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May 16th 2010
archived under: Gardening, Home & Garden

Here’s a quick run-down of the news in the garden these days.

The pepper plants are all still very small, but some of them have peppers on them! Here are a couple green bell peppers. The jalapeno plant also has one tiny pepper, as does the banana pepper plant.

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The zucchini is overall doing well. We’ve had some issues with “chomping”… I can’t figure out the culprit though. We suspected snails or slugs (and I did see one snail on it once) but I have put out beer and haven’t caught any. Someone else thought maybe a caterpillar, but I haven’t even seen one caterpillar… and someone on twitter told me caterpillars “like to stick around” so I’d probably see it if that was the case. Weird. Anyway, I haven’t seen any major bites taken out of my zucchinis lately, so I’m guessing the pest moved on. Or hoping.

The other issue is slight blossom-end rot. We had this last year and learned that the cause is calcium deficiency (or too much nitrogen which inhibits calcium uptake). Believe it or not, last year we fought it off with calcium supplement pills from GNC, which I ground (grinded?) up and added to the soil around the plants.

So we’re doing that again, plus saving egg shells and putting them around too… supposedly egg shells can also help with slugs and snails.

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Tomatoes! We’re starting to get several little green tomatoes!

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Check out these lumpy gnarly ones. It’s gonna be so cool to have big ugly delicious tomatoes from our garden!

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So here’s the whole garden bed on the right. Zucchini on the right, tomatoes in the back, peppers in the front.

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The basil is getting puffier! We’ve actually used it a couple times in cooking. Very delicious. It’s going to get huge; I just know it. The other herbs? Well… what other herbs? We may have to get seedlings… the seeds didn’t seem to be live. I think I got dud seed packets.

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Here’s the left garden bed. Kind of random stuff in here. Squash on the left, a tomato in the back, and also hiding in the back are what is supposedly cucumber plants (they’re not acting like any other cucumber plant I’ve grown before, so I’m just taking a wait-and-see attitude with it – maybe it was mislabeled and it’ll be a mystery surprise), a cantaloupe, and a watermelon. In the front is a pepper plant, broccoli, and strawberries.

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Here’s the little cantaloupe plant and our new baby watermelon. The cantaloupe actually has some flowers on it already.

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Strawberries… starting to get more berries – exciting!

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And there are tons and tons of baby squashes hiding under the leaves. TONS of them. I’ve had to throw out a few due to blossom-end rot but I’m sure the calcium pill powder will help these too… the plant is looking really happy in general and I keep having to cut off leaves that are shading the other plants too much.

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I love the way squash and zucchini fruits have “fur” on them as they grow. I think it makes them look super-cute, almost like little animals.

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And I don’t think I’ve introduced you to my artichoke plant. We got him because we love artichokes, but neither of us had any clue about growing them… he was in the garden box until we learned these plants get HUGE … like 5 feet tall and 7 feet wide. So we put him into the sandy soil. Which evidently artichoke plants don’t mind at all. At first we thought he’d die, but now he’s grown a bunch and is doing great. I doubt we’ll get any artichokes from him this year, and since we’re not staying in this house when our lease is up, he’ll either be a gift to the homeowner or (if we’re staying in California) we might dig him up and take him with us. Sweet little artichoke plant.

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JamieAnneG (56 comments)

The garden looks wonderful!!! I posted some pictures of mine, but mine is much smaller. Thanks for posting these!!!




Hi! Followed you from Real Food Wednesday and am also jealous of your garden getting ready to produce for you- it's raining here in the NW and I've got lettuce, and broccoli that might be ready- everything else is waiting to be planted (or shivering under a cover,…). I'd love to have you link this to the Tuesday Garden Party going on over at http://www.anoregoncottage.com! We all share our garden updates, questions, trials, successes, etc. each week there and links are open for two days. Hope to see you there!




JoyfulAbode (953 comments)

They're definitely good to add to your compost if you're composting. We're not this year, so just putting them on top of the soil…




JoyfulAbode (953 comments)

You should move to CA's central valley! haha. We can grow just about anything here, I think.




JoyfulAbode (953 comments)

4×4 is pretty big! Are you using Mel Bartholomew's book?
Ours are each 2×5, so enough for 20 plants total (plus the herb pots).




JoyfulAbode (953 comments)

We didn't have very good luck with the zucchini last year either. It made me sad because people are always complaining about having too many zucchinis! I want “too many” zucchinis too! haha.




Paula (1 comments)

Your garden looks great. I had terrible luck with squash last summer. I think off of 10 plants, I had 4 zuchinni. I just don't think anything pollinated the flowers. Maybe it was lack of calcium like you?




JoyfulAbode (953 comments)

They're definitely good to add to your compost if you're composting. We're not this year, so just putting them on top of the soil…




JoyfulAbode (953 comments)

They're definitely good to add to your compost if you're composting. We're not this year, so just putting them on top of the soil…




JoyfulAbode (953 comments)

They're definitely good to add to your compost if you're composting. We're not this year, so just putting them on top of the soil…




JoyfulAbode (953 comments)

You should move to CA's central valley! haha. We can grow just about anything here, I think.




JoyfulAbode (953 comments)

You should move to CA's central valley! haha. We can grow just about anything here, I think.




JoyfulAbode (953 comments)

4×4 is pretty big! Are you using Mel Bartholomew's book?
Ours are each 2×5, so enough for 20 plants total (plus the herb pots).




Susan (16 comments)

Wow your plants are doing well! My little peppers are just setting their first fruits but are still not looking hugely healthy!

You may find the culprit for nibbling is actually a beetle of some kind and they are harder to trap and find!

I used beer in the UK – what a laugh! The slugs/snails either ignored it – or found it … and crawled around in the stuff for ages… and then.. crawled out again! And didn’t even have the decency to look DRUNK!!! I just went out at night with a flashlight, and a bucket and picked up the snails. They hide in nooks and crannies – and I even found them at mouth height, hiding behind the jasmine on the fence – in HUGE numbers. Don’t be kind and put them in a field or whatever nearby … these things HOME !!! For miles….! [As do mice!]

Good luck !




primaltoad (3 comments)

This is to cool – really. Your baby is very fortunate and lucky!

I actually might start a small garden soon… 4' by 4' – big enough for 16 different plants! That would be too awesome. As soon as I buy my own house you will have to help me grow a LARGE garden :)




Kate (2 comments)

I am so ridiculously jealous over your garden. I live in Utah and our rhubarb is huge but everything else is in the process of being planted this weekend. We won't have tomatoes for months and months. And wow! Your artichoke is amazing!




Hannah (17 comments)

Ooh interesting about the egg shells, I have lots of those! I'll have to keep it in mind in case we have any bug/calcium problems :)






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