June 1st 2010
archived under: Family Life, Gardening, Home & Garden, The Guy, Zora

One thing I had been curious about for a long time was the beet plant. I kept asking, “How many beets will one beet seedling make?” and no one could tell me… no book, no googling, etc. I guess the answer was, “Duh, one.” Now I know. I just didn’t know if it would be like a cluster of beets or what…

Why would anyone buy a beet seedling for like 2 bucks, just to grow ONE beet? (other than curiosity like I did) Seems like it would be something you’d grow from seed or not at all. Like cauliflower – if it’s not going to keep regenerating more heads of cauliflower, what good does it do to pay for a seedling (vs. a pack of seeds) just for ONE veggie?

Anyway, we pulled up the beet. It’s really big and yummy-looking. When I asked my husband to hold it up for a picture he said, “Why do I always have to be the face of this farm? I don’t even love beets – they’re just okay!”


He handed me the beet and took the camera. Can you tell I’m crazy about beets and super-excited to eat this one?


We also harvested some squash, zucchinis, peppers, and strawberries. We immediately washed and ate the berries – so juicy and good, though they’re not very sweet. I wonder what it is that makes berries sweet… is it genetic? Or environmental?


THEN we saw this disgusting bugger. Fricking snails keep nibbling my zucchini but I had only seen one before… till now. So much for the “snails can’t crawl on crushed egg shells because they’re too sharp” theory that floats around the internet. Yeah, we’ve put crushed shells from DOZENS of eggs around the plant… and there’s the snail acting like they’re no big deal.


So while I shouted hysterically, “You have to kill it! Kill it DEAD!” my husband smashed it with the back of the shovel. Gross.


We still have some wonderful creatures though! Hello sweet little ladybug. I also saw another preying mantis baby but didn’t have my camera out at the time.


We have dozens upon dozens of green tomatoes… I keep wondering when they’re going to all of a sudden turn red, but they keep staying green. They’re making me drool!


Doesn’t look too bad, does it? Besides the munched-on zucchini and the not-growing-very-much peppers…


The basil is doing well, and the green onions look cute. IMG_0880

And here’s the other bed – the squash is pretty happy overall, the more green tomatoes, strawberries are growing, etc.IMG_0881

The cucumbers are really confusing though. I guess maybe I bought the “wrong kind”? I’ve NEVER had a cucumber that didn’t want to climb, but these have put out NO tendrils to pull up with… I keep propping them up on the net/trellis, but they are just not motivated to stay there or to grow in an upward fashion. Are there non-climbing cucumbers? They’re not like a bush either – they’re vines that just want to drape down to the ground. So strange to me.


The artichoke plant is pretty happy too.


Angered by the snail, and fueled with a fierce territorialism, we set out 2 pie plates full of bud light (bought specifically for snails since the internet says they like that kind). The theory was that the snails will go in to drink the beer, get stuck and drown.

The reality? This morning my husband went out to check the traps… no snails in the traps. TEN snails on the zucchini. He plucked them off and put them into one of the pie tins, thinking they’d drown and die happy and drunk. After a few minutes he checked on them again, and they had escaped the trap and were crawling toward the zucchini again! WHAT?? Our snails are impervious to the internet’s wisdom! Anyway, he killed them. And hopefully that’s the end of it – but we’ll keep a watchful eye…

Also, incidentally, I had a dream last night that I had to eat 12 raw snails (all different varieties/species of snail) for an allergy test. I ate 11 before vomiting – and because of the snails’ textures, my vomit was just this thick mucous. It was so nasty. Had to share. Not only are they in my garden, but they’re in my dreams too? Annoying little buggers!


Also, it’s getting warmer. I know this because Zora has moved from wanting to lay in the sunny spots in the grass to preferring the shade. She’s still enjoying herself though, rather than begging to be let back in immediately. IMG_0888

My Life on the Dole (6 comments)

Your garden looks wonderful. Maybe I can get my dad to build me a raised bed next year. I have tomatoes and herbs in pots, but that's about it. Should have alot of tomatoes when they finally turn red. . .that takes forever! I have always planted Rutgers and Big Boy tomatoes, but this year I tried something different. I planted Patio & Husky and boy they are huge & loaded w/ tomatoes!! I think they are bred for container gardening so they do better.

I couldn't help but get a chuckle out of you w/ the beet, wondering how many beets you get from one seedling! Too funny!! I do stuff like that sometimes too.

Enjoy the “fruit of your labor”. BTW, Zora is a beauty!!

Virginia (48 comments)

lmao the snail dream had me rolling on the floor! pregnancy dreams are so weird, eh? I LOVE the veggie pictures, and the beet pictures! Your garden is flourishing!!! Congrats! Oh and good luck with the snails… when life gives you snails.. make es cargot?

chellrene (973 comments)

I am so jealous! Our stawberries don't look anywhere near as pretty as yours.

I will say that we also have a ton of green tomatoes and none of them are redding up yet. I really really want some fresh tomatoes!

Amber (87 comments)

You want to pinch the middles that are going to try to go to seed. They will look like tiny leaves with buds on them. They grow at the top of the stem. You can also pluck the smaller leaves towards the base in order to force the plants energy to produce larger (and more flavorful) leaves up top, where the light reaches. Thats about it. Basil is super easy to grow. Just try not to let it bolt and it will do best. Hope that helps! :)

Anneka Newman (10 comments)

I am just curious where you get your seedlings from. I am a friend of VA's and she has gotten me addicted to your blog.

Emily Moore (973 comments)

Hi Emily! I would really appreciate your input on pruning basil. I've recently started a small planter garden in my backyard, and I have four Sweet Basil plants in one medium sized planter. When do you time the pruning?

Katie L. (17 comments)

Your garden is looking wonderful! However, I, also, have never heard of climbing cucumbers before…

As for snails, if you are against the chemical style of killing, you can always do it the old fashioned way: one by one by one… I think salt works on snails, like slugs… But we just throw ours into the street. Which is sort of gross, but does the job. And it's very satisfying. :)

Christephi (3 comments)

Strawberries. My grandpa owns a strawberry farm, so I have garnered a wee bit of knowledge from him. There are dozens of types of strawberries, just like there are different kinds of apples. Some are redder, some are bigger, some are sweeter! In fact, the sweetest ones are usually either not very big or not very red (kind of an orangy color instead of true red). The pretty, big California strawberries they sell in the Midwest aren't very sweet, but they travel well (and look nice). Enjoy your berries! But don't be afraid to toss them with a bit of sugar before munching. :-)

Cucumbers. I have never in my life heard of climbing cucumbers! The ones we've always had were just big masses of vines all over the ground, just like pumpkins or watermelon or gourds. Last year we had an insane amount of cucumbers, in fact, the garden turned into a cucumber graveyard by the end of the summer since we'd all eaten as many cucumbers as we could stand (AND made pickles).

Love the beet pictures! And I agree, what's the point of buying a seedling!? Especially since beets will grow from seed easily just like carrots.

April (1 comments)

OMG if you eat that beet you'll stain the baby pink! And that will never wash out!

Ashley (50 comments)

Zora is still absolutely adorable.

Ava (1 comments)

Snails live in aquariums. They aren't going to drown in beer. That's slugs.
Have you ever tried to make escargot?

JoyfulAbode (953 comments)

aw thank you. we like her. :)

JoyfulAbode (953 comments)

ooh now i HAVE to try it!

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