How my garden grows…

First off, happy 4th of July to all the Americans out there! Those of us who are Canadian actually celebrated Canada Day on Tuesday, July 1st, though it is not quite the massive celebration here that I’m sure you are all partaking of down there today!

It’s been a while since I showed any garden pics, so for my own sake of recording my garden’s progress and for those who are interested, here we go:


A full length view of the garden, starting at the weedy end. 🙂 It’s 12 by 28 feet, for those who were wondering, and it has slightly raised beds that we made this year.


Greens and carrots (and weeds- I’m starting at the weedy end!). From left to right, Mizuna (oriental greens), then romaine, then a lettuce blend, and then a few short rows of carrots. The carrot area is a bit overtaken by weeds that are growing beside a huge rose bush, and quite honestly, I just haven’t had the time to get to this portion of the garden yet!

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If you look closely, in the two little dark mounds (amid the hay), you can see two little watermelon seedlings coming up. I had started them inside back in late April, and lost all 3 seedlings to the cold snap that just finished a week ago. I re-seeded about 2 weeks ago, and we’ll see whether I’ve lost too much time to get anything at this point. It’s worth a try, anyways (and they’re Sugar Babies, so they have a shorter growing time than large watermelons).

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Oops, I missed a picture of the large and luscious turnip greens! Somewhere under the leafiness are a whole lot of big radishes and turnips, which we are presently enjoying! Right beside them is this sad little herb garden I’ve begun from seed (except for the parsley, which I bought as a seedling). It’s difficult to see, but to the left of the parsley is thyme, to it’s right (sort of) is dill, on the top right corner is genovese basil, and the bottom right is oregano. Next time, I will begin my herb seedlings in the late winter, rather than in the mid-spring!


Here are my tomato and pepper plants, all started from seed in the early spring. There are 12 tomato plants (2 in another row, due to lack of space), including 3 different varieties of full-size heirloom, and 2 heirloom cherries. There are also 7 peppers (2 varieties- one Italian, one Hungarian). The tomatoes are finally starting to perk up after the cold snap, now that it has warmed up and I’ve been fertilizing like crazy. The peppers are still feeling a bit stunned by the cold, I think, though today they looked slightly more perky, so there’s still hope!

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My darling peas, which are almost ready for us to begin enjoying! To the right are Alaska shelling peas, and to the left are Oregon Snow Peas. I wish I had planted more (what you see is most of what I’ve planted, though I cut off a bit on the left). I will plant again in late summer, a much larger crop!


My sick zucchini plant. 🙁 I’m not sure what the white stuff on the leaves is, so it’s one of my projects this weekend to figure it out and hopefully I won’t have to rip out the entire plant, because my second zucchini is very small after it took 3 attempts to get a seed to sprout! Behind the zucchini, you can see the onions which we will start eating as soon as we finish the bag of store onions in our pantry, and we are already enjoying the incredible green onions- my kids love to munch on them when we’re out gardening!


One of my winter squash plants (quite frankly, I don’t know which one- I thought the pen I used for labeling my vegetables was permanent. It wasn’t and the words washed off in the rain- thus, I am not 100% sure about several of the plants in my garden!). But look- flowers! So exciting! Next to it is a second carrot patch I planted just a couple weeks ago, with little teensy sprouts popping up, though I am thinking I shouldn’t have planted it next to these sprawling squash plants, as soon it will be overtaken!

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These are my cucumbers, as three very different stages! To the right, I think those are lemon cucumbers, which look so different than anything I’ve seen before! They’re getting quite big, but so far, no flowers or fruit! In the middle are some long and pickling cucumbers I planted recently after losing several plants during the cold weather. To the left are two strong little plants that survived the cold and are starting to grow again after being a bit stunted.


This row is my attempt to do a little companion planting, with sweet corn and winter squash (pumpkins and one other) below. Only trouble is I’ve had a really hard time germinating the corn, and so it’s coming up pretty sparse (which could cause pollination issues- I suppose I’ll have to hand pollinate), and because I kept having to replant the corn, the squash has gotten large faster than the corn is coming up. If nothing else, I’ll have a nice squash patch, I suppose, because it is really flourishing! I’m still holding out hope for some garden fresh, organic corn, though!


Lastly (and most randomly), a patch of the wild mint that is growing all around our house! A friend was visiting the other week and pointed it out to me (I had no idea what it was, but her mother taught her to pick it when she was a girl). I’ve dehydrated some to make tea and it was great, so I’m going to try to make use of as much as I can!

And thus ends my looong tour of my garden! How is yours doing? Any tips for my mildewy zucchini leaves, or for my stunted peppers? Also, what are the best and most frugal ways you know of to stake/cage tomatoes?

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  1. BEAUTIFUL!! I chose to have a baby instead of a garden this year. Oops, make that GOD chose us to have a baby instead of a garden this year… I have a sad looking, weedy raspberry patch, though, and the kids love to eat those straight from the cane.

  2. Your Papa use to take a heavy stake and tie the tomatoes with stripped nylons (panty hose) that have runs in them. It’s called recycling. You need to take the suckers off the tomatoes also to produce larger tomatoes (I will show you on Monday). Panty hose can also be used for packing clothes in a suitcase when traveling.

  3. Great garden! I’m getting ready to post about my garden and my first harvest of the season (a Roma tomato!!)! For my tomatoes, I just use a regular green garden stake (about $2 at the gardening store) and I found some tomato wire that is wrapped with rubber to make it soft (about $6 at the gardening store). I tap the stake into the ground next to where the largest stalk of the tomato is and then just use the wire to tie up the different sections that seem to be drooping too much. The wire is very sturdy so you only have to wrap it around the stalk and the stake once (rather than wrapping other wires several times) and because it’s soft it doesn’t cut into the stalk if the stalk gets too heavy. So far, I have only needed 1 stake for each plant and one of my plants is HUGE.

  4. Your garden is looking wonderful! I know that my mom always used old stockings/knee highs to tie up our tomatoes when I was growing up, and staked them with leftover wood from my dad’s workshop. It was very frugal because she re-used items from the house! 🙂

  5. The zucchini looks lie it has powdery mildew fungus. My cucumbers are suffering from the same fate right now. I couldn’t find any natural fixes for it so I did lightly spray the leaves with an anti-fungal I bought. I’m hoping it fixes the problem cause I don’t want to lose all 6 of my plants. Eventually the leaves wither and die from it and the produce doesn’t fair to well without the shade of the leaves and they pretty much stop producing.

    I was talking to the lady we have a goat share with about her garden and she doesn’t stake her tomatoes at all. She said she may get a few rotten tomatoes in the middle, but doesn’t worry about it. I staked mine. The stakes cost about a dollar a piece, but I figure I’ll keep them for years.

  6. Looking good dear! Keep it up! I am quite impressed at how much you have been able to grow and how diligent you have been to replant and keep trying!

  7. Your garden sounds a lot like mine. Meaning that its a learning process and has had some issues this year!

    We have finally gotten some sun here, but no heat still. Tonight I made a huge salad with lettuce, radishes and spinach from my garden. As well as some other store-bought additions. They like the cool. I also have some blooms on my peas, finally- I started them late. My potatoes are doing really well. I also have some yellow blooms on one of the vines- I also lost the names on most of my plants- so I think its either zuchinni or squash. I don’t know what many of the things are! Many of my plants got devastated by cool, too much rain, and the earwigs! They stripped some of my tomatoes to just sticks. And they are munching on everything. The best method I found to help that is to put fish cans (or other cans with a small piece of fish or fish juice in it) sunk into the garden, with a tablespoon or so of cooking oil and a few drops of dish soap and some water to go halfway up the can. I also caught some wierd wormy things and some ants in them, and LOTS of earwigs! I have also heard of people using other containers for the same effect.

    I’m learning lots but its A LOT of work, isn’t it? My toddler loves to “help”. I gave her her own small 2×2 section and she loves that.

  8. I agree about removing the suckers from the tomato plants. This year we decided to use the Square Foot Gardening method of trellising the tomatoes. I made the frames from conduit, slipped over rebar that was pounded into the ground. Then I attached garden netting, and I just weave the tops of the tomatoes in and out. So far its holding up and the plants seem to love it.
    Last year I used regular cages and they all fell over when we had a wind storm. I don’t like to let them sprawl all over, since I don’t have a lot of space.
    I read somewhere that they produce more tomatoes if they are left to grow however they want, but I had plenty to can for pasta sauce, salsa, and diced tomatoes.
    I also have nameless squash…I’m thinking yellow, but it could be acorn. Some of my seedlings did not sprout so I threw the peat pots into the garden…of course it sprouted out there.

  9. Lovely garden! I have a neighbor maybe 8 blocks away whose yard is surrounded by a stand of bamboo. I watch and wait each trash day eve for them to heap the cuttings at the curb and then nab them to stake my many tomatoes! Yay, free stakes and/or trellising! Sadly between the infestation of thrips and their dreaded Tomato Wilt Virus, I have had zero fruits from the tomatoes or peppers except for a few lovely and enormous habaneros that my husband has been using.

    Our garden is all in containers these days, so I use a marker on the bucket or planter to write the name of the plant within. I should also write the date of planting! No surprises this year!

  10. Wow! What an amazing garden you have, and a great way to add health to your meals as well. I bet your kids love it!

  11. I can’t tell from the picture, but I’ve grown varieties of zuchini before that had white speckled leaves, and there was nothing wrong with them. Just the variety.

  12. I agree with the previous post, that these look like normal zuke leaves. Some have more white blotches than others. Of course, maybe we just can’t see what you see from the pictures. Now, if you are seeing white furry stuff especially around the flower area, or having a lot of wilt during the day, you’ve got something else going on.

    I just found your blog and will be returning soon.

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