Thursday, August 14, 2014

Growing Pains

I don't know if I mentioned it before, but this year, I decided to try a new approach to my garden. Being tired of setting up an all-you-can-eat salad bar for the local animals, I planted herbs in pots on the deck, along with two pots of tomatoes and two pots of bell peppers (one red, one green). I also cleared a patch at the side of the house and planted the seeds I saved from the single acorn squash I managed to grow last year. Here's how it all turned out:

Basil - growing like crazy, and we've been harvesting regularly for salads, sauces, etc. It smells wonderful.

Dill - plants grew very tall and gave us enough dill for what we use (mostly sauces). Kind of ugly, though.

Mint - Grew well, but we don't use that much of it, so I probably won't grow it again next year. I may just transplant the plants out at the edge of the woods behind the house and let them go wild.

Thyme - growing very well, and smells wonderful.

Parsley - growing very well. Because it's a biennial herb, it'll come back next year, too.

Chives - growing very well.

Rosemary - I put in two plants at the side of the house, next to our acorn squash. The plants are growing, but I just can't get them to turn into one of those big, beautiful rosemary bushes I really want.

Tomatoes - a total loss. The plants grew big and strong and produced lots of tomatoes, but they all rotted on the vine. I wonder if I overwatered, or overdid it with the solution of Epsom salts and water that I sprayed them with. I think I'll just skip the tomatoes next year.

Green and Red Bell Peppers - the plants grew pretty well, and we may get one of each color pepper. Several others rotted and fell off the vines before they had a chance to ripen.

Acorn Squash - this was our success story - the plants grew up very big and strong from the seeds, and right now I have at least four squash about the size of billiard balls, with a lot more developing. With any luck, we'll have quite a crop. The deer munched away at some of the plants on the edges of the plot, but left enough that we should get some good squash dinners this winter*.

Bottom Line: Next year, I'm going to do the herbs again in pots on the deck. No tomatoes. No bell peppers, but I think I'll try to plant jalapenos. If the squash turns out, I'll save the seeds and plant it again. I'm thinking I may try to build a garden enclosure like this one I spotted on Facebook ...

Farmer Bilbo will get a decent crop yet. If the deer and the rabbits don't get it first.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


* Want my recipe for Sausage-Stuffed Molasses-Glazed Acorn Squash? E-mail me and I'll send it to you.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

I would try tomatoes again. You may have more luck with cherry tomatoes, but slicing tomatoes are great if they make it.

Basil is wonderful and smells great too.

Linda Kay said...

Love those herbs. Growing any plants in Texas is a challenge, except for some that are drought tolerant. Tomatoes are not one of them. We have mint the former owner planted, and it is a major pain. It is really hard to control. We are having a similar problem with the rosemary, but after several years it is starting to grow more.

Banana Oil said...

I've tried tomatoes with indifferent success while living in ND; but in FL the climate is more congenial to them. I've been told that overwatering causes the fruit to split. Also, some varieties grow haphazardly, like a tomato bramble bush.

Rosemary is contrary. I have no luck with peppers. Anyway, Target sells those packs of red, yellow, and breen bell peppers.

Gardening requires real motivation, especially for those who sleep late.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

I've found that rosemary is finicky.

Chuck Bear said...

Using concrete blocks is a neat way of making a raised bed, and using the holes for small planters.

Mike said...

I've found my mower can't be set high enough for gardens.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Biblo- why epsom salts on tomato plants. I used a tomato plant food and mine are going crazy. Do plants need magnesium? wouldn't they need more acid in the dirt? Inquiring minds needs to know!