Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Garden therapy - A backyard garden update (October)

I can't even begin to tell you how much the garden has grown in the past month since we did the last Garden Therapy post. I'm just going to have to show you. Go ahead, take a moment and check out last month's photos. I'll wait....

Ok. Now check THIS out!

Bed 1: The broccoli we planted as seedlings have exploded with growth and you can also see the broccoli we planted from seed. We also added the 4 tomato plants along the back row. They were pretty tiny when we first put them in the ground, and after waiting the obligatory 2 weeks for them to root, they've taken off. I swear they grow an inch every time I check on them. I have pesto hanging out in the freezer just waiting for tomato sandwiches. I hope it won't be long.

As you can see, the 2 sage plants, put in last spring are as healthy as ever. When the veg*n group came last Friday, I was generous with the sage, needing to keep in under control. Sage tea, anyone?

Bed 2: Here's another bed showing dynamic growth. Last month, those pepper plants were looking a little skinny, now, they're full and gorgeous with plenty of peppers sprinkled amongst the leaves.

Also, last month, we had just planted the lettuce, spinach, and snow peas in this bed. You can see they are still small, but definitely coming up for air.

The snow peas have had some trouble growing and I had to replant once, but we're finally seeing some progress.

The spinach is struggling, but it did that last year too. Could be the seeds, so I might try a different variety in the spring.

Bed 3: What was once a sweet potato bed had been completely harvested. In it's place, we put in red potatoes, carrots, and purple kohlrabi. These seeds just went in over the weekend, so it'll be awhile before we see any evidence of growth, but this will be my first crop of all three, so I'm looking forward to observing the whole process.

Bed 4: This bed was planted a month after the first sweet potato bed, so these last 8 sweet potato plants are still in place and will be harvested in the next few weeks. As soon as they're up out of the ground, more carrots will go in as well as bulb onions.

I still can't believe how many sweet potatoes I've harvested just from 6 plants so far, this second bed, and her 8 additional plants are going to get us through the winter with plenty in our bellies!

Bed 5: Here's another bed where we're seeing a lot of change in the last month. The green pepper plants have grown to gargantuan proportions (with 1-2 dozen peppers harvested each week).

The green onions have taken off and, in fact, multiplied so quickly, I've harvested some of the multiples, only to plant them in two more squares in this bed. We're just swimming in these goodies.

You may notice that the basil (which was behind the peppers) has been pulled. I had allowed it to bolt (go to seed) so that it would attract the bees. We have bees aplenty now, but the wind was carrying the basil seed all over the garden, giving me basil seedlings in just about every bed in the garden - thousands of them. I gave up with weeding them out and just pulled the plants, allowing some of the seedlings to grow in the areas I wanted them. I still haven't completely thinned the area out and there are still a couple hundred basil seedlings to pull, but I'll get to it eventually. A little weeding each day...

This is the only bed that still had room for more plants. I haven't decided whether I want more lettuce or green beans. Maybe I'll do both!

Bed 6: Last month, bed 6 had just been planted with green beans and cabbage, with nothing visible above the soil line. Not any longer. The bed is covered in gorgeous plants! The cabbage a still a little hard to see in this photo, but there's there. You can't miss those green beans though. I'm sure I'll see blooms before long.

Bed 7: Still full of compost, this is the only bed not planted. We'll use the compost to supplement the other beds and wait to plant this on in the spring. Honestly, even if it were in production now, I'm not sure what I'd plant there. We so much of everything as it is...

"Orchard:" As you may remember, we lost three of the four apple trees in our extreme summer. Since I won't have new apple trees until the spring, I used two of the pots for the last two tomato plants. I'm curious to see whether they do better in the deep pots or the shallow raised bed. Time will tell!

You can see the apple tree in between the two tomato plants (on the right). It's healthy and happy, just lonely for its apple tree buddies. Hang on, little one!

We also have our gogi berry plants (to the left). They are growing very long and can't support their own weight, so they hang over the side of the pots . I need to call the nursery and find out if I should cut them back or stake them. Surely they can't bear the weight of fruit...

So that's it! That's our garden as of October 2009. A beauty, isn't it? We're harvesting sweet potatoes, sage, green onions, and peppers like crazy and so much more is on the way. The brutal summer, even hotter and drier than usual, has turned into a cool and rainy fall. Perfect for growth and my little seed babies are just loving it. Of course, I'm loving eating it!

Catch ya next time!


Beany said...

Sweet potatoes were a good thing to be planting knowing your love for them. In fact I might have fallen in love with them after reading about you rave about it so much.

But yes...your garden is going crazy as if to say, "see! We can do something beside lie around in the form of grass, we can feed you very quickly!"

Heather @ SGF said...

Beany - Aren't they great? In fact, I'm cooking some up now for breakfasts over the next few days (sweet potatoes, onions, and peppers - all from the backyard). Love it!

In our Menu for the Future reading for last night, there was a phrase that caught my attention... "The good earth will fail us if we fail her - but she will sustain us if we treat her right." Wow! No kidding. All I did was chuck some seeds in the backyard and look at it go! Ok, I did a bit more than that, but not nearly as much input as the Earth is giving back to me.

Krista said...

Can I just say I'm very jealous? It must be nice living in a climate where you can grow just about anything! Although the northwest is great for anything from the cabbage family.

Great looking garden!

Heather @ SGF said...

Krista - Honestly, that's one of the best things about living here - we're always planting and always harvesting, year-round. In the last two days, though, I've harvested 50 green peppers. I've already told hubby and housemate, we're on a serious pepper diet this week... :)