Garden in Mid-Spring 2011

Things are coming along nicely.

Here’s a shot of my front flower bed in late March of this year. In the foreground are bush beans and (too small to see) some bush cucumbers I grew from seed. The cucumbers didn’t do much so I eventually bought a 4-pack of cukes to replace them.

Front Bed, Early Spring

The bright green plant in the upper left is a parsley plant that made it through the winter. Not long after this picture was made, it began trying to go to seed. Parsley is a biennial – it lasts for two years. When it starts going to seed, it’s time to replace it. I’ve bought two new parsley plants to replace this one.

Just to the left of the large pot – barely visible – is a bell pepper plant. On the far side of the walkway is a large patch of oregano that is getting out of control.

What you can’t see in this picture is that I planted a square of English Peas just to the left of the bush beans.

We’ve been fortunate to have regular rain this spring, so everything is doing well. We’ve had very dry summers lately and there have been water restrictions.  For a while, I could only water early in the morning before I left for work. Needless to say, it didn’t always get done.

Here is the front bed today, in the first week of May:

Front Bed, Mid-spring

The beans are much larger and already have little beans on them.

After the English Peas sprouted, I moved the trellis so they could climb it. (Bush beans, in theory, shouldn’t need the support.) I planted some Lima beans on the other side of the peas and they have sprouted as well. The cucumber plants in the foreground haven’t shown any sign of bearing yet, but the bell pepper already has a pepper about the size of a ping pong ball.

I really don’t know what kind of harvest we’ll get from any of these. I only planted four bean plants, six peas, and six lima beans. My wife was looking through the beans and found two that are almost big enough to pick, but the others are coming along more slowly. She’s wondering whether there will be enough ripe at one time for a meal (especially since they don’t keep very well).

Past the legumes are three tomato plants, then the large pot with a scarlet mandevilla, and finally the bell pepper. On the other side of the walk are miniature watermelon, basil, eggplant, and zucchini.

In the back, my lettuce experiment has had mixed results. My wife has been harvesting leaves for salads, but we suspect that a rabbit has been getting into it as well.

Home Grown Garlic

I planted a planter box of garlic and it’s getting some size to it – it’s about three feet tall. The leeks are also in planters and doing about the same as the garlic.

I still haven’t seen any bugs yet, but it’s just a matter of time. Come summer, they will be a problem. That’s when you have to decide just how much of an organic gardener you want to be. My wife is in favor of going all natural, but it’s hard to control some pests that way.

Tomatos and Cucumbers in the Back

The back yard only gets about two hours of direct sun. We have three tomatoes, two cucumbers, and a bell pepper back there as an experiment.

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