Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Building New Boxes & Lettuce

So I've been complaining recently that I don't have enough space in my square foot garden for all the wonderful veggies that I'm growing this year . . . So Cam, being the amazing person that he is, has built me two new boxes that are twice the size of the old ones.

The original boxes were 4' x 4' (if my memory is correct), and the two new ones are 6' x 6'. I was very happy to see Cam working so hard building these boxes.

I'd like to say that I helped, but that would be a lie. LoL. I am useless when it comes to building things. I just sit on the sidelines and look pretty. =)

Below: Cam bought some nice cedar planks at Home Depot for the new boxes.



The finished product looks amazing. We used untreated wood last year, so the old boxes look really crummy compared to the new boxes. But that's OK. I am not going for architectural look of the boxes, but more of the usability.


As you can see above, we're attempting to gather together the mix for the new beds. We are using Mel's Mix, but having a very hard time finding Vermiculite. Garden centers and the big box stores just don't sell it anymore. And if they do, they sell it in tiny little packages.

Grr...

Anyway, the boxes are pretty huge compared to the old ones, so now the challenge is going to be how do I reach in and harvest veggies that are in the middle of the box? That is the dilemma!

In between all our boxes, we're going to put in a stone walkway. I think it'll look very pretty when it's all said and done, and we won't have to mow in between the boxes. That will save us a lot of time!



I'd like some more boxes, so we may be building more later this season. Since it feels like spring weather outside, I think it's not too late to start planting lettuce and other leafy greens!

We bought these lettuce heads at Whole Foods in Franklin, TN the other day. We're going to make a delicious salad with it, and also plant it in our new beds. Doesn't it look yummy?

I wonder what type of lettuce it is. It's definitely not head lettuce, which we grew last year in the garden.


We also bought this greenhouse-type thing:

It was on sale for $25, and the shelves are removable.

I can't wait until the weekend to do major work in the garden!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Broccoli

This is my first year attempting to grow broccoli. So far, the broccoli isn't doing so well. But I think this is because it's in such close proximity to the boysenberry and strawberry plants. It probably does need more room to grow, but space is tight until Cam and I built more boxes or raised beds.





The broccoli leaves are getting eaten by something... I'm not sure what. We've been spraying organic insecticide but the bugs continue to come. I've read that aphids and caterpillers love to eat broccoli leaves, and that a good way to get rid of them is sprinkling cayenne pepper powder on top. I may try that, if I see more holes in the plant.

I am wondering if my moisture problem in the beds are not good for the broccoli. They do like well-drained soil. The soil mixture in the beds retains moisture very, very well. Hmm...

It might be too warm for broccoli... I guess we'll see how it does.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Strawberries Everywhere!

What started as one Strawberry plant has spread to about three or four plants in box # 2. I only picked one strawberry last year... and this year, I'm going to have many, many. (If the birds don't get to them first!)

The strawberry plant that I had in the pot last year died and is no more. But the one in the box--I am just so surprised at how it came back with a kick!


(Yup, there is indeed netting over it!)

I am so excited about all the fruit that I'll be getting! It is just wonderful! The fruit is very small, but they'll be edible and yummy!




The strawberry flowers are very pretty to look at. White petals with a touch of yellow inside.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Boysenberry, Year # 2

My boysenberry bush came back this year! Last year, it fruited like crazy, but sadly, all the birds got to them before I had even a chance to harvest any. I did get to eat one, but it was rather sour. :-/

Maybe this year, if I leave it on the bush long enough and if I can keep the birds away, I'll have a wonderful harvest and abundance to munch on. Hopefully, they will be sweeter too!

I've put up bird netting around the bush. Can you see it in the picture below?


Can you see how beautiful and abundant that bush is? I think it's the best purchase I've ever made! They grow so well and so full. Sadly, it's only for the month of May that it'll be so green and fruiting. But I'm glad it comes back again next year.

The flowers of the boysenberry are a lovely white color with the fruit in the middle. The plant itself is full of little thorns, so when it's time to pick the fruit, I'll have to be extra careful.


The plant is getting very tall. But we've got that wire fencing behind it, so that it can climb up rather than out.

Some up-close photos of the fruit. These were taken right after a good rain.