Garden Chit-Chat

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any gardening pics or chit-chat so I thought I’d share a little bit today. This has been a very interesting year of gardening for me. I basically tripled the size of my garden from last year, adding in different veggies that I wanted to try to grow. I added some kohlrabi, potatoes, peas, cucumbers, watermelon and squash.

My peas did well, but when we were on vacation, we were hit with some higher temps and I lost the last part of the crop. Lesson learned: Peas don’t like heat! I haven’t quite figured out the variety of cucumbers that we grew. It seems like no matter what size I pick them, they just don’t taste right–yet I can’t find my seed packet to research it online. A learning lesson here: always keep a gardening journal of what you plant so you can make notes later! The watermelon and squash are doing well. I knew they’d take up a lot of space but I still wasn’t prepared for just how much! I think I’ll keep them in a totally separate area next year and just let them grow freely. I think I’ll also put the potatoes elsewhere and try to squeeze in just one more 3×3 garden bed in that area instead. I also have an interesting concept of how I’ll grow beans and peas next year. I’ll share it with you if it works!!

I’m sharing all these things because here’s what I’ve found about gardening—it’s a continual learning process. Especially during strange weather years, like this one for us, between the rain/flooding and excessive heat wave. But at the same time, it’s a lot of fun for me. I often find it’s almost a source of calm for me as I can just get lost in what I’m doing and not stress about all I think I should be doing! I’m hoping that several of you that haven’t tried gardening gave it a try this year. And if not, it’s still not too late! There are several veggies that grow well in the late fall that you can still get started now–or soon. Just check to see what grows well in your zone for fall. If you didn’t get in a garden, you may want to consider checking out any local farmer’s markets to enjoy some fresh locally-grown food!

Here are a few pics from our garden/yard/harvest:

The larger varieties of tomatoes are still green and just ready to flip to red any day now.

This is just one picking of cherry/grape tomatoes. Such a savings for me as a container of these are usually around $3 in the store. If you enjoy tomatoes and have limited space, I highly recommend getting a container/patio tomato plant. You should get quite a harvest and savings just from one plant.

My friend introduced me to kohlrabi a few years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. This is the first year I’ve grown them. Very easy to grow. When ripe, I just slice off their skins, add a little salt and they make a nice little snack or crunchy addition to a salad.

A watermelon in my backyard? I never thought I’d be able to grow them but so far, so good! The kids just thought this was the best when they saw it finally growing on the vine.

This beauty is what I believe to be the wild birds way of thanking me for feeding them. They dropped some seeds by my bird feeder. I let them grow as I knew the kids would get a kick out the plant. I’m guessing the seeds aren’t edible. But I’m hoping to grow some that are next year.

Hoping you are enjoying a fun year of gardening, too! I’d love to hear how your garden is growing, any things you’ve learned or any other stories you’d like to share about gardening.

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Comments

  1. Susan says

    We are used to having a lot of space for our organic garden but when we moved to a subdivision, space had to be used as economically as possible. This year so far I have canned 25 qurts of V-8 juice, 8 pints of tomato sauce and 21 quarts of plain canned tomatoes as well as 10 quarts and 18 pints of beans that grew upour chain link fence in a strip of soil about 15 feet long and 15 inches wide. Here’s a quick tip for those who want to garden organically and don’t have manure handy – we went to the Knox County Co-op stockyards and they let us have as much as we could take away for free!

  2. Karen says

    Your cuke variety may have nothing to do with the taste. They don’t do well in excessive heat. They look fine, but taste bitter. As it cools off, they should taste sweeter. Your sunflower most likely is a black oil variety, that is what most bird seeds are. You will want to grow confection flowers (striped). Your kids would enjoy helping you roast them. I am so jealous of your watermelon. Our season is too short here most years, and they never fully ripen. Enjoy your garden!

  3. says

    Wow! How wonderful to have all of those fresh vegetables and know where they came from. We rented a small plot to garden again this year. It was $15 for a small space, and my husband has taken care of it for the most part. We’ve grown cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelon. The cucumbers turned out well, but we did get as big of a harvest this year as in the past. We are still waiting on the tomatoes which should be ready very soon, and the watermelon is growing well but not ready yet either. :-)

  4. coupongeek says

    I love the idea of people renting space for those that need it! So glad you are able to garden cuz of that!

  5. coupongeek says

    Karen,

    You are so sweet to help me out! I think you are right on the cukes. I was ready to pull out my cucumbers today but I picked one and it was delicious!! It’s been a little cooler here this week so maybe it was the heat before.

    Thank you for the tip on the sunflowers! I’m going to add that to my “buy list” for seeds next year. I love the idea of roasting my own seeds!

    I’m hoping my watermelon will ripen completely. Fingers crossed!

    Thanks so much for the help! :)

    Jaycie

  6. Nichole D. says

    My family and I tried cucumbers this year (growing up lattice) and so far we’ve gotten lots of flowers and 2 odd shaped yellowish green cucumbers. I thought they should be dark green (like in the grocery store)? I also tried peas this year and they pretty much got turned brown and died (to much sun and hot temps for most of July here in WI). Do peas do better in the shade/sun? Thanks for the tips and photos. :)

  7. coupongeek says

    I think peas need to be planted fairly early and then perhaps shaded when it get real hot. I had a bunch of yellow ones, too. A reader said the heat might make them that way. This last week has been cooler and my cukes have been doing a lot better and tasting better.

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