I have been wanting to write a post on this for a while, but I was sure that the non-gardeners will be totally bored, so I have been holding off. However, this year, whether you know it or not, I tried vegetable gardening for the first time. In case you too are a new gardener (I have had house plants for years and they have always flourished but this is my first food garden) I thought I would talk a little bit about the garden and some of the snags I have run into so far.
First, let me say that this post is to celebrate the fact that I have food. Three beans, to be exact! So, although a three bean salad may be a little small, I am very excited that I have made something that is edible! I made food with my own hands! I also have eaten basil, cilantro and chives from my little garden so far! It's very exciting.
Let's start off by saying what I started off with. I started seeds on May 14: cucumbers (bush), zucchini, tomatoes (bush), beets, butter lettuce, spinach, eggplant (bush), tri-colored beans (bush), cilantro, parsley, basil, chives, squash, scallions, southwestern pepper trio, carrots & dill.
So far I have killed: the cucumber, both lettuces and the dill. So I am 13 - 4. Maybe that's not Superbowl worthy, but it's not too bad.
The details: Most of my plants are in 8" pots. I bought them at the $1 aisle in Target and poked holes in the bottoms. The cherry tomato and the squash are in cardboard boxes lined with plastic shopping bags (with holes poked in the bottom). I used Miracle Grow potting soil and Renee's Garden Seeds.
|Peppers, Squash, Cherry Tomatoes|
What's going wrong? I think my worst fault is OVER watering. I know. In fact, the cucumber started "wilting" so I watered it. It wilted some more; I gave it more water... when my squash also started "wilting" I realized that since they grow along the ground, all they were doing was bending down so they could grow! Oops! Also, my squash leaves started yellowing. A couple days without water did the trick!
I was paranoid, since I am growing everything in containers, that the plants would not get enough water. I read that they dry out more quickly since they are getting sun from all sides. However, I still ended up giving them too much water. I think (correct me if I am wrong!) that tomatoes need more water than many of the other veggies, but many of them need to be left alone once in a while! Too much "care" was killing them!
I also should have used bigger pots. Some of the plants are much smaller than they should be and I am afraid that my bush tomatoes may not bear fruit, since the cherry tomatoes I put in the box are flowering right now and they were planted afterward.
What's going right? I also read that watering will wash out many of the nutrients, so I recently added a bit of miracle grow, which really perked everything up! This also beefs up the argument against over watering. Since then, I have been watering with "coffee ground tea", which is just the coffee grounds mixed into a couple of gallons of water.
Where do we stand? After about 2 months, like I said, I have harvested basil, green beans, chives and cilantro. I have no cherry tomato fruits, but the plant is getting big and bushy and I just got flowers, so it's only a matter of time! I have squash flowers (tons!). The eggplant, beets and peppers are still just leaves.
Do you have a garden? Or a green thumb? Do plant posts bore you?