Celebrating a milestone

This post marks the 300th post to Matt’s Garden Blog!

Who would have thought all those many years ago that I’d still be writing posts about that small patch of ground in the back corner of the yard.  My first post was all the way back in early April 2010.  The posts were not as detailed or consistent back then (that hasn’t really changed) and the images were not quite as clear.  The first image posted was a couple weeks after the blog was established using a now old and retired iPhone 3G.

First garden image posted to the blog.

First garden image posted to the blog.

The gardens have certainly grown and evolved since then. Most notable expansions are the two new garden beds and the perimeter fencing.

Installing the two new expansion beds

Installing the two new expansion beds

Garden with new perimeter fence

Garden with new perimeter fence

I’ve tried to grow a few different vegetables over the years.  I tired Broccoli a couple times, Brussels Sprouts a few years, Carrots most years, Lima Beans a couple, Onions most of the time recently, Yukon Potatoes once, Spinach quite a few times, Sunflowers, Sweet Corn for the second year, Sweet Potatoes quite a bit recently and Yellow Squash pretty consistently now that I started.

The permanent fixtures of the garden have been the Cucumbers, Green Beans, Lettuce,  RadishTomatoes,  Snap Peas and Zucchini.

I have to admit, if someone asked be how long I have been updating this garden blog, I would not have believed that this is now the start of the seventh year.  Will I make another 300 posts and/or seven years?  I guess you’ll have to stay tuned/subscribed and find out.

Happy gardening!


Potato and carrot harvest of 2012

Today was the day the family gathered in the garden for the harvesting of the potatoes and carrots. We’ll start off with the not so great carrots.

This year was a bit of a struggle with the carrots. The first planting failed to come up. The second planting did manage to emerge but in the end there was only five plants left. The hot and dry summer didn’t help, especially with planting the second group so late.  Nevertheless, the kids had fun pulling them from the ground.


The kids with the lackluster carrot harvest

Now for the potatoes. There were three plantings of red skin potatoes. Two grow bags purchased from Gardener Supply and the third was two rows in the new northwest garden bed. I have to admit, I was expecting a better yield from the potatoes planted in the garden, especially since there was about three times as many plants in the beds as were in each bag. In the end, I got about as many potatoes from the garden bed as came from each of the grow bags. Pill bugs were getting to the potatoes in the garden bed as well which knocked down the total some.


First potato spotted


Julia grabs the first one


All three kids start digging


Results from the two rows in the raised bed


Digging through the upturned grow bag


Results from the first potato grow bag


Results from the second potato grow bag

Best part of the harvest was having vegetables from the garden to add to the crock pot for the pot roast dinner. Carrots, potatoes and onions all from the garden this year.


All from the garden. Potatoes, carrots and onions

Pest in the potatoes

Found a large pest in the potatoes today. Not sure how long he has been hiding out here but by the size of him I’d say it has been a while. Seems he also got confused and heard Potato when some one told him Tomato.


Tomato Horn Worm in the potatoes


New pet for the girls


The worm is a hit!

He even gets a home.

He even gets a home.



Most of the garden is taking off

Just a quick little update as I enjoy the wonderful weather this evening.

First planting of green beans are blooming.

Second planting of green beans are sprouting from the ground.

Potatoes in the raised bed are growing like crazy while the ones in the bags are growing, just not at the same rate.

Zucchini are taking off and I expect some blooms soon.

Lima beans… Well we will just wait and see. I have not had much luck with them.

Brussels sprouts are starting to look well established. I think I may need to try and thin them one more time before they get too big.

Tomatoes are growing well and all have blooms. Parks whopper and Super Sweet 100 have small fruit. (see pic below)

Cucumbers are off to a slow start. There are four plants. They are not growing much. Hopefully the warmer weather this week will get them climbing.

Broccoli is doing well. All four plants now have a head started. A picture of the largest one is below.

Final update goes to the peas which now have a few pods.


First sign of pea pods


Baby green tomatoes


A bit bigger broccoli

Burying potatoes and pea blooms

A short update on the garden. The potatoes planted in the new bed are starting to get tall enough to bury. Tonight I filled in the trenches for four of the plants.


Potatoes growing well


Potatoes with trench filled in

An update on the peas show a few blooms. We should be getting some pods soon.


Pea blooms

Potato and tomato update

Things are sure taking of in the garden this week. With temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s I expect to see even more progress over the holiday weekend.

First up is some news about the potatoes planted in the first grow bag. They have finally emerged and I will be watching them to see when to add more soil to the bag.


The tomatoes are both growing and now also blooming.  These pictured below are on the Super Sweet 100.  Blooms are also on the Parks Whopper and just starting on the Brandywines.


All planted

Last Monday and Tuesday (5/14 and 5/15) I managed to get the last of the first plantings in the ground.  As you can see, I am starting to fall behind on my posts.

Final additions to the garden were a basil plant which is needed along with the homegrown tomatoes to make the ever tasty bruschetta chicken.  Two mounds of zucchinis.   They get a whole bed to themselves this year so I better not hear any complaints about overcrowding and insufficient airflow.  Three more tomatoes, two Parks Whoppers and one Super Sweet 100.  I’ve been a fan of the Sweet 100s for a few years now and can’t wait to see what makes these Super.  Because of the troubles with the first planting of Lima Beans, I planted another row and a half in one of the new beds.  I hope these fair better than the first attempt.  Finally, I planted the rest of the potatoes.

Whew!  Didn’t take long to fill up those two new beds. I’m already thinking I could use two more! 🙂


Two zucchini in the near bed and a basil in the far.


Three new tomato plants. Two Parks Whoppers and a Super Sweet 100.


Two rows of potatoes

Trying something a bit different this year with the potatoes that are in the bed.  I first dug a deep trench and then planted the potatoes a few inches below the bottom of the trench.  My plan is to fill the trench as the potatoes start growing.  Hopefully this will give them more room to produce more potatoes.