Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Garden Update

This afternoon I harvested the first produce from this year's vegetable garden -- a radish!
This is the first time I've planted radishes in the garden and I couldn't believe how beautiful the color on this little radish was. It tasted pretty good too.

Here's a look at my two raised bed gardens for this year. As you can see, I've gone back planting in rows again. The radish came from this bed -- down on the lower left side (radishes are sharing a row with leaf lettuce -- the bright green leaves at the lower right of the picture). There are also some volunteer strawberry plants that I discovered this spring while cleaning out this bed and I decided to leave them and see if they will produce any strawberries. In this bed, I've also planted cucumbers (pickling and eating), peas, green beans, carrots, beets, and onions. I got everything planted really early this year (late April) and have been fortunate that we've not had any late frosts this spring.

Here's my second raised bed (you might remember what a disaster it was last year when my dirt was delivered from the garden center). Earlier this spring my neighbor Scott brought over a little pickup load of compost for me and that was just enough to cover this bed and it's doing really nicely now. In here I've planted zucchini, winter squash, tomatoes (Roma, cherry, and regular ones for BLTs and canning), a couple of red pepper plants, a jalapeno pepper and cilantro for making salsa, and broccoli (that I'm trying to grow from seed).
In case you're wondering, the little plastic containers are "wind protectors" for a couple of really small pepper and tomato plants that I grew from seed.

I've got some garbage-can potatoes going this year again too. After last year's successful harvest, I added a fourth garbage can. I think I planted these on Easter Sunday and after a slow start, they are now doing very well.

This has nothing to do with the gardens, but here's one of the cute little hummingbirds that's visiting me this year. After getting a drink from the oriole feeder, she loves to sit on this little branch perch and fluffle up her feathers (that's what she's going here--see how her tail's fanned out and moving really fast?)


Mama Pea said...

Oh, Ruthie, I am so envious . . . I LOVE radishes! And yours is perfect. Three more weeks and I'll have some, too. :o)

Your garden beds (and potatoes) look great. So much fun to see other people's gardens! Thanks for posting the pics.

Red said...

Your radish is beautiful! So purely red - a far far cry from what one sees at the grocery store.

Crossing fingers you don't get a surprise freeze in June so you get all those other veggies you are growing.

Funny little hummingbird :)

Gaelyn said...

Wow, your gardens are delightful. It seems just like yesterday when I was reading the cold and snow complaints. I do miss having a garden, at least for greens. But in the park, the deer and squirrels would have a grand buffet without more work than I'm willing to put out for exclosure.

Enjoy your first radish Ruthie.

Kelly said...

...wow...you're already harvesting! You lucky duck, and I think I could do a photo shoot of that radish--it's looks perfect!

Dana and Daisy said...

that is a beauty of a radish. where is the salt shaker? crunch crunch!

Jayne said...

Love seeing the fruits of your garden Ruthie! :c)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The perfect radish. Your garden looks wonderful too. Who doesn't like to see a hummer in the garden.

Ruth said...

My Mom always had us plant radishes in the spring as they grow so quickly, especially for impatient children. Your garden has great potential!!

troutbirder said...

Good luck with all your crops, Ruthie

barefoot gardener said...

Yee-haw! I love the pics of the garden. I am jealous, just a bit, of your potatoes....

Windyridge said...

I just love the wood and hermit thrush songs. They are amazing.
Did you see my hummingbird pics on my blog. I am quite proud of them.

Aleta said...

Garbage can potatoes -- what a great and fun idea! I may have to try that next year. What special thing do you have to do? It looks like your soil in the cans isn't up really deep. Do you get a lot of potatoes? Although we have room for them, we haven't bothered with planting potatoes yet, but in garbage cans might be better.

I didn't think you could grow broccoli from seeds. Let me know how that works out for you!

Your garden looks wonderful! I have lots of radishes in my garden. I planted a bunch right around the squash because they are supposed to deter squash bugs. The fun thing about radishes, besides they taste so good on salads, is that they grow so quickly. Just for info: my companion gardening book says that great companions of radishes are beans, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, pea, squash, and tomato. Happy gardening!

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Mama Pea. I loved the color and perfect roundness of this little radish. I can't wait for the lettuce to be big enough to pick and then I can have a tasty & fresh salad!

Hi Red,
A surprise freeze would be awful and I think it's happened before. I could cover my gardens if it came to that, but it would be devastating to the farmers around here!

Hi Gaelyn,
The radish was delicious! My garden fence seems to be keeping out the critters so far and I see birds spending a lot of time in the garden too, so hopefully they're taking care of most of the bugs.

Hi Kelly,
I was hoping for more time in the garden being partly unemployed this summer and it's definitely paying off now because I was able to get the garden in so much earlier this year. Hopefully once everything else is ready to harvest, I'll be able to keep up with the canning & freezing too.

Hi Dana,
That's exactly what I did with that radish! And I made it last for 3 bites......YUM!

Thanks Jayne.

Thanks Lisa. I love having the hummers around too. I keep hoping one will nest somewhere in my yard and I'll be able to watch that.

Hi Ruth,
I've noticed the produce I get from the garden tastes much better than what I buy at the store. It's a good feeling knowing that I'm able to grow my own food.

Thanks Troutbirder. Watch for some phantom zucchini and tomato deliveries on your doorstep if there's a bumper crop later this summer!

Thanks Barefoot and for your previous garden advice too! I hope the potatoes are as good as last year. I never did get enough to store away--we ate them as quickly as I harvested them!

Hi Windyridge, I'll stop by to check out your hummer photos.

Hi Aleta,
I learned about garbage can potatoes a couple years ago from the Bumblebee blog. You can also google "garbage can potatoes" for more information. It's great fun and they're so easy to harvest. My cans are about half full of a dirt/compost mixture and several yards away from the raised bed gardens to discourage insects.
Thanks for the info on companions to radishes--between them and the birds, hopefully I won't have many insect problems.

KGMom said...

Already--you are harvesting already? Well, Ruth's comment explains it.
I used to have a garden--long ago. Now I stick with flowers. My age is catching up with me--not as much energy, and achy joints! Works against gardening.

Jaime said...

Wow, your garden looks so very....organized and tidy. Not to mention extremely secure. I am really loving your potato set up there too. I think I may need to copy that.

Mary C said...

You've got a great start on that garden, Ruthie. Fresh home grown veggies always taste better than store bought. If everything produces for you, you will surely have a great harvest in a few months. Are you planning to replant more radish seeds? I remember from many years ago (in Colorado) that we were able to get at least two "harvests" of leaf lettuce, radishes, and carrots.

Julie said...

Woo Hoo! Look at your garden grow! I'm glad winter is behind you and that nothing got burned by a late frost.
Thanks again for your help with identification of that bird!

dAwN said...

I am loving your potatoe growing idea! Our daughter is starting her first garden in NYC and has a small space. She loves potaotes...I have a question. As the potatoes grow do you keep adding soil?
I was wondering what the white spots were on the hummer ..I guess its because the tail is found out and moving..
I like your plastic container around small seedlings ..to protect them.good Idea.
Hope you get lots of yummy veggies!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Donna,
As Ruth said, radishes and lettuce grow fast and best earlier in the season before we get the July heat.
I'm definitely starting to feel my age too.....wondering if they still make Geritol and maybe I should get some!

Thanks Jaime. I'm hoping the fence works to keep deer and bunnies out of the garden, although the deer have been pretty scarce lately (raiding the neighbor's gardens, I think!)

Thanks Mary C. I am thinking about replanting the radishes and lettuce again in late August. When these early radishes are harvested, I'm thinking I'll put either beans or peas in their place so I have more veggies for the freezer.

Thanks Julie. I'm so glad spring has finally arrived to stay! And you're welcome on that bird ID--thanks for sharing it with me.

Hi Dawn,
You are correct on those potatoes. Fill the garbage cans half full with dirt and add your seed potatoes, then as they continue to sprout you can add more dirt (or even straw as one article I read stated). This is a really good way to grow potatoes in a limited space.

Appalachian Lady said...

That is a very nice radish. I live the garden layout. I should try some of those garbage can pototoes--never heard of doing that but it looks like it works very well.