Friday, July 6, 2012

Vegetable Plot Progress

I thought it was about time to show the progress of my little veggie plot.  I started preparing the plot back in early March, by marking out a 3 foot by 6 foot space on the sunniest side of my house with a spade.
 

I covered the sod with newspaper, watered it, and covered that with layers of dead leaves, compost, soil and manure.  Then I covered all that with black plastic and let it bake for several weeks.

When it began getting warm near the end of May, I decided it was time to start transplanting.  I started by planting with tomatoes (which I had been growing from seeds inside) along the back row.  In front of those, I put a variety of peppers (both hot and sweet) and some basil and parsley.  Here is how it looked after the initial planting.  There is also a pot of greens (lettuce and swiss chard) next to it, which I later moved to a shadier side of the house:

The Veggie Plot on May 23, 2012

Well my poor little veggie plot was inundated with insects, so I read everything I could find on-line and in my gardening books about how to control them organically.  As a result, I learned that interplanting marigolds, geraniums, onions, and certain herbs - such as sage and mint - can deter insects, so I did that.  I added a pot of geraniums on one side and a pot of mint on the other.

Around this time, I also planted a little zucchini plant on the front right corner of the plot:
The Veggie Plot on June 4, 2012

And a little summer squash plant on the front left corner of the plot:
Please make a note of how close the squash plant on the left front corner
is to the white geranium and the yellow marigold ...

 I had quite a few left over tomato plants, so I decided to put those in pots next to the veggie plot, along with a little pot of chives and some parsley:
Tomato plants in pots
Eventually, however, I knew the tomatoes would outgrow those small pots.  But I didn't want to spend a lot of money on large pots.  Then I came up with an idea.  These buckets cost about $2.98 at Home Depot:

Meet Homer

I had bought a couple of them previously to use for various gardening and household tasks.

So, I bought a few more:


Drilled some holes in the bottom:

Instant Tomato Pot!

I spent a weekend transplanting tomatoes into my new Homer Pots:
Tomato Pot Alley, on June 10, 2012

Here is the Veggie plot that same day - I mulched it with some dried leaves:
Veggie Plot - June 10, 2012

Hmm . . . squash plant getting a bit bigger ....

 I took a photo of my first hot peppers that day:
A green one
And a little tiny purple one - supposed to be very hot!

The tomato vines were starting to grow longer, so I started tying them to the bamboo posts with twine:

Also, on June 10, I had a little tiny harvest of greens:


Which I made into a tiny salad for dinner:
So Tiny ...
We had the salad for dinner, along with chicken stir fry made with some fresh herbs from the garden

Here is the Veggie garden, on June 13, just a few days later:


The next big events occurred on or about June 30:
OMG!!!!!  Tomatoes!!!!!

OMG!  The Veggie Plot!
It Lives!!!!!

Pretty blooms on the (now gigantic) squash plant:


The poor white geranium has no chance ....

 More hot peppers (pepper shown in previous photo has now been eaten):


And here is tomato pot row on June 30:


The following day, we had another harvest:
Bunch of cilantro, parsley and other herbs, and a hot pepper

I made some scallion-cilantro sauce, which I've been using to marinate chicken:


I also made some cilantro-lime dressing, which I've used for stir fry, salad dressing, and to make some spicy cilantro scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning:


I also made some fresh salsa:


Finally, a few photos from the garden today:
That little squash plant and that little zucchini plant have taken over,
and the tomatoes are reaching the tops of their bamboo stakes


Some beets I planted from seeds several weeks ago

Tomatoes
Close-up of squash plant

Another tiny purple pepper

More hot green peppers
I am also overrun with basil, so this weekend I will be making pesto sauce and freezing it for future use.

So, just to summarize -

Before:


And After:


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