plants, two are roma with the rest being a variety so I can see which ones grow best in my soil, etc.

I started with three, big, recycled molasses pots for cucumbers; however, something ate the plants in two of the pots. But, you'll see the flowers in the background so it looks like I'll be having cucumbers. I really need to plant some more cucumber seeds but have been too busy getting the big garden ready.

The snow peas are blooming and climbing. I'm really excited about getting this vegetable. Love snow peas in salads or in stir-fried dishes.

While fresh, green beans are not a particular favorite, I'm trying to learn to like. The green beans are flowering.

Aha! I took exception to paying $1 or more for ONE green pepper, so I planted some seeds. Look close and you'll find one tiny sprout. I bought some transplants which will be in the ground by tomorrow, Tuesday.

The herb garden is lush. The cilantro is flowering and was told this morning that cutting the flowers off will extend the life of the plant. Where are my scissors?

Being from Texas, there isn't a black-eyed pea I don't like, a/k/a cow peas. It is a first time try along with the green peppers and snow peas and I'm not sure if these are doing well or not. They haven't climbed the fence yet.

The big garden is truly ready for planting. After spreading 6 yards of compost and retilling, we dropped some corn in the ground 3-4 weeks ago. Four or five plants came up. I've been told that corn is hard to grow around here. But not to be discouraged, I reworked the entire garden area, started rowing up, and then we had a "gully washer" of a rain last week. Well, what to you know, more corn plants started popping up. Too late because I had to finish the rowing up what had been dug up again. Anyway, according to the Farmer's Almanac's moon planting guide, today and tomorrow are good days for planting corn. Seeds went in this morning. I plan to defy the notion that "corn is hard to grow around here." Stay tuned to see if I have to eat my words. :D Hopefully, I'll be eating corn.

Until next time, God bless.


Lily Robinson said...

Good luck with the corn. Nowadays, they have so many different varieties to pick from, you should be able to find one that grows in your conditions.

We planted our cucumbers next to the windmill base this year. The top was destroyed in the hurricane two years ago, so the tower has found a new purpose.

I could eat snow peas until they come out my ears! As for green beans... not a favorite, but since Mr J plants so many, I experimented until I found a way I liked them. I don't like them cooked with fat. I put mine in a pressure cooker with some beef boullion, a little soy sauce, and a sprinkle of sea salt. I add either fresh onion or dried-minced. After coming to pressure, I cook them for about 5 minutes.

Looking forward to seeing your harvest!

DJan said...

WOW! What a great garden, Lynn. You hopefully will be canning or have a decent sized freezer, or you will definitely be making midnight runs to the neighbors. I am very impressed with the looks of it, and I'm sure we will be seeing pictures of the bounty. Blessings on your garden...

Lynn said...

Lily, I did some research on the corn variety best for this area and that is what went into the ground this morning. :D

Thanks for the green bean recipe -- I don't use anything pork for seasonings these days and will certainly try your recipe.

As an aside, in doing research on diet after my brush with cancer, it was suggested by some to not eat pork. I happen to love bacon, ham, and salt pork for seasoning; however, I stay away from using it. It has been difficult to find a seasoning that can match it.

Lynn said...

DJan, thanks for the blessings ... for I, too, asked the Lord to bless my efforts. To insure continued abundance, I plan to give some away. The Lord likes a cheerful giver. :D

Rae said...

Nice looking garden. All that hard work is going to produce some nice results. I wish I had the space to plant a vegetable garden. It is so hard to get fresh stuff around our area.

Karen M said...

Oh, have fun with your garden. We live in north texas and we've been very successful with squash and cucumbers. One year, I was begging people to take cucumbers. But alas, we moved away from our large backyard. So I have 3 tomato plants, 2 squash plants, 1 cucumber, and about 6 pepper plants, and cilantro in my tiny back yard. Hoping for a little fresh produce.

SquirrelQueen said...

Wow Lynn, it doesn't seem all that long ago that you were getting ready to plant all these veggies.

I have to agree on the squash, my dad raised summer squash one year and we had it coming out our ears. We ate it, froze it, canned it and still had squash everywhere. I think he might had done a midnight run or two.

I love fresh green beans. I cook them southern style without the pork. Boiled with potatoes and seasonings until the green beans are a little soft. It seems to give them a sweeter taste.