Patience is a virtue

We are impatient people. This whole gardening thing is great but we never know when things are done. Carrots for example…how do you know. I know I can go by what the packet says but that’s not fun!!!

premature picked carrot-a funky one at that!

Potatoes. Our neighbor, also my CEO told me….”Shana, wait until the leaves fall over”. Ha ha!!! Ours are still gorgeous, standing and blooming little white flowers but our curiousity got the best of us:

I LOVE how you can see the starter potato! There were a couple of other teeny baby reds, too that fell off before the picture

Cantaloupe. I mean, it was no longer hairy (I mean fuzzy) or green. How do we know????? It definitely was NOT ready. Bummer.

Giving Gardening a try…

Adam has wanted a garden FOREVER but we have never been in a position where our life was….I don’t know….”settled” perhaps is a good word enough for one. So this year we decided to give it a whirl! The problem is that I cannot, CANNOT keep anything alive (people obviously I can) but houseplants, etc I cannot so we started researching and planning our garden back in January! We knew from the get-go that we wanted to desperately try to go all organic and therefore fertilizers, pesticides, etc would be out. This includes weed killers so we decided to go with the square food gardening method as that tends to have way less weeds.

This is a photo very early in the process. There is sweet corn planted behind the boxes and the green bush to the left behind that is raspberry bushes that were there already and to the right…rhubarb. I can’t stand rhubarb and it has only quadrubled in size so Adam has finally agreed that we can rip it up for next year because we have decided we need probably at least three more boxes.

Lettuce

Our first harvest! Spinach and lettuce are by far the EASIEST to grow and were so quick to grow we've been able to enjoy for a long-time already!!!

We were able to go all organic. The square foot method is so awesome, making that possible. We had to purchase our compost but did find organic compost. We ordered all of our seeds from a couple of different companies and are growing the following: zucchini, summer squash, yellow peppers, green peppers, red peppers, purple peppers, broccoli, carrots, two types of lettuce, spinach, roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, regular ol’ tomatoes, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, edamame (baby soybeans), potatoes, red onions, sweet corn and cantaloupe.

side view: to the left is the cantaoupes out of control, potatoes behind them then onions...

close-up of cantaloupes

fuzzy cantaloupe baby

big brother cantaloupe

Because we wanted to go organic I did a lot of reading on companion planting to help prevent pests so we planted horehound, mint and basil with the tomatoes (had a fun time finding the horehound-it’s a medicinial herb I guess!), cilantro with the lettuce (which is stinky come to find out!), oregano and thyme with the broccoli which worked great for pests but not for the bunnies and mint with the zucchini and squash which I think have helped as we have neighbors who have had trouble EVER getting any summer squash and we haven’t.

Cuc baby

big brother cuc

We had some trouble with something munching on the spinach leaves at first and I found a recipe to mix a little of olive oil and dish soap and put in a spray bottle with water and spray weekly on the plant and we haven’t had problems since. Otherwise the darn bunnies ate all of my broccoli leaves so we’ll have to build a box up a little bit next year for that. I do have a little itsy bitsy broccoli head growing finally now but that is only because the zucchini leaves are so monstrous that they are hiding the broccoli I think.

Yay, a leetle teeny weeny broccoli...at long last!

Sadly not a single one of my sweet peppers are growing. The plants are there but are only about 4-5″ tall. They get NO sun as they are over powered by the gigantous zucchini leaves so I think that probably is playing a huge role.

Peas vining to the left, carrots in the front, cucs vining to the right...

sugar snap peas-they've been great on the grill!

My tomatoes are also struggling. All I have coming along are some cherries. We had a freeze after we shouldn’t have and re-planted them but no one has tomatoes yet. Not even at farmers markets, so I don’t feel too, too bad.

summer squash

Zuchinni

Quite honestly, we are just thrilled something, anything is growing. That WE, Adam and Shana Carter can produce something! Even the edamame is coming along. Whenever we find something else growing we do a little jig and cheer, like we are in a candy store!

edamame

Grow corn grow!

More surprisingly than I thought it has been easier to maintain. We go out on Sundays for about 5-10 minutes or so and cut off any dead leaves. There aren’t any weeds. We have an underground sprinkler system anyway so at the beginning of the season Adam cut into the system and added to it so that each square has water to it via a drip system that goes on at night.

I wish my sweet peppers were growing. I don’t know if it is because they aren’t getting enough sunlight or if maybe I should have just planted them in-ground. Most of our plants we started inside under light and with a heater and I am wondering if the pepper and tomato plants didn’t handle the transfer well?? I know the easy thing to do would be to douse them with some miracle grow…..grrrrrrr! But, we are having fun with it and keep telling ourselves it is a learning process!

Next….we have to get our pumpkin seeds into the ground! I’m 100% sure we are a bit late but oh well!

Bellagio’s Botanical Gardens

Each time we go to Vegas we are sure to visit the gardens at the Bellagio. They always amaze us. I believe they change them at least four times a year, with each season. The only season we haven’t seen is Christmas but my sister has and it sounded really awesome! It is an all indoor garden where pretty much everything that can be is made out of fresh flowers or plants. There are always live birds, too. There are water fountains shooting over the walkways. This most recent trip was right before July 4th so it was commemorative of the U.S. of course. We had fun and took some silly photos this time around….

Even their little vests are made out of flowers....click on the photo to see!

What am I?

At the beginning of the summer there was nothing here and quickly this vine started shooting up around our mailbox. We’ve helped it (barely) with two twist-ties. This week these gorgeous flowers appeared. Anyone know what this is? I love it!!! (and kind of want to make sure I don’t kill it like I do most other plant-like things)

elementary school fun….or what used to be

Remember growing potato eyes in grade school? We did, at least. Adam was bound and determined that he was going to grow some eyes to use to plant potatoes in our garden this year. These potatoes have been in a dark enclosed cupboard for three months and there is hardly nothing. I got to reading as to why and apparently now’a days they put so many preservatives on potatoes even that it makes growing eyes very difficult. I suppose this is why potatoes are one of the top five produce we should try to buy organic because their skin is so permeable. Bummer because I love baked potatoes in restaurants WITH the skins!!!