Saturday, August 18, 2012

Feeling Green

We've been trying our hand at actual gardening this year & I'm happy to say it's been pretty successful! I always used to think I had total "black thumbs" as I went through quite a few houseplants as a kid. I didn't try any more until my dad passed away & I got some from the funeral & a couple he had been growing. I managed to keep all those going until we got cats.
Last winter, I found some seeds on clearance at Walgreens & figured, at this price - why not?
So, we got carrots, cherry & heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini & morning glories. My best friend had some strawberry plants that had some established runners she gave to me. They almost didn't make it & they didn't bloom at all, but hopefully next year They did send out runners of their own, though! We planted two gardens. Both turned out to be way too small for the plants we planted! We already have plans for next year's garden to be in a new location (at least partially) & much longer.
We have a 4x4 kit we put together & in half we planted the carrots & in the other half we planted the tomatoes & strawberries. This one is in the back yard where it gets some shade. For the rest, my hubby built a little 2x1 garden & put it on the south side of the house with a trellis. We planted the zucchini, cucumbers & morning glories in here! we even encouraged a wild, flowering vine of some sort that's technically a weed. It's flowers look like little white morning glories.
one zucchini plant alone would have been too much for this space! The zucchini plants overshadowed the cucumber plants & killed them all. The morning glories just barely made it & have only just this week begun to make blooms. I haven't even seen them open yet. The zucchinis did pretty well, though some sort of brown beetles got in there & laid eggs. I think that crop, sadly, is done.
The carrots have done alright, but they've been stunted because of the landscaping fabric we used under the garden. The strawberries, as I mentioned, never bloomed. All they've produced is runners. The cherry tomatoes have done awesome & we've been really thankful for that because our daughter eats them like candy! Before they started ripening we were buying little boxes of grape or cherry tomatoes at least once every other week I think! Now, we have more than enough for her appetite, cooking & gifting. The heirlooms have been slower & we're still waiting for them to really ripen & hopefully get bigger than they have been! There are only a few so far.
Yesterday, I started a new project & Paul helped me finish it today which will help us with a lot of things, if all goes well... We made a compost bin! I found this site, which details how to make a compost bin out of a plastic container and I followed the directions to do so. I even lucked out & had an extra lid to keep underneath it! :)
Here's our new compost bin! I'll try to post some pics of the gardens later. :)
Blogger rotated it. I have no idea how to fix it. Grr.

We also, by some miracle, had one carrot plant that bloomed & produced seeds!
We'll just have to wait & see next year if they're viable or not. I plan to mix them in with some store-bought ones, since the site I read about saving them warns against in-breeding, so we may never actually know. :)