Thursday, March 31, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?: HSV Garden Challenge, Week One

Lookie, lookie!  Stuff Grew!!!

Sorry I don't have a good closeup shot for you.  I gave Ella my old digital camera, so she took the photos for this week.  The only closeups we have are of the marigolds we just put in.  Speaking of marigolds, the seeds we planted never came up.  We put some directly in the bed and sowed some indoors, and . . . nothing.  I have never failed with marigolds.  Shocking.  But everything else is doing well!

In the back, we have cherry tomatoes, bell peppers (not doing so well since this surprise cold snap), cucumbers, lemon & lime basil, parsley, and pole beans planted with sunflowers to climb the stalks.  They're all doing well, but we planted indoors late, so we got antsy and picked up some roma tomato plants from the local nursery.  What a steal: six plants, each at least a foot tall, for only $2.49.  And they're filled with flowers, so we're looking forward to an early crop while our cherry tomatoes grow at their own pace.  Up front we have tons of radishes, carrots, and lettuce (not doing well, I think they need more shade), along with a couple of zucchini and jalapeno plants.  Sprinkled here and there are giant zinnia seeds.  In the front planter we have tons of nasturtiums and some dill (for the baby caterpillars!) and off to the sides (and, unfortunately, out of this shot) are our planters with pineapple mint, lemon thyme, and lavender (with flower shoots ready to bloom). 

Our other big project is to dig up the front flower beds, and we're halfway done.  Now we're researching what plants we want in there, because most of it is completely shaded, which limits our choices quite a bit.  The good thing is that Ella and I are learning about all kinds of new plants and flowers.

I put together a binder with all of our notes and extra seeds, but I also got Ella involved last week with creating a journal entry for each plant we're growing.  I'll show you how we put that together next time, once we get it all in order.  It's a good way to keep track of when things are planted and when they mature.  It's also a good way for the kids to see it as a science experiment.  Did different vegetables grow better with different companion plants?  Did more/less shade help a particular plant?  Did the earlier crop grow better or worse than the later crop of the same vegetable?

So far we're really enjoying our first gardening experience.  Next up this week (along with the garden journal . . .
Does peppermint oil keep those pesky aphids away?


  1. Wow, that looks great!

    A friend of mine told me that last year she bought an entire bag of ladybugs at Home Depot for her garden. Just a burlap bag, full of ladybugs. I have a hard time picturing this, but maybe you can find some and get rid of your aphids. Besides, who doesn't love ladybugs?

  2. Wow, that sounds like a lot of ladybugs! We have tons of them in the yard, and the girls have a Ladybug Relocation Program in place. Too bad the gals don't want to stick around in the garden. Although, we were moving them in before we had the aphids, so no flowers and no aphids does not a happy ladybug make. We haven't found any new ones since the aphids showed up . . . I've just been squashing the little buggers off by hand.

  3. I wonder if your marigold seeds were bad? Anyways, the journal idea is a good idea!

  4. Michelle, what a treasure your binder will be in the years to come! My son loves to be in charge of herbs, and he just so happens to be a lemons and key limes fan. To tell him of lemon and lime basil will make him ecstatic! Thank you for being a part of the HSV!

  5. P.S. Next link up is April 28th 10am EST!
    Susan - The HSV TEAM

  6. Zonnah, I was wondering the same thing. Two or three finally sprouted indoors this weekend, but they're still not doing very well. I'm thinking maybe there was something wrong with this batch.

  7. Thanks for hosting the link up, Susan! Yes, the lemon and lime basil is wonderful. Ours have just sprouted and already they smell so strong.


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