Saturday, September 10, 2011

My First Vegetable Garden

The squirrels in my yard may finally be disinterested in my tomatoes enough for me to get a decent harvest.    For the past month I have had many beautiful green tomatoes, but before they can ripen pesky squirrels take one bite/knock them to the ground and then leave them there to rot. However today I was able to harvest 2 tomatoes and 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes. Yay! - I LOVE fresh homegrown tomatoes.

Early this spring my sweet husband indulged my whim and one Saturday afternoon rented a tiller and tilled up a small garden in our yard. It's not very big maybe 8ft by 16ft, but I honestly wasn't very confident in my gardening abilities.
Not quite as classy as I would
like but it was a good first try. 
I planted a gooseberry bush - this probably won't produce much (if any) fruit for a few years. Gooseberries are hard to some by in this area, and gooseberry pie was a thanksgiving tradition and birthday cake substitute for me growing up.

I also sewed seeds for a Italian Blend Lettuce Patch. The loose leaf lettuce came up quickly and was great for salads in the spring and early summer. Eventually the plants aged and became bitter and I removed the whole patch. I should have replanted the patch but forgot about it in the heat of the summer.
The tomato plants toward the bottom of the frame are the
uncaged/from-seed ones. Toward the top left you can
see the taller caged ones.

Currently, the 5 tomato plants I purchased are doing great and are covered in green tomatoes.  These 5 plants I caged, but are so big they are leaning on each others cages and are somewhat tangled together.  The cherry tomatoes that I planted in the middle seem to be growing out every direction and are getting rather touchy-feely with neighboring plants. Next year I will buy taller cages and plant them farther apart.

I also planted a row of tomatoes from seed. My intention was to have a row of sweet corn - but the day I decided to till and plant the garden (remember it was a whim), it was too cold to plant corn. I thought 'Tomatoes don't usually grow from seed outdoors, so I will plant these and they won't make it and then later - when it is warm enough I will just plant corn here'. Boy was I wrong. The tomato plants did come up, and although they were significantly behind the purchased plants initially in the past few months they have caught up. Since I didn't cage them they are low to the ground with course and twisted stems, but they have lots of fruit on them.

Teaser Alert: I will hopefully be back very soon to share what I did with my bounty, besides making an unintentional italian flag.

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