2014 - 3rd garden update

jonpalmer(7a)August 3, 2014

Here's a few progress photos of this year's garden as well as some links to my previous 2 gardens.

This year's garden.

I believe in working with what you have and enjoy a challenge. This year I built raised beds in the smallish (15'x40') back fenced off portion of our yard at our new home. The light is definitely less than ideal and there's some shade off and on throughout the day, but I'm not complaining. I'm trying a sort of combination raised bed/square foot/Ruth Stout with heavy doses of straw mulch and even some hugelkultur with milk jug ollas in the 2 newer beds.

The sweet corn was a bust and although the plants are huge and seem healthy the tomatoes have been very slow to develop. The radishes never filled out at the root but I've left them to bolt and they're enormous now. Hopefully I'll get some seeds.

However, I have cucumbers galore, several sugar baby watermelons in hammocks on the trellis and elsewhere, bush beans and okra. Tiny little tobasco-like peppers that are delicious and hot as hell.

I've had a lot of fun with a massive volunteer gourd/pumpkin of some sort that popped out of my compost pile. It has prickly leaves that get up to 2 feet across and it has a 50 foot long vine at this point. Yellow flowers and one tiny pumpkin-thing now. I seem to have weathered the SVB invasion with some extra watering and by burying the leaf nodes in rich soil and compost. If I only get one fruit out of it I'll be happy.

And there's another volunteer gourd growing like crazy up along the fence on top of the Virginia creeper that I believe is a lagenaria of some sort. It has big velvety leaves and white flowers.

I'm going to try leafy greens etc for the fall garden in the 2 newer beds in the hope that they'll do well in the off and on shade. Next year I'm putting the tomatoes, peppers and basil etc in a strip of beds in the front yard where there's all day sun.

Finally, for comparison here's the first and second gardens from 2011 on my friend's back driveway and 2012/13 in our apartment.

1st year. 2011 Bucket garden.

2012/13 Apartment garden.

This post was edited by jonpalmer on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 0:27

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Jon, thanks for sharing. I admire you skill as a gardener and a craftsman. Please show us more of you projects.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:43AM
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That is awesome. I really liked the apartment setup you had. Gave me some ideas for my seed starting this winter. Looks really good this year too.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:16AM
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Here's a tomato from a volunteer plant growing in a shady corner of our yard which I guess seeded itself from before we lived here. I think it's a green zebra. Pretty cool.

And with a smaller one from the plant next to some of the "normals" (and a red okra):

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 12:04PM
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Jon, that is some very pretty fruit. My tomato plants are getting old and tired and the quality of the fruit has really dropped.

Thanks for sharing the picture.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 1:34PM
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