Monday, June 17, 2013

The Garden is Back!

Beans were pretty much the only vegetable we had any luck with last year, so this Summer, we planted all the bean seeds we could find. This is the first batch. We planted these in front of a trellis thinking they were pole beans. They're bush beans.

Before we realized the first batch weren't pole beans, we planted some more in front of the other trellis. Lookin' good so far.

These are also bush beans. Not in front of a trellis, but not much room to be bushy. And gtfo, ivy. 

The patty pan squash plants that I planted in the ground last year looked great for a few weeks but they only grew tiny squashes. The ones in pots looked worse. I planted them in pots this year. I have no logical reason for this.

I pulled out the weakest of the bunch but couldn't bear to compost it, so I stuck it in another pot to see if it would survive. It's a fighter.

You might think this pepper plant looks similar to my pepper plant from last year. That's because IT IS THE PEPPER PLANT FROM LAST YEAR. Perennial pepper plant!

This is a cayenne plant. We didn't start this one from seed so I'm not even proud of that hot little pepper.

The basil didn't survive for very long last year and I never got to eat any of it. Seems to be doing better this year. I've been watering it more. Plants seem to like water.

I've never had any luck with cucumbers. I was given one of those infomercial hanging planters so once these seedlings get big enough, I'll see how they feel about growing upside down.

This is a tomato sprout, or possibly a tomatillo. We had a huge tomatillo plant last year, but no tomatillos. This guy's going in the other hanging planter.

And finally... okra! Our okra plant did really well last year so we're trying again.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Okra, Pepper, Pole Beans, Tomatillos

We learned two things about okra this season: it doesn't mind being squished into a little pot and its flowers are kind of stunning.

Stunning Okra Flower
The flower bloomed for a day, and then died, and then a few days later there was an okra.

Some of the plants were upset with us for taking a vacation and not watering them for several days, but pepper plant was not one of them. It was scrawny and boring when we left, but exploded into green sexiness in our absence.

There are buds which I suspect might eventually turn into flowers and finally, fruit. The type of pepper will be a surprise, however. Lazy gardeners do not keep track of these things.

Pole bean plants kept growing until there was nothing left to grab on to. 

And then they bloomed

And then there were beans

And then there were more beans! So many beans!

None of the little tomato plants seem to want to grow, but tomatillo plant is enjoying the heat.

It's starting to grow little yellow flowers and someday soon, it will grow little papery skin-covered green fruits that the neighborhood deer hopefully find repulsive.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Nitrogen deficiencies and slug deterrents

Cucumber plants aren't looking so hot. They might be getting too much water or too little nitrogen. I moved them out of the sun in case that was pissing them off, and since the worms have been doing such a great job of making compost, I fed the cucumber plants some of that to boost their nitrogen.

They're also growing some premature flowers, which doesn't seem like a good thing. Maybe the pot is too small and they want to break free and it's stressing them out.

Squash plants definitely prefer the ground over being squished into a pot. Or maybe it's just better soil and more shade.

Happy, healthy squash plant. Big green leaves, no premature flowers.

Slightly less happy squash plant confined to a pot.

Premature squash blossom.

Potted green beans plants are looking nice and green, but they've bloomed ahead of schedule too, unlike the soybeans and pole beans we have growing in the ground. Starting to see a pattern.

First green bean.
Jolly soybeans

Pole beans climbing faster than we can build a new trellis

Tomato and tomatillo plants have been transplanted to their permanent home and seem to be adjusting just fine. They haven't grown much since the big move, so I'm guessing they're just working on getting established before turning into the big sexy plants they're destined to become.

Silvery Fir Tree Tomato seedling

Tomatillo seedling

Basil is doing so well that the slugs just can't get enough of it. Slugs have been known to turn up their tentacles at the smell of pungent herbs, but making a liquid herb spray is just too much work for a lazy gardener. I tore up pieces of mint leaves, green onions, and garlic greens and scattered them all over the basil pot instead. Let's see if the slugs notice.

Basil with slug deterrent attempt #1

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Polyculture Jam

Cucumber seedlings have been thinned and their true leaves are growing with reckless abandon. Radish sprouts just came up in the middle of the pot and I haven't seen any cucumber beetles so they must be doing their job.

Green bean plants are out of control. They can't be stopped. They're so ready to start forming beans.

Soybeans didn't waste any time. It was time to sprout and they were not ashamed. 

Squash is taking no prisoners. Radishes are growing with them to make sure there are no prisoners to take.

Tomatillo and tomato sprouts are starting to show their true leaves with confidence.

Watermelon has sprouted but has no idea what it's in for.

Lupine, however, knows exactly what it's in for. Its family was born and raised here and can be found nearby all over the lovely San Gabriel Mountains.

I recently discovered that my compost has been invaded by worms. It is a very beneficial but very disgusting invasion.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Farewell, Sweet Peas

Today we had to say goodbye to the pea plants.

Thank you for your sexiness and delectability, pea plants. May you compost in peace.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring Seeds

We hope to welcome some new plants to the garden soon.

This is how it looks now:

And if the newly planted seeds like their new home and their new companions, it might someday look a little more like this:

Good luck, little seeds!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sprout Parade

Hello, adorable cucumber sprout! Welcome to earth.

You too, squash sprout. I look forward to watching you grow.

Weird green bean seedling has grown new, healthier looking leaves.

Pea plants are rapidly turning into mulch, but they still have four pea pods. The pods are looking fatter and it is quite possible that they now contain peas.