Friday, June 27, 2008

Critter Farm Garden Report #2: Vegetables

Following yesterday's blog on the various fruits growing at Critter Farm, today's report is all about the veggies I'm trying really hard not to kill. I'm not quite ready to resign myself to the fact that I may be better with animals than I am with plants. But, I'll let you be the judge.

First of all, take a good look at that picture at the top. In that very small space we've got, from left to right, snow peas, shelling peas, radishes and potatoes. Yes, that's right...all of them, right there, all smooshed together. A bit more space between the rows will be on my mind next planting season.

On a bright note for me, the snow peas are a success:

The first of them were harvested two nights ago. There were seven, perfect and beautiful pods, but I ate one the minute I got it off the vine:

leaving six that I generously split with my Jim for dinner that night.

The radishes are done. I didn't really take advantage of these. I think I harvested maybe 2 bunches. Their burden was that they became ready about the exact time that the donkeys arrived at the farm and I suddenly didn't care much about radishes anymore:

These will get pulled and sent to the compost bin shortly and replaced with something else. Is it too late for carrots? Who knew radish flowers were so pretty?:

I pulled this big guy out yesterday. Have you ever seen one so big?:

The shelling peas have large pods but no discernible large peas yet. I can't wait - these are my favorite:

Here's the first Yukon Gold potato bloom:

The tomatoes I started from seed back in April are still embarrassingly small compared to some of the pictures I've seen on other blogs. Please don't taunt me because of this. These are cherry tomatoes:

Here are my extremely small yellow pear tomatoes, also started from seed:

These are Roma and Yellow Globe tomatoes (not started from seed). Nice shadows, huh? I did this on purpose:

My sweet red pepper is looking pretty sharp. Can you see the baby pepper?:

The sweet yellow pepper is positively anemic compared to his friend, Red, next door:

The cukes, while healthy looking, are also way behind:

This is my first attempt at a birdhouse gourd. It just sounded really cool:

But, very sad. Part of the reason a lot of my neat veggies are still so small is because they sat like this for a very long time, awaiting my attention:

Those are my green beans and green and yellow zucchini. Hopefully, I can get those into the ground finally tomorrow. It's supposed to be 95 degrees, though, and may not be the most optimum time.

Moving on to herbs...
The basil that I started from seed in April is pretty much the same size as when I stuck them in the ground over A MONTH ago. What the heck?:

The chives are doing well. It's fairly hard to kill chives, so it's a good choice for my garden. Here's a really pretty chive blossom:

I feel my method of growing definitely leans toward the benign neglect method. I love them but sometimes I unintentionally ignore them. They pretty much need to be hearty and take care of themselves for the most part. I will make sure they get water and light, but they can't be needy, troublesome or disease-prone. With that said, let's see how my first large vegetable garden fares from here!


  1. Danni,

    Your garden is beautiful! Don't blame yourself on smaller than previous years returns - this weather has wrecked havoc on every garden I've seen this year! You're doing great! And I actually have a small smidgen of hope we'll get a *real* summer eventually.

    Keep up the great work!



  2. I don't think you're as behind as you think. Everything looks right to me. I have a couple of pepper plants with peppers but the rest are just blossoming. I think we planted about the same time. My tomatoes outside look about like yours. I think you're doing great!

  3. That's a lot of veggies Danni! Great job...they will come, the little ones I mean. I'm excited about the birdhouse gourds...I grew my first last year and have 3 bird houses hanging in the trees this year!!!
    Everything looks great, and yummy!!!

  4. Well, I think you've made a great start!

    As for the potatoes, peas and radishes, that to me looks like wise interplanting. Pull the radishes when they're done, and there is more space. Peas done, pull and more space for the taters; start carrots where the radishes were. When the taters are done, start something else there, a cool weather crop like lettuce or spinach. See how smart you are!

    As for the slow growers, I'd suggest a soil test (if you haven't done one) just to see what the condition of the soil is; that will tell you what you needs to add. And don't forget, you've been reporting a cool start to the season, right? Cool=slow growth for hot babes like tomatoes and squash.

    BTW, I suggest Costata Romanesca zucchini next year -- you can't kill it and it delivers very tasty squash and lots of blossoms --it needs some room, though.

    Good job Danni!
    ps Do donkeys like bolted greens and/or radishes? My chickens LOVE bolted greens!

  5. I love veggie gardens of any kind or size.

    The nice thing about plantings close together is it surpresses weeds and confuses pests. Your tomatoes and basil are probably still small due to the cool temps you've been having. They like the heat and should perk up.

    In that first photo, is that one of the infamous water bottles from the laptop/water incident of 08?

  6. Next year maybe start things from small plants, especially the tomatoes! Ive found they tend to need some help. Don't beat yourself up over this at least the animals are great and I think your garden will surprise you in the end!!!

  7. Everything looks really wonderful!
    The shelling peas--Ha! My peas never made it in the house. It was my first year to grow peas and I put them in too late (plus it was nearly a 100 degrees by mid-May). I got maybe a handful of peas off 4 plants. I gobbled them up, right there in the garden. The dogs were happy to eat the shells. :)

    Your tomatoes---are they getting enough sun? Maybe hit them once a week with some liquid seaweed.

  8. Go ahead and plant some carrots. Actually, carrots are great companions with tomatoes, so you can plant them at the base of your beautiful plants while they are still at a manageable size. Also, carrots get real sweet if you leave them in the ground until after the first frost.

  9. Hang in there, your garden may thrive yet! Cool weather is tough on tomatoes and such.

    At any rate, you're doing better than I did this year, cause I didn't plant a thing for the first time in years.

  10. We think your garden is doing well. It is better to start small, you can always have a bigger garden next year..

    Big Sloppy Kisses
    Gus and Louie

  11. Gah... it's not you, it's this weather. The ground's been so cold that I've replanted my basil twice now. The stuff in containers is great, but anything in the ground just stayed the same or gradually melted away.

    The only thing that's done well is the tomatoes because I tried clear plastic mulch and a hoop house this year. It made a huge difference.

    If you haven't already, I'd advise not planting today. Tooooo hot. The plants pretty much shut down on a day like today. Better to wait until next week when it's supposed to cool down a bit.

    Or I'm not a certified microbiovegetologist.

    You've made me want to go take some pictures.

  12. Beautiful... we are doing birdhouse gourds for the first time this year too!

    It's my one year bloggiversary... stop on by I am having a contest!


  13. Oh Girl, you have a lot going just moved, just adopted your donkey(s?), and have already planted a garden?

    I am mighty impressed. Be patient, it will provide more entertainment and real live food!

    Best of luck.

  14. Those tomatoes...I had to turn away in horror. I will still read your blog...giggle...just kidding. By the way, I just, today bought some basil at the farmers market. It does not like cool wet weather and loves this heat we are finally getting. I bet it will take off soon. I am eating lots of peas too. I start to get tired of them because I eat them everyday since there are so many! Your vegetable garden looks great!

  15. Your veggie garden looks great! Everyone seems to have started their gardens late this year. The plants will catch up on their growth with the warmer weather. Planting close together is a good way to keep the weeds from growing in between the plants. You did it right!

  16. Hi dina...thanks for your words of encouragement - it's a relief to hear that I'm not SO far behind that the whole thing will be a wash!

    Hey seasonseatings - OK, I've just had *the* highest compliment paid to me. Thanks for your reassurance - coming from you, this hold so much weight with me! YOU are the Farmer Girl!! :-)

    Hi Eve - I got the idea to grow the birdhouse gourds from one of *your* posts!! You can bet that when it comes time to 1) harvest 2) dry 3) actually do something with'll be YOU I'm coming to! :-)

  17. Nice garden, especially for a first!


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