Friday, May 23, 2008

In the beginning

We inherited a beautiful garden plot from the previous owners of our new home. Despite the fact that I know absolutely nothing about gardening, I'm attempting to grow stuff anyway. I've managed to keep four little humans alive for nine plus years, hopefully I can produce a few zucchini. In typical Stephanie style -- damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

I planted most of the nursery transplants May 7. My experienced gardener neighbor laughed a little at my 'eagerness' and assured me everything would likely freeze. Oops. Since planting we've had a mix of typical Utah spring weather. In the 70's, then in the 90's, then in the 40's (sigh) all in a two week span . I have a few pumpkin plants that angrily threatened to drop dead of cold, but they are hanging in there.

In the garden so far:

Carrot seeds (just sprouting)
Basil sprouts and one Basil transplant
Thyme sprouts
Mint transplant
One Cherry Tomato plant
One Roma Tomato plant
Bell Pepper (several varieties of green and red)
Acorn Squash
Butternut Squash

I still have a grape tomato plant to put in the ground and Bean bush seeds. So far we've only had three casualties -- squash seedlings. I started them indoors and they got super leggy, unlike the few seeds I've directly sowed. Most of the long leggers did just fine once transplanted but a few got snapped off near the base either by the wind, some buggy, or a bird perhaps?

My happiest strawberry plant. They seem unphased by the cooler weather. I bought two varieties. One type is sending out runners like mad and the other is busy making the first batch of little berries. Every plant has now sprouted new growth. Yay! I haven't killed the strawberries (yet).

The peppers also haven't minded the cold. The largest transplant (and older by probably two weeks?) has already flowered once with a little pepper on the way. It looks like several more flowers are budding as well.

The little pumpkin plant that could. You can see the cold damaged outer leaves and then all the new healthy growth in the middle. I wasn't sure if I should cut off the damaged foliage.

I have a patch of ground by the back fence that the children and I spread with wildflower seed and backed with a row of sunflowers. I made the mistake of adding not-fully-composted compost to the plot. So now I have a whole slew of random squash volunteers in my wildflower garden. I can hardly bear to pick them. This is just a small sampling (maybe a tenth of the area) *after* thinning a few:

I've also got a little annual flower bed. I'm not sure I did the right thing by planting under two of our fruit trees, but we've dubbed this first year 'the experimental season'. If everything dies then I guess we'll know not to try that again, right? The marigolds and peonies seem quite happy but the begonias haven't fared as well. Nothing has completely turned up leaves and quit on me though.

The children have enjoyed 'helping' me in the garden. Derek weeds and enjoys my daily updates about how everything is growing. William conjures up ways we'll eat the eventual fruits of our labor. Patrick chases butterflies, squashes grasshoppers, and transports our many earthworms from place to place. Samantha aims the hose while I squeeze the trigger. Life is good.

1 comment:

Meghan said...

YAY! A Stephanie Blog! I'm so excited! Your garden adventures look fabulous. Someday perhaps I'll take on such a task...