Thursday, March 10, 2011

Weekly Farm Update! 3/10/11

New Bed
Well, it's Thursday again and time for the weekly update! There has been so much going on and like always, pictures will help show the changes. I am not sure where to start but I'll figure it out.

We should start off in the left and move to the right. The left starts off with the recently cleared out area next to the house that has shade later in the day. I know the lettuce in the main garden will not last in the full heat of the summer so this seemed like a good alternative. Along with different lettuces, I also included more radishes and a few root veggies. I am happy to report that many of the seeds have sprouted and broken ground. I honestly didn't think they would sprout that fast, but I am not complaining.

Moving towards the right of the garden, we find the area where greens currently growing. The lettuce, white swiss chard and some carrots in between. This is the original planting from late December and it is still going strong. The plants look small because they are clipped every few days for salads.

Original Greens Bed
The swiss chard has been allowed to grow but the large leaves were clipped yesterday and were tossed into a soup. I had only had swiss chard one time before but it was a bit bitter for me and this was no exception. The seed packet says that it can be used as fresh greens in a salad or cooked like spinach. The flavor was much milder after cooking but still to much for me. My wife thought it was fine and ate it all up. I am leaving it in and continue to grow it but may not use it too much myself. We shall see how it goes and if survives the heat later in the season.

There is also a cucumber plant behind the greens that will hopefully grow big and strong. I built the bamboo structure and it hope it will be strong enough to hold it up. The other end of the structure has a squash plant and that should also grow up the tee-pee.

Green Onions & Carrots

In front of the bamboo structure, there is another section where the radishes occupied. The radishes were all pulled and the wife enjoys those as snacks or in her salads. I am not much of a radish eater but she loves them. In between the radish rows, I also planted carrots and those take longer but are now coming in. Since the radishes are gone, it opened up some space and yellow onions took their place.

These onions were transplanted from containers and seem to like their new home. Most of these onions are the ones that came from the 99 cent store but some were started from seed. I am not sure how these will work out but only time will tell. They onions seem fine up til now and I may end up going back to pick up a few more sets.

Sugar Snap Peas
Next stop on the journey includes beets, sugar snap peas and cucumbers. The beets are just now sprouting and there are no true leaves but should start taking off. The snap peas are taking off and should set fruit soon! These were also started at the end of December but have made great progress recently.

I know that size really doesn't transfer well in photos but keep in mind that the cage they are attached to is 54 inches high. They are already half way up and will probably hang over a big later on. These won't last all season and will require successive planting if we want snap peas later in the season. In the later plantings, I will also include a bush type bean. I can't remember which one that is right now but it should only grow 4-5 ft tall and won't take up much space.

Behind the snap peas there is another tee-pee with cucumbers that looks healthy and ready to go. The white "thread" is actually a nylon trellis net that I wrapped around the tee-pee. I hope this will be enough to hold the weight and the plant produces more cucumbers than we need. The cucumbers will easily find homes and should not be an issue.

If you are wondering about the bricks, they are holding chicken wire down so the cats don't dig up the plant and use it as a litter box. I have these all over the garden. I think once the garden "fills in" more throughout the season, it should be fine.

Up next comes all 3 raised beds but they aren't doing much at this point. I put in some tomato plants in them but they didn't fare too well on the cold nights. All is not lost though, I still have many plants that have made it through fine. The only real growing in the beds are some turnips, red onions and more radishes.

The picture shows turnips but I don't remember planting them that close together. These are the first ones that came up and there are more root veggies planted but some take longer to germinate.

Squash Bloom

This is pretty much it for the raised beds but just had to post the first squash bloom of the season. The blooms are always bright and colorful. Many other plants have the buds and I can't wait to see them all bloom.

Marigolds in Window Boxes
That covers the main garden but there are more plants growing in containers all around. The dwarf kumquat tree is showing new growth. The eggplant and tomato plants have new buds that will hopefully set fruit. I have many seedlings that are slowly being potted up and continue to show great signs of survival. As seedlings are taken out of the seed trays from the kitchen, more seeds are sowed and this process will probably continue throughout the season. I was able to find the 64 qt bags of potting mix on sale for $9.99, instead of $16.99 this last weekend. I picked up a couple of bags. Mom had given me window box planters a while ago that were finally filled and marigold seedlings were transplanted into.

I have been going nuts with all the things to do in the garden but loving every second of it. I don't see it as work but maybe more than a hobby. I have been out of work for just over 2 years and still have not found anything but I am trying to keep busy. The job search is still on full force but not showing any real progress. It is not easy with a single income and savings are getting low. I feel that if I can't provide an income as of yet, at least this way I can physically put food on the table by growing it myself. We shall see how it goes from here on out on that end.

This is it for this post as I think it covers most of the farm news. I will be doing another update next week and may have other posts along the way.

Below you will find the link to the photos for this week.

Til next time!


Photos for this week's update can be found HERE.


  1. Wow!!! Your garden is coming along so nicely!

  2. Thank you! It has been fun so far and hope it stays that way. We can't wait for more home-grown veggies.


  3. Your sugar snap peas look amazing; already so tall! Ours are rather short and pathetic, but already fruiting ... Not sure what's going on; guess I shouldn't be complaining. All one big experiment, right? Cheers! Connie

  4. Thanks! I actually found many little blooms the other day and we should have fruit shortly! I loved these last season and can't wait.