Sunday, June 23, 2013

How does the Garden grow?

Hello everyone!  I had this idea a couple of weeks ago to take pictures of my garden before vacation and after to see the changes.  When you have a garden and you see it every day, you don't always notice the changes in it until suddenly a seedling that just popped up is now 4" tall.  Or you have produce to pick.  Until you have been away from it for a little bit of time, you don't really notice the progress it makes.  

I took the before pictures the day before I was hospitalized so with being in the hospital and then going on vacation, I would say there are about 15 days between the before and after pictures.

These are the cantaloupe and radishes in the foreground and the green beans at the top.  

This one is a bit different, I forgot how I took the before picture so I pieced together the after.  The first picture is the before with leeks in the front, cauliflower and broccoli in the middle and then tomatoes in the fenced area.  The middle picture shows the leeks and the cauliflower and broccoli and the final picture shows the tomatoes looking from the end of the fenced area.

Please forgive the weeds, I literally took the after pictures the day we got home.  And always remember, no garden is perfect and unless you are using chemicals, you'll always have weeds to contend with. Also, in my after pictures, my poor plants were in desperate need of water.  Normally, I have newspaper and straw on the walkways but I have been in the hospital 3 times in the last 2 months so I deal with what I can.  Remember, a garden can be forgiving and is never, ever perfect.  Luckily, my tiller has tines that come off and my wonderful husband ran the tiller between the rows for me to help with the weeds that grew while we were gone.  My son harvested some radishes and some cucumbers.  My health just won't let me spend a lot of time in the garden right now so this was not just super helpful but also shows that the garden is a family project.  

I always find it fascinating to see my garden after I've been away for a while. In a matter of a couple of weeks, notice the difference in size of the cauliflower and the green beans.  The tomatoes had not only doubled (at least) in size but I came home to tomatoes on the vine...just waiting on them to turn red.  I also had cucumbers ready.  The cucumbers aren't in the pictures because I only planted a few for table eating, last year I planted enough to put up Dill pickles and Bread & Butter pickles for a couple of years.

That's something else that I do that I found helpful, especially when I came to the city and had limited garden space, is that I plan the garden to try to grow enough to "put up" enough for two years.  Tomatoes are the exception, I plant a ton of those every year, generally 4 or 5 dozen plants, but we use a lot of tomato products, salsa, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, the tomatoes themselves...a LOT of tomato products...LOL.  As for everything else, I try to plant a large quantity of a veggie to put up.  This year it's green beans and sweet potatoes.  I only planted a dozen sweet potatoes but that should be enough for us.  We eat them not only as a side dish but we prefer sweet potato pie rather than pumpkin.  

The green beans oh, I planted a lot of those.  And I did what's called succession planting.  I planted a dozen 10' (roughly) rows with the rows spaced wider than normal so that I could come back later and plant rows between the first rows.  There is a method to the madness here.  By doing succession planting, I don't have to deal with tons and tons of green beans all at one time.  They have to be picked, cleaned, snapped, and processed in a pressure canner.  I have done an entire garden full before and it sucked.  Once you start, you have to keep going until you are done.  By planting in succession, you can break that up in sessions and not have to do it all at once.  It's much easier and that makes me happy.  LOL.

Are you noticing how quickly your garden is growing?

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