Monthly Archive for July, 2008

Veggie Garden Update

I now realize a lot can happen in a garden in a short amount of time. When I arrived back in town last weekend I noticed that my zucchini plant had rotted from all the rain we had while I was gone. I’m not sure how to avoid this next year. Veteran gardeners, any suggestions?

Also, my tomato plants have become so loaded down w/ fruit that the stakes I’m using this year are having trouble supporting the plants. Solution – I used twine to tie the stakes to the fence for added support. Next year I think I will use tomato cages to contain the plants more effectively. I harvested my first ripe Lemon Boy tomato and it was delicious!! The heirloom tomato plants are loaded, but no ripe ones yet.

Much to my surprise, the broccoli plants (one of my favorite vegetables) are still producing so there’s no need to buy any at the grocery store this week! My first butternut squash has grown so tremendously that I may be making a home grown butternut squash dish next week!

My orange bell pepper plant died and my other bell pepper plant has yet to start producing. The hot banana pepper plant dropped the only fruit it had on it and no new fruit is appearing. Possibly this due to their location in the garden – the plants are being crowded out and overshadowed by the gargantuan tomato plants! Lesson learned for next year – better plant placement and spacing according to potential size and height (how was I supposed to know how big or little things would get… after all, I’m a novice). Veteran gardeners please don’t hesitate to share your knowledge… I would love to hear your pearls of wisdom!

July 17th photos:

First Lemon Boy; more broccoli; baby butternut

Heirlooms; lone banana pepper; more Lemon Boys

July 27th photos:

Rigged tomatoes; yet more broccoli; rotten zucchini

Adolescent butternut; newborn butternut; thriving zinnias

Happy gardening…

Bruno

My First Veggie Garden

Two years in the making, but well worth the effort…

In the summer of 2006 I put up a retaining wall to keep the ivy from taking over a corner of my yard. I then tried to kill it w/ regular Roundup but the ivy won that battle. The following spring I mixed a batch of extra strong Roundup. It took 3 or 4 applications but the ivy lost this time! Fast forward to 2008… It was an exceptionally rainy and cool spring in St. Louis so the planting of my garden was delayed by a few weeks. I had a brief window of opportunity in mid-May to get my plants in the ground, and I do mean brief! As I was getting the trenches finished for the asparagus it started raining again, but I pushed on and was able to finish. The weather remained cool and wet until early June. As a result, my plants didn’t prosper very well. The tomato plants were dropping their flowers, the squash plants remained small, the bell pepper plants were wimpy and the asparagus struggled to pop out of the dirt! I thought I was doing something wrong, but as the weather became drier and warmer things started happening – the broccoli ripened, the tomatoes started appearing, the asparagus ferned out, the squash has gone crazy (so much I’ve had to cut back the leaves so they wouldn’t block out the sun for the other plants!), and my wimpy bell pepper plants are starting to get bigger and flower. The zucchini is flowering like crazy but is not producing much fruit yet. As you can see in the photos, two of the zucchinis rotted before ripening. I don’t know why, so if any of you veteran gardeners have any answers please share them w/ me.

Below is a photographic chronology:

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June 2006

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June 8th, 2008

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June 22, 2008

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July 4, 2008

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Broccoli; Lemon Boy tomato; zucchini

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Hot banana peppers; butternut squash flower; herbs

Things are looking good, and the broccoli and first banana peppers were delicious!! I will keep you posted as the summer progresses.

Ciao for now…

Bruno