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.
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
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, Radish, Tomatoes, 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.
A quick check on the garden tonight and I was happy to see some more plants emerging. No need to write a big preamble here, the pictures and captions should suffice.
Nice circle of peas
First sign of a green bean
Zucchini from seed has made an appearance
Sweet Corn has also joined the party
Brandy Boy tomatoes are looking a nice shade of green
Lettuce started indoors has started to look good this week
A quick check on the garden tonight and even though it was a bit cooler and cloudy today, the garden seems to be off to a decent start. New plants sprouting and the early planted plants are not looking worse and in most cases actually improving. Once we get through a chilly morning tomorrow, the weather looks to warm up and get sunnier so I am anticipating some more good growing days ahead.
First Pea plant has emerged
Just three days in the ground and here are the radishes already
Lettuce sprouts are also making an appearance
This Brandy Boy tomato seems to be enjoying its new home. Nice and greed with new leaves already starting.
Zucchini with a bloom already.
Not sure what to make of the early blooming zucchini plants. I wonder if it is perhaps a sign of distress. I guess it is possible starting them inside earlier than I should have as well as being cramped into the smaller container messed up its development cycle.
Another great day today and I decided to roll the dice and go all in with planting the garden. The 10 day forecast has nothing colder than 44 degrees and many more days in the 70s and even 80s. So, after work I went out to the garden and got to planting.
- Pole green beans
- Zucchini plants and seeds
- Cucumber plants and seeds
- Yellow squash seeds
- Sweet corn
Most of these are just repeats of the tried and true from previous years. I will record a bit more details about the Sweet Corn since this is just year two and last year didn’t go as well as I would have hoped. This years variety is Kandy Korn. Lesson number one from last year was to not over plant and make sure to leave a little room for the plants to grow. This year I cut back on the number of seeds I planted and have about 18 seeds planted in each of the four rows. I also tried to stagger the seeds by placing the adjacent row’s seeds in the middle of the two neighbors.
According to the Kale seed packet, it is recommended to plant it in a container. I retrieved one of the old pots from the garden and planted some Kale in it. I will follow up in a couple weeks with a second back to try and extend the harvest a bit.
Pole beans planted around the bean tower
Zucchini home for 2017. Plants in back, seeds up front.
Cucumbers. Three plants and four seeds planted.
Sweet Corn. This year’s variety is Kandy Korn.
Watering the seeds
I’m afraid I might have started some my seeds a bit early. The tomatoes are fine but the lettuce, cucumbers and zucchini seem to be growing faster than spring weather is getting here.
To give some of the plants a bit more elbow room, I transferred about half over to some 3 inch pots.
I also received my onion plants in the mail this past weekend. I checked the garden tonight and it is still too wet to plant. Tomorrows weather looks like a great day, but I am not too confident that a single day will dry out the soil enough to prep it for planting.
Angle view of the crowded seedlings
Transplant in progress
First off, Happy New Year and welcome to the 2017 season of the garden blog! I hope to do a better job keeping the blog updated this year, but a lot of that will depend on how busy I get with work and life.
The last couple years, I have been using some of the seeds I had purchased from past years. While it did same me some money, last year I noticed some issues with germination and overall yields. Irregardless, it was time to replenish the seed cache as I have used up most of the stock.
The order this year isn’t too much different than in years past but there are a few new comers and variety changes. Most notably new this year is Kale. We’re a bit late to the Kale bandwagon but have started adding it into the salad mixes and I must say I am liking the color and texture it brings. It tastes decent and at least makes the salad look healthy right up until I dump too much dressing on it.
Other notables, while not entirely new, in the second year of growing sweet corn, I am going to a childhood favorite variety. This year I am going to give ‘Kandy Korn’ a try. I promise to not over plant the garden this year.
I’m also going to mix up the tomato varieties again this year. ‘Oh Happy Day’ and ‘Cherry Baby’ will join the favorite of the past few years ‘Brandy Boy’.
Finally a new variety of cucumber will be tried. I was not happy with the cucumbers last year as they just really never did much. This time around I am going to give ‘Burpee Hybrid II’ a chance. The claim of being disease resistant sounds very appealing to me as I seem to constantly have some mildew or fungus killing off my plants before they get to the end of the season.
Below is the full list of seeds and plants ordered. I’ll pick up Sweet Potatoes locally closer to planting time.
Item Number: 55610A – 1 Pkt. (200 seeds)
Item Number: 51474A – 1 Pkt. (2 oz.)
Item Number: 69501C – 3 Pkts (1 of Each)
Item Number: 68072A – 1 Pkt. (100 seeds)
Item Number: 53595A – 1 Pkt. (30 seeds)
Item Number: 13789C – 75 plants each variety (225 plants total)
Item Number: 53512A – 1 Pkt. (300 seeds)
Item Number: 60855A – 1 Pkt. (1000 seeds)
Item Number: 62450A – 1 Pkt. (25 Seeds)
Item Number: 61101A – 1 Pkt. (35 seeds)
Item Number: 51205A – 1 Pkt. (25 seeds)
Item Number: 54310A – 1 Pkt. (25 seeds)
Item Number: 63480A – 1 Pkt. (20 seeds)
Item Number: 61861A – 1 Pkt. (3000 seeds)
I’ve continued to take pictures of the progress in the garden but just never get around to posting them. I’ll use this post to try and catch up a little.
Sweet corn experiment has been very educational. Biggest lesson so far is that I planted too much corn for the garden bed. While the plants have grown well enough, the overcrowding appears to be resulting in small and not fully formed ears. I hope to be getting my first few picked ears in a couple days and will post more details then.
Baby Sweet Corn
As has been typical in past years, the yellow squash and zucchini get off to a good start, but it is only a matter of time until the squash vine borer puts and end to it. I’ve already pulled one of the squash plants and executed the squash murderers for their crime.
Yellow squash and Zucchini
Always nice to get some red splashes in the garden. These cherry tomatoes were the first to break the red barrier.
First red tomatoes
Not a bad haul for one night in the garden. A good chunk of these will be passed around to the neighbors and coworkers.
More vegetables than we can eat
I suppose if there were no pests, gardening wouldn’t be much of a challenge and therefore not much fun. Would be nice to not have to fight them all every year.
Can you spy the pest?
So far this Tomato Horn Worm has been the only one of its kind found so far this year.
How about now?
Finally a view of the sweet corn from a bif of a distance away to see how tall it has gotten. If nothing else, we should have some decorations for Halloween this year.
Sweet corn is nice and tall