Saturday, April 24, 2010

Garden Update

I went out and took a few pics of the hodge-podge of containers garden this morning. It's growing pretty well, which makes me happy. It's getting warmer, though, which requires more watering. I make sure to get out there pretty much every day, where before I could go three or four days and the plants were fine.

Here's a view of the raised bed, with it's two pepper plants, one tomato, and a summer squash plant:


The plants are immpressively large, and are pretty much filling the bed with their leaves. I like that, though, because they are shading each other at the same time. I planted them on the sunny side of our trailer, and am beginning to worry it wasn't the best spot. It gets very hot there in the evenings, and we haven't been feeling true summer heat as of yet. I'm actually prepping another bed on the other side of the house where it gets sun through the day, then is shaded at night. I moved the chives and basil over there and they seem to be liking it better.

Here's the bed I recently built:

It has about two buckets worth of Bokashi, but needs two more before I can really plant anything in it. The worst thing about doing your own composting is waiting for the dirt to be ready. I'm very happy I ran into the Bokashi method; it only takes a month from filling a bucket to planting out in it. It also helps to live in the tropics, where there are plenty of bugs to break things down. I do have to admit to being a little grossed out by all the grubs in my bed right now, though. There are so many it sometimes looks like the dirt is moving. The end results will be good, though.

Oh, and those cinder blocks are an example in recycling. We don't let things go to waste out here. I actually plan on bracing my tomato plant with some leftover trellising a neighbor gave us. We wanted it mostly for our stairs to hide all the outdoor toys, but he gave us twice what we needed for that project. That tomato plant is covered in flowers and I can see the start of the first tomato, which is very exciting. It will definitely need some help though, before we get many more, as it's leaning over the side of the bed:


Doing this whole little gardening experiment has also lead me to learn things I never thought I'd have to do before. Like pollinate by hand. Our squash plant looks beautiful and prolific:


However, most of the fruit has been withering as soon as the flowers fell off. I looked this problem up online and think it is due to lack of pollination. The flowers are only open for half a day, and while the ants love them, I guess the bees don't, although I see them in both the pepper and tomato plants. So, every morning I've been ripping out a male flower and pollinating the female ones (yeah, never knew the difference before now). The few I've been able to do that to are growing now, so I'm crossing my fingers we'll be eating them before too long.

As for the peppers, see for yourself:

These are the jalapenos. Both plants are covered in peppers, although I'm finding it very interesting that the one plant I moved and planted into Bokashi is looking healthier and stronger than the one I kept in the same bin, undisturbed. Presumably, both are benefiting from the compost, but one more so.

Finally, my Bull Nose bell peppers. I picked one the other night because it had a small rotten spot. It also looked a little deformed. We tried it, but I think it was too early to eat because it didn't taste particularly great. I'm going to wait for these, which look much healthier, to start to turn red before I try that again.

5 sonar pings:

DerrK said...

That's so cool!

Anonymous said...

That is great! Will you be able to garden all year long there? I know that you get winter, but isn't it fairly mild? I am happy for you.

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

Wow! I am amazed and excited for you!!

You must be so thrilled :)


Emily said...

It looks so good! I've never been able to get peppers to grow, but at least I can get them at the store every time I go! ;)
Keep up the great work!

MOMSWEB said...

I just showed your garden pictures to my son who has recently planted green peppers and carrots. He paid for the seeds and soil himself, so I hope he keeps up with it. It's a lot of work, so thanks for the cyber encouragement for him!