Veggie progress... a little advice?

kjfmzMay 4, 2009

So, my veggies are all in, and I'm having the time of my life with my garden. I'm in love with growing veggies already, it's everything I hoped it would be. :) I think I just need a little nudge in the right direction.

First for the good stuff, almost everything is coming up, some things faster than others. My peas are gaining probably a half-inch a day right now, they are amazing! Also, my cucumbers and squashes sprouted overnight, putting up a couple of huge leaves. My carrots and beets are all coming up quite nicely, it would seem.

Now for the plants that are (possibly) not performing quite as well as I had hoped.

The first of these is my lettuces. They went in about three weeks ago, and put up small leaves about a week later. Unfortunately, it seems to have stopped there. They all look quite healthy, but almost zero growth has happened in the past two weeks. A couple of them are trying to put out their "secondary leaves" (I don't know all the jargon yet.. hehe) in the past few days, but it all seems so slow. I was wondering what this might be a sign of. I suspect it may be due to the weather, as it started getting overcast right after they came up, and only the past few days has it really been getting sunny again. If anyone has any insight into this, please let me know!

Also, my potatoes are performing, and look healthy, except getting very slow progress. They've only been in for 9 days, so I try not to expect too much, but the shoots have only really gained about a half inch (if that) in that time. There is about a quarter inch of compost above the top of the shoot right now, and I've been watering them quite lightly. Any hints? :)

Finally, my broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages, as suspected... aren't moving too fast either, but that's not much of a surprise considering they really did go in a fair time later than they should have, so I'm only allowing them to grow to see what happens, but they all seem to have stopped growing around the same time as the lettuces.

I'll be putting my tomatoes in sometime over the next day or two. I got to talking with the awesome lady at the local greenhouse who tends to all the heirlooms which should be ready for transplant any day now. Can't wait for that.

OK, I'll stop my rambling. :) Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

Light love and life.


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It sounds to me like everything is doing extremely well. We really have had too much rain and not enough sunshine.

For the potatoes to even be sprouted in that little time is super.

I hope you aren't too early on the squashes and cucumber. I usually don't plant them until almost mid May. I guess if they sprouted they will be OK. They will be very susceptible to frost so be sure to watch for that and cover them if frost is predicted. sometimes we get one around the time blackberries bloom and mine are getting ready to!

Sound like you are on the road to a great garden this year.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 4:09PM
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Thanks so much gldno1! You have no idea how happy you've made this neophyte gardener. I just got some pictures taken so I can track progress:

I'm sure you veggie veterans will see 100 things wrong with my setup, be sure to let me know if you see something I should be doing differently! Thanks again for everything guys. It's communities like this that offer real help and support that keep the gardening culture alive.


Here is a link that might be useful: My Garden pictures on Flickr

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 6:25PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Glenda don't even mention frost. You are causing an anxiety attack; there is no way I'm putting all that back in the house. KJ sounds like your plants are fine; they do seem to grow slow unless they are weeds. I had some little poppy seedling that just sat there forever; then some of them just took off and grew. I didn't look at them for a few days and now it seems they are suddenly much bigger.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 11:42PM
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I checked out your pictures....I am assuming this is square foot gardening? It all looks super. Will you have to have some type of trellis for the peas?

BTW, you have a very nice looking family.........and you have cats! Do the little ones (children/not cats) help you garden?

Glad you have joined us.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 4:37AM
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Helen, it seems that that's exactly what's happening. I saw no growth over the past two weeks, and yesterday's sun gave them an 1/8th inch boost. :) Hoping today's beautiful sun will keep them going.

Glenda, thanks! Yep, it's square foot gardening. My condo is in the worst possible spot for sunlight, so I had to plant it all a fair distance from the place, on community property, and I didn't want to start digging the place up. :) The peas only have a couple of strands of twine at the bottom of the trellis right now, but that was mainly because when I made it, I still hadn't seen any action from the peas. Now that I know they are going strong I'm going to fill the rest of the trellis out. They seem to be doing fine finding the horizontals, do I need vertical twine too?

And my family are something else... lol. Those pictures are from when I visited them in England a couple months ago. I try to go back every year or two to visit as I moved to America 9 years ago (oh how time flies!). My mother is a devout cat-lover and is "the cat lady" of our neighborhood, always taking in strays.

She's also a veggie grower, and is currently taking care of two plots in the local community garden. I definitely got my desire to grow veggies from her and my father (he was a landscaper) at a young age. I remember when I was about 8 years old, we had grown peas that year, and we all just sat around the vines, picking them and eating them in the garden. Today, my niece Millie (the beautiful little blonde girl in the pictures) and Joshy have taken up that hobby. Millie especially loves the berries that my mother grows. I guess that counts as helping... ;)

Thanks for the kind words!


    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 11:10AM
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Depending on the kind of peas you might just need some vertical twigs stuck in. Some get very tall and others don't.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 12:18PM
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My advice is to relax and let them to their thing in their own time. Nature spent thousands of years creating seeds that retain the genetic information that instruct each plant to grow into something specific based on environmental conditions. So long as you've provid a good home, nature will do the rest. The more you watch and wait, the slower they will grow. If you didn't look for three days and came back, you might be shocked at how well they're doing.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 6:01PM
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Hello KJ! I just wanted to say that I'm very jealous of your square foot garden... Very neat rig you built! Keep up the pics and show how well it grows? That way I can convince my husband that raised beds are better than in the ground... LOL!

Oh, and the Amsterdam pics are AMAZING. Even the pool table one... :)


    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 1:18PM
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The best way to learn is by experience...and even that is not foolproof in a country where every year is different.
The only downside I can see to your setup is that those beds are going to get very very crowded in about 2 months. I would definitly put in some cages for the cucs to climb. You are very far north of me so maybe your broccoli will make. Mine went in late this year because the seed company I ordered from sent the seed a full month later than they said they would. So the seeds were planted on the hot bench a full month later than they should have been, and so went into the garden later than they should have. Luckily so far it's been cool and wet enough for them, but I usually put up broccoli and snap peas both on Memorial weekend and this year the broccoli won't be ready then. And the early planting of peas will be ready before then as I have small peas now.

Keep us posted on your progress. The world needs more gardeners. And less produce shipped crosscountry.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 8:50PM
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First off, today's new pics are up! (To see which ones are new look under the pictures for the upload date)

Beth, thanks for the compliment :) The square foot garden was REALLY easy to build. For each box, it took me about 3 hours to complete. That included building, hauling the bags of compost etc the 200 yards to the garden, mixing, and filling. If it were closer to the house it would only have been 2 hours, I'm sure! As for Amsterdam, you really must go there with your man. Quite a romantic city. :)

Mulberry... I agree with the crowded thing. I'm a little worried about it too, but everyone who does this square foot gardening thing swears that you can pack three times as many plants in as usual, though I'm yet to be convinced. As for the cucumbers... you may laugh at this, but... I had no idea they like to vine vertically! I'll definitely be putting something up for them. I plan on making use of the area around the boxes to spread the squashes out in, so hopefully that might help a little. :) And I agree completely, more local produce!

Thanks again guys, you're awesome.

Here is a link that might be useful: More garden pics.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 2:09PM
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