Friday, June 11, 2010

Our Small, Abundant Garden

It is summer here (well, not officially) and everything is growing fast! By May, we were hitting temperatures in the 90's. This could have caused drought conditions, but we have received an abundance of rain. Our little garden couldn't be happier and we have a large supply of rainwater waiting in our rain barrels.

Since I have taken these pictures, the lettuce has begun to bolt. Those of you not familiar with lettuce, that means that they have shot up several inches and are preparing to seed. This is our first year growing lettuce so I can't miss the opportunity to collect the seeds and save them for next spring. While it is preparing to seed, we can still eat it, but it is beginning to get bitter.

I am so anxious for our tomato and pepper plants to begin bearing fruit. Since this picture was taken, the stalks have grown about 5 inches. We have one cayenne pepper and the rest are bell peppers. This is our first year growing tomatoes in the ground and we forgot to take note of the variety of tomatoes. Luckily, we like all varieties of tomatoes.

When we start the garden next year, we plan to do some things differently:
  • Start earlier. This depends on the weather, but seeds can be germinated indoors.
  • Take note of all of the varieties of fruits/veggies that we plant.
  • Eat our lettuce before it starts getting so hot out.
  • Group our tomato and pepper plants together. I tried to do this, but I did not do so well. :)
  • Label the name and location of each row of seeds. It is hard for us to determine the weeds, since we did not make clear, distinct rows.
All in all, I think this was an awesome first attempt! We have used organic soil and mostly organic seeds. I am pleased with the results.


Sarah said...

LOVE your garden. It's so great to grow some of your own food...and it's amazing to get to know your plants, don't you think?

VeggieAmanda said...

Thanks, Sarah! It is so rewarding to grow our own food. I would like to learn more about it so that we can grow more. :)

Jim Penny said...

Herbs like basil work well here. As does celery. That little spot is asking for some turnip greens this fall. You can plant the collards elsewhere, perhaps in an ornamental venue that you'll still eat at some point.

Meanwhile, the produce manager at Food Lion is in tears. You should be ashamed.

VeggieAmanda said...

We have about 10 pots of herbs on our deck. Keeping them close to the house keeps the animals away. :) We also have a kale growing on our deck, also not pictured here.

Please bring him a tissue on our behalf.

affectioknit said...

Wow! Your garden looks awesome!

Anonymous said...

As the keeper of a little garden myself, I have to say that yours is lovely! Yours looks so perfectly neat and orderly, I'm a bit in awe.

VeggieAmanda said...

Thank you, all! :)

silentlotus creations said...

Yay fresh lettuce. Your garden is lovely. :) We are having lettuce challenges and may have to plant a new crop.

Question- if you cut lettuce (or anything) back after it starts to bolt, will it start fresh with brand new leaves (as when it first started growing)?

VeggieAmanda said...

Thank you! I am sorry you are having lettuce challenges. I do not believe that lettuce can be cut back after it starts to bolt. I think its growing cycle is about over at that point. I know that here, it bolts when it gets really hot (and it has been in the 90's for a month now). I am not sure lettuce can stand really high temps. You can try cutting it back, but then you might miss out on the flower and catching the seeds. Good luck!

silentlotus creations said...

Thanks for the advice! I never knew that the heat affected lettuce (and spinach, too, I think), but it makes perfect sense with our weather here. Thanks for the info! ;)