Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Trip Around the Garden & Week 2 Update

Finally, a sunny day in Seattle! We really needed this sunshine and dry weather, especially after what felt like ages of rain (OK actually only about 3 days, but when you're ready for sunshine, even 1 day of rain feels like an eternity!). I was afraid that my poor, little, newbie plants had gotten waterlogged, but I guess Seattle plants have to get used to the rain too and just tough it out (much like their human counterparts).

Let's take a tour around the garden and check on the Week 2 progress:

Planter Box #1 - filling up!

 As you can see, there have been some changes to Planter Box #1! The salad lettuce seemed to have loved the rain and I think definitely looks bigger and fuller than last week. I'll have to use the newbie gardener's best friend (Google) and look up information on how and when to harvest the lettuce. I also separated the Walla Walla Onions so they could grow to normal size and, let me tell you, THAT is a dull job. Six little bunches of onion starts quickly became hundreds of separate onions . . . alright, not hundreds, but probably 25-30 and when you're kneeling on the ground, gently pulling those little suckers apart and then digging separate little holes for each one . . . it sure feels like hundreds! But it's done and now they had better grow some good, large onions for me! Also, since the onions took up a lot of room, I decided to move the zucchinis to the other planter box and plant the parsley and sage in here. See them? They're right next to the Black Cherry tomato plant that is now sporting a lovely tomato cage ($1 at Fred Meyer, can't beat that!). Hopefully that little plant will grow into its cage and use the support to grow tons of yummy little tomatoes for W.

No sprouts yet!
No sightings of any lettuce, spinach, or green bean sprouts. I'm not surprised because of the rain and lack of sun, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I see something soon. I can't wait to see those green beans winding their way up the twine trellis!

The basil stands alone!

I also had a chance to work on Planter Box #2 this week. I didn't do much, since my tomatoes, zucchinis, and peppers are still growing big and strong in their warm greenhouse at the nursery, but I did mark out some space for the tomatoes when they do arrive (rocks and plant tags seemed like a good way to reuse materials - recycling!). For now, I planted the basil and some carrot seeds around the perimeter of where 2 of the tomatoes will eventually go . . . so basically they are in a square around the rocks. I read a great article about companion gardening here and learned that carrots and tomatoes grow great together. I'm excited to see if it works!

Strawberries . . . and a blueberry!

Along the edge of my planter boxes, I've planted 3 new strawberry plants to go with the strawberry I planted last year (the one from last year is at the top in this photo). We only had 2 strawberries actually grow to pick-able size last year, but man they were good! This year, I hope to harvest at least 4 times as many! LOL! Luckily my older strawberry plant is showing signs of at least 6 buds so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

This is a blueberry!?
Barely visible between the oldest strawberry plant and the one below it is a blueberry plant . . . at least it's supposed to be a blueberry. Right now it looks like a stick. Hmmmm . . . how in the world will this twig become a fruit bearing plant? I hope it somehow transforms because W loves blueberries!

These raspberries were here when we moved in and have consistently borne lots of fruit without any effort on my part. This year, I trimmed them back over the winter and culled all the dead plants, plus I'm in the process of removing a bunch of what my neighbors calls 'bind weed' from the base of the plants. This little weed wraps itself around any plant it can find and basically sucks the life right out of it. The poor raspberries were covered with it! That they actually bloomed and gave fruit every year is a miracle and I'm hoping that my efforts this year will help it do even better. Of course, there's always the chance that I broke something that didn't need fixing but . . . *sigh*

A weed garden?
In the next few days, I'm hoping to pull all of the weeds and bamboo out of this sunny spot and turn it into . . . a pumpkin patch! Well not just a pumpkins patch since I'm going to experiment with growing potatoes and leeks too, but pumpkin patch just sounds better than pumpkin, potato, and leek patch.

Hope everyone out there is enjoying the sunshine, I know my plants are!


- c

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