Fordhook Zucchini

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A New Pest in the Tomatoes

Hello everyone out there. I have been very negligent in posting on this blog. The garden is still doing OK. A little bit dry right now because of the lack of rain, but still going somewhat strong.

I wanted to post about a garden pest I though I had luckily avoided, but however, I was wrong. I noticed that some of my Better Boy Tomatoes have been feeling the heat the past few days. I have kept a close eye on them and tried to water them when I could (i.e. if the kids would let me). Last night as I was doing my inspection, I noticed that one of the plants had lost several leaves. This was not too uncommon, with the dry conditions, but this was different. The leaves were missing, not wilted. I knew something was attacking my tomatoes.

Enter the Tomato Hornworm, Manduca Quinquemaculata.

 I noticed this guy when I was looking over my plants. Because I am trying to grow all my plants without any chemical aids, the best way to control these guys is to remove them and squish them. That is where Abby came in. She loved it when she got to squish the "green snake." She ran back inside and think scared Jocelyn because she was loudly proclaiming that she killed a green snake.

Either way, if you notice several leaves gone in one day, quickly inspect your tomatoes and pluck these guys. They are voracious eaters and can destroy a plant in a day.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Garden Update - July 27, 2011

Well hello out there to everyone interested in the garden. Here is a quick update on where we are in regards to it. (I promise, I took the pictures the other night and I will update this with pictures tonight.)

Better Boy Tomatoes are still producing. However, with the heat some of the tomatoes are rather small. They still taste good though. I think I will be getting tomatoes from them until the first frost. (Wow, it is a long time between now and October). I have purchased canning supplies so we will be able to save some of these, even if it is just one pint at a time.

Rutger Tomatoes are still growing. They have produced several flowers and I am expecting any day to see small green tomatoes on them. I am actually glad these guys continue to grow, although slowly. I have supplemented the soil around them with compost and fresh grass clippings to aid in their growth.

Cherry Tomato - The Ferry Morse Large Fruited Cherry tomato plant is doing well and has 4 small green tomatoes on it. These tomatoes are supposed to grow to about 1"-2" in diameter. Perfect for a snack or in a salad. I am looking forward to these guys. The Bonnie Plant Hearty Cherry is also growing well and has put out its first "string" of tomatoes. I am looking forward to those as well.

Bradley Tomato - These are the three in the back. One of the three is putting flowers out. Abby helped me water them some last night and it was really cute. I hope these do really well because these will be the first ones that I am going to save the seeds for next year. I am really anxious for these to produce. I am thinking about halfway through August I will start to have these.

Mystery Tomato (?) - The small tomato plant I bought at Walmart for $0.50. Is doing well and has several small flower buds on it. I am interested to see what type of tomato this is. The plant card only said tomato and that it was grown at a nursery for Walmart in Alabama. Needless to say, this will just add more to the tomato pile.

Clemson Okra - I have now gotten three okra off the plants I have. They are blossoming and producing more little okra everyday. Soon we will have lots of okra and I will have to pickle some. Probably looking at next weekend on this or maybe the weekend after.

Marketmore Cucumbers - These little guys are starting to grow. I have several flowers and several small cucumbers but none that are growing yet. May be a few more days until I see some of these guys. I did make the mistake on these guys by not staking them. Need to make sure I don't do that in the future.

Isaac's Pumpkin - The pumpkin is growing slowly. I think tonight I am going to mulch it with some compost to get it some more nutrients. I did however, notice that it has two flowers on it. Hopefully, it will grow a little more and start setting some female flowers.

Overall, I would say that the garden has been a success this year and has produced much more than my little plot did last year. I am learning quite a bit and remembering even more from when I was younger. I plan on in the coming weeks beginning the prepping of plots for next year's garden which will be even larger than this year's. It is rather neat to see what God's creation can do with the proper nurturing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Garden Update

Well since it has been awhile since I have updated this. I am assuming at least some of the four people that follow this blog would be interested in knowing how the garden is doing. Well, I guess first off we should highlight some subtractions.

The Fordhook Zucchini's have ran their course and were decimated by the vine borers and aphids. Of the five plants I started with, I am only down to the one small one that never did anything. It is starting to grow and has shot up several flower buds. Maybe here in the near future I will have some more zucchini from this one.

In the meantime, the Grey Zucchini are really starting to grow and do well. I hope to start getting some zucchini off them in the near future. I have three of those.

The Better Boy Tomatoes are doing great! I have to invest in some jars this week so we can start canning them. I have already lost 1 tomato because we had more than I could eat. Don't want to lose anymore. They look like they are going to be producing pretty steady for the rest of the year. I have about 10 pounds of tomatoes right now in process (they are still green and growing) and there are more added everyday. The plants themselves are about 5 feet tall and I am having to tie up new branches about every other day off them. We ought to be doing pretty well on tomatoes.

Speaking of tomatoes, I do have 3 other types that are also doing well. I should start getting Cherry tomatoes here soon. I have 1 tomato right now that is on the vine with several flower buds going on them. I have been pruning them in recent weeks to encourage some more height growth before they start putting out tomatoes. I will have to stake these before too long and then there will be more tomatoes I have to can.

The Rutgers that Isaac picked out are also about three weeks away from setting tomatoes. They too, have been blooming but I have been pruning them as well to encourage growth. I will be staking them before too long and then there will be even more tomatoes.

The Bradley tomatoes, the ones I jokingly refer to as the Back 40 Tomatoes, are also doing well. Two of the three are doing better than the small one. I have also had to prune these guys to promote growth. Hopefully by late August, early September, these will be doing well.

We are about to start in on Okra. All of the okra plants are putting our flowers and small pods. I will probably harvest my first okra tonight. But I am assuming here in about week I will be pickling okra as well.

Surprisingly I have 2 garlic plants going. I noticed this the other day when I was looking at the Grey Zucchinis. The stalks are about 6 inches tall I don't think these guys will do very well since I planted them at the wrong time but it is neat to know that you can buy garlic from the store, use what you need, than plant the rest. Who knows, next year I may never have to buy garlic again.

Anyway, garden is doing well and I am planning a large expansion for next year.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Grey Zucchini Update

July 11, 2011 -

I planted the three seedlings this weekend in one of the small 40" x 40" beds. I refined the soil with plenty of composted material and then worked in to a loose consistency. The fourth seedling never popped up. So I have a 75% germination rate on those.

They have been in their bed since Friday and are doing well. We had some rain here recently that really helped them out.

Hopefully we will start getting some zucchini off these guys in a few weeks, because my largest producer of the Fordhook Zucchini will be pulled today or tomorrow. The worms got it. I know it is sad but I still have some more to go before the all get pulled and it will also make room for my herbs that are going to need some space.


Carrot Update - July 11, 2011

July 11th Update -

We have been pretty busy about the house with everything except the update of the garden and this blog. Just wanted to give a quick update on the carrots ... there is no update. The seedlings popped up and quickly died.

I have on my calender to plant some more carrot seeds this week. I think what I am going to do is prepare a little better plot using compost to make sure that the seeds take. I also will start this planting in my special biodegradable planting pots (i.e. toilet paper rolls) and then transfer them when they have a good foothold. I have read that carrots don't transplant well but we will have to see since I will be just putting the whole thing in the ground.

Joe Delk

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grey Zucchini - Update

June 29, 2011 -

Three of the four seeds I planted sprouted up. I am going to wait a few more days on the fourth to pop up, but if it doesn't then it is not that big of a deal. I plan on planting these in the yard, so I will get to brave the hot sun this weekend and prepare the ground for them. They are supposed to be spaced 18" apart but I think based on the Fordhook's I am going to spread them out some more.

I will post pictures tonight of the little guys.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Grey Zucchini Update

June 28, 2011 -

I planted 4 Grey Zucchini seeds in the small peat pots I have. Three of the Grey Zucchini have poked their heads up. I am waiting on the fourth one. Hopefully it will show itself tomorrow. I plan on putting these out in the yard when they get a little height on them. I think I will put them next to the Bradley Tomatoes.

Danvers Carrots Update

June 28, 2011 -

Came home to find another carrot had poked its head up. That is three now that have surfaced. Hope the others come up soon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Grey Zucchini - New addition

June 23, 2011 -

Planted 4 Grey Zucchinis. This is so I can have a fall crop of zucchinis and to try a new variety. I have tried Fordhook and Black Beauty which are really good, but now I wanted to try another heirloom type. If these are successful, I will save some seeds from them as well. According to the package I should start to see seedlings in 7-10 days. That would be around July 3rd.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 20, 2011 - Lost a Zucchini

June 20, 2011 -

  Lost one of the Ford Hook Zucchini's tonight. A couple of bore worms have been working it over for a little bit. I suspected as much but could not find any evidence of it. Tonight though, I noticed the tale-tale signs of "baby poop" on the main stem. Pulled the plant and there were two worms working it over. I thought this was the case when the leaves were yellowing and dying, but I did not see anything until tonight. Pulled the entire plant, squashed the worms and threw it in the compost pile. It will work out OK though because this one had not produced any zucchini and it was being crowded by the Black Beauty Zucchini. This will now give some space for the Black Beauty to spread out.

June 21, 2011 -

Since I lost the one zucchini, Abby helped me to clear out the remaining leaves that I suspected of being infested with the larvae of the Seslid moths in the zucchinis this afternoon. The larvae hatch from their eggs that are in the "V" point of the zucchini leaves. Once hatched the larvae eat their way down through the stem and make their way to main stem. If you notice the leaves start to turn yellow but the rest of the plant does not, it is best to check for the bore worms starting to make their way down to the main stem.

You can check for them by looking at the stem. If you see trails of brownish color (kind of like baby poop) going in the stem, you have a vine borer. These little guys start off very small but as they make their way down the stem, consuming it as they go, they grow rather fat. My daughter, Abby, was very impressed with these guys and really liked the "catepillars" but I had to tell her these were very bad. So we had fun squishing them.

It is possible to control these guys with insecticide but I prefer not to do this for two reasons. (1) I have small children that like to play in the dirt around the plants and (2) I have so few bees that are coming to the zucchini that I would not want to discourage the ones that do with poisoned pollen and nectar. At this point, my zucchini can fully survive missing a few leaves. So my method it to catch it early and prevent it from happening any more. If it happens to your plants and you think all is lost, you can try to revive the zucchini but covering the main stem with more soil which will force it to root and the affected area can be safely removed after that.

If I happen to catch these guys again I will update with pictures, but hopefully that will not happen.

June 27, 2011 -

Decided to upload some pictures of the vine worm to show what the little devils look like.

This is what the affected Zucchini will look like at the base of the leaf. Notice the "baby poop" inside the stem. This is the droppings of the worm.

This is what the little booger looks like. These guys can destroy a zucchini plant rather quickly. It is best to watch out for these guys and catch them early.

Danvers Half Long Carrots

June 27, 2011 - The first 2 seedlings poked their heads up today. This is very exciting since it has been a long time since I have grown carrots. I will be checking the progress on these guys the rest of the week. Hopefully, they will all be up by Friday. You will have to look really close in the picture below but you can see the little green shoot popping up. I plan on planting another row in about two weeks.

Danvers #126 Poking through

June 20, 2011 - Sowed one row of Danver's #126 Carrots. Planted one row of these to try. Andy helped on these. Dug a thin line about 3/16" deep and laid out 15 seeds spaced 2" apart. Lightly covered with soil and applied then spray of water of them to keep them moist for germination. Package says germination should happen in 8-12 days. So I should see some by July 2nd.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

June 12, 2011 Update

Hello Everyone out there.

Here is a quick update from the garden. We got three zucchinis out of the garden today. I will have to slice them up and freeze them tomorrow so they won't go bad. So far we have gotten 9 out of the garden (I think my count was right).

I sowed the herbs for the herb bed today. I planted the following:

4 oregano - I did 4 because I planted 2 with some seeds from 2007 and 2 with some seeds from this year.
4 cilantro / coriander - I did 4 for the same reason as the oregano
3 basil - this is the sweet basil variety
3 dill - hopefully I will use this with the cucumbers when they start coming in
3 chives - these will go on and on as long as I don't kill them since they are a perennial

I am doing something different with these guys to see how it works. I really like the peat pots and the cardboard egg cartons because they simple add to the dirt when they decompose. Something we also generate here at the house that can decompose like that is toilet paper rolls. I saved up enough from our usage to use them as the plant tube for the herbs. When they are ready I will simply plant the entire thing in the ground and allow it to create some more dirt.

The Bradley tomatoes seems to be doing well from transplanting yesterday. I will have to remember to water them when I do the rest since they are on the other side of the yard.

I also planted the garlic today, but I later found that I made a mistake. Garlic is one of those things you plant in the fall/winter and let over winter and then it sprouts up in the spring. I screwed up on that one so I will have to remember to do it again when the fall gets here. Rumor has it that the best time to plant garlic is on the shortest day of the year.

Joe Delk

June 11, 2011 - Update

Hello Everyone out there. Here is an update from today.

I finished the herb bed for the garden last night. I have some herbs picked out that I plan on seeding tomorrow. I plan on growing basil, dill, cilantro (coriander), oregano, and some garlic. The garlic should be a little tricky because I am trying something with it. This experiment will go more into the buying stuff at the supermarket and growing it at home. There is a Food Lion close to my house and they had garlic gloves on sale. Because of the way that garlic reproduces, this is something easy to do. If you want fresh garlic for a dish it normally calls for 1 to 2 gloves of garlic. If you buy it fresh at the store, you can unwrap it. Pick the gloves you want for your recipe and then take the remaining gloves, divide them and plant them about 1" deep in soil. The gloves will grow and create their own bulbs underground. When they have grown and the stems have turned and dried, you can dig up the garlic gloves and now you have multiplied what you bought at the store. You can dry these and save them and then plant more to repeat the cycle, until you have enough garlic that your heart is healthy and there will be no vampires within a mile of you (sorry Twilight fans).

I also planted Isaac's tomatoes that he bought last weekend. I moved these to the back of the yard to keep them from cross pollinating with the Better Boys I have in the garden area. Since we have really poor soil at my house, I dug three holes for the plants and then filled them with water. I then filled each hole up with compost and mixed in some of the bad dirt to give it some consistency. I then mixed it all up (with help from Abby and her shovel) and then waited for the water to drain. Once drained I planted the three tomato plants and then put a scoop of composted manure on top. I will have to see how this does in relation to looking ahead to next year as the garden is planned to be expanded some. Jocelyn got a kick out of the tomatoes name and said I should have planted them all the same type. They are called Bradley tomatoes. It is an Heirloom cultivar that was first introduced in 1961 by the University of Arkansas. Supposedly, they are pretty good pink variety. If my compost recipe works, we should know something by the end of July.

Joe Delk

Friday, June 10, 2011

Harvesting Update (Updated w/ Pics)

Hello everyone out there. Just thought I would give you guys a quick update on what we have harvested from the garden.

So far we have gotten 5 zucchinis from the garden, we will probably get one more tonight Which we did!) and then another on Sunday or Monday. I have three more that are in process and will probably be ready by the end of next week.

Another crop is coming on. Jocelyn has given me plenty of grief about the tomatoes. Well we have 6 small tomatoes that are forming off the Better Boy Tomato plants. I will have to see how fast these come off. We have plenty of blossoms and I finally witnessed several Bumble Bees doing the pollinating, so hopefully no hand pollinating the tomatoes.

We also have two Cayenne Peppers that are growing. I will have to check on their progress as well.

I also included 1 picture of the Zinnia flowers. They are really starting to attract a "buzz."


Monday, June 6, 2011

Hand Pollinating Zucchini

Hello Everyone out there. I have talked about it and now here it is. Your how-to on hand pollinating zucchini.

I am having to do this because we are not having much in the way of bee activity in the garden, which kinda of makes me sad because there are plenty of things to pollinate. Well a note to self, next year plant plenty of flowers to get the bees coming.

First thing when your zucchini begins to flower is being able to tell the difference between male and female flowers. Zucchini produces both, usually the male first.

The male zucchini flower has a large bloom and a small stem.

Male Zucchini Flower - Stem

The female zucchini flower has an ovary, or fruit, behind the bloom.

Female Flower - Small Zucchini

Remove the male flower from the plant.

Male Flower Removed

Pull off the petals. In some Asian cuisine the blossoms are delicacy that can be served as tempura. I have not tried this yet.

Once you have pulled off the petals it should look like this.

Using the male blossom stem as a paint brush, paint the inside of the female flower, thoroughly. Make sure every part of it is covered.

Using paint brush strokes, cover the entire inside

Once pollinated, the blossom will close on its own within a few hours. Then the process of making a zucchini begins. Within a few days, you will have a zucchini much like this one.

Hand Pollinated Zucchini

This is the Black Beauty Zucchini I harvested on Sunday.

Hope that was informative.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Update - June 5, 2011

Hello everyone out there. Today was not much for the garden. Here is a quick update.

Harvested my first Black Beauty Zucchini today. It was a good sized one. Should have about 4 more this week. So far I have lost 2 due to lack of pollination. I did take pictures today to show the how-to to hand pollinate a zucchini. I hand pollinated one this morning.

Added some grass clippings to the Cherry Tomato. It was looking a little yellow.

An update on the experiment: We had a pretty good wind storm today from some thunderstorms that were happening south of us. It blew off the 5 Styrofoam cups I had. However, in cleaning up the mess, I noticed the beans in the dirt had sprouted. So, it works. I put some more beans in a small container of water today and I will try to replant tomorrow.

The Better Boy Tomatoes are still flowering like crazy, but I did not notice any action on them except a small corn bee going around.

Well, did not get the herb bed built because Isaac was sick today. Maybe I will get to do it tomorrow.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Great Experiment - and an update

Well not much to update on tonight with the garden. Picked up the last of the dirt (hopefully) for the last bed, which will be an herb garden. Plan on putting basil, cilantro, dill and chives in it to start, along with some other some other seeds I have but can't remember while I am sitting at my computer. Isaac picked out some more tomatoes he wanted. (I will have to post that on our other blog) and I am going to have to find a spot for them.

Thinned the okra out to one plant from the small bunches that were growing.

Removed the Packman Broccoli from the small 4' x 4' bed. It had finished its course. We will, Lord willing, have some more at the end of July for a fall harvest.

I started an experiment tonight. In coming up with a list of all the vegetables we typically use in our household, I wanted to be able to say that I attempted to grow all of them in our small patch in the backyard. If you look at the "What We Are Growing" page you will see that there is quite a bit. There were a few beans that I could not find the seeds for: Black, Pinto, Great Northern, and Kidney. We like a lot of Chili in our house and we go through quite a bit of these. I looked for these seeds and looked. I read on a handful of websites that you could purchase off the shelf of a grocery store the dry beans that come in 1 lb bags or larger and use these for seeds if you soak them. Tonight, I planted 10 black bean seeds, 2 to a Styrofoam cup. I will have to keep you guys posted on how this goes.


Friday, June 3, 2011

1st Harvest!

Hello everyone out there. We have exciting news from the garden. We have had our first harvest from the garden. Tuesday night we had fresh zucchini cut straight from the garden and sauteed by Jocelyn.
This is the one I hand pollinated
This the one I showed you a picture of earlier

It was pretty exciting to get something from the garden. These two zukes were of the Fordhook variety. We also have some Black Beauty Zucchini's that are coming along and should be ready by Monday.
We only ate one. We are going to save the other for later
I am especially proud of one of these because it was one that I hand pollinated. I have hand pollinated all the others so far as well. Unfortunately, we have not had much bee activity in the garden to help out in the essentials of nature. I will probably post a how to on this when I finally get some pictures. I am hoping some pollinating insects will visit the tomato soon as they are blooming profusely.

Well hope everyone enjoyed this little achievement from the garden.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Plans

Hello Everyone out there.

Here is an update on the garden and what to expect this weekend. I am going to finish out the last of the beds this weekend so everything should be set. The plan is that we will build three more 4x4 beds to house peppers, squash, another type of tomato, and Isaac's pumpkins. I also will be building a small bed for an herb plot which I will be filling with basil, cilantro, dill, and some chives. Should be a pretty filled weekend.

Hopefully, there will not be any storms.

Everything continues to grow. I just wish the okra would grow a bit faster. I have re-seeded several plants and hope to squeeze them in before fall gets here.

Well hope to add some pictures tomorrow of our progress.

Joe Delk

Monday, May 23, 2011

Long Time - No Update

Hello everyone out there. Here is the latest update from the garden. Pictures will follow tonight.

We have had another tragedy in the garden and it is no one's fault but mine. I left to go on vacation and we had a heat wave here in Ringgold while I was gone. The casualties were severe in the garden. A list of them is below:

8 Poinsett Cucumbers
1 Cherry Tomato Plant
6 Silver Queen Corn Plants - Not dead but look terrible
1 Sumter Cucumber Plant
All of the Midnight in Moscow seedlings
Isaac's Pumpkins
The Squash that was still in cups
The Better Boy Tomatoes that were still in cups

It was hard to see this but I blame myself. Luckily, thanks to Bonnie Plants, we have replaced most of the damage and have added a few more. I must say if I have learned one thing from all of this, planting from seeds is cheaper but a lot harder.

The Better Boy Tomatoes are still doing good. One of them now has a stake to hold it up. I will probably replace the stake with a string trellis this weekend. I have already had to prune back the blooms on all the plants twice already and one them three times. I think this will be the last though because I want them to get some height before they start to fruit.

The Fordhook Zucchinis are doing well with the exception of one plant (it is still small). I did find last night that there were three female flowers on it now and that is a good thing because that means three zucchinis will be ready for harvest next week.

Zucchinis Growing !

Clemson Okra is still growing but it is painfully slow. I planted three Bonnie Plant ones a few nights ago to help fill in the gap.

Bonnie is in the center of the ones I started

The beans plants are going well, however, half of the seeds failed to germinate. I will also have to build a trellis for them as well. The Silver Queen Corn is still alive but will probably have to be replaced. I will try and sow some more of those tonight or tomorrow.

Beans and Corn!

I planted 6 Straight Eight cucumber plants yesterday to replace the 8 Poinsetts that were lost and hopefully they will do well.

The Straight 8's with the wilted Poinsetts

A side note, my first attempt at growing roses has been well. We have already had 2 beautiful rose blooms and are working on the third and fourth ones. I will have to get pictures of those. The two marigold plants are doing wonderful but are started to get crowded out by the zucchinis. The Zinnia plants are also doing well.

Sunbright Rose Bloom

Marigold Growing

Jocelyn's 1st Zucchini - It's a baby

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26, 2011 Update

Hello everybody out there. Today I bought the lumber I need for the final bed. I will buy some of the dirt tomorrow on my way home from work and hopefully build some of it. I really need to do this because of the pumpkins and get them in the ground so they can grow.

I also need to get this bed built so I can get spots for the final tomatoes and the last of the squash that I have.

The Chianti Rose and the Amish Paste and the Midnight in Moscow have all sprouted and are doing well. The Chianti Rose really surprised me today because three little sprouts popped up. It won't be long until I will have to thin them.

The two Zucchinis and the Cauliflower that Andy weeded are showing some signs of stress. Hopefully, they will make it through, but I may have lost three plants to little hands.

That is it for today. Hopefully God will allow everything to keep on growing.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011 Update

Well there is a lot going on in the garden. So here is a quick recap. Pictures are included where available.

Finished the last 6' x 6' bed over the weekend and it is already full. I decided tonight that I really screwed up in my planning and over planted. I guess that is a good thing if I keep at it. I will need to build one final bed. This one will run the length of two of the 6' x 6' beds and will be the final holding place for my vegetables.

How things are growing:

Let's start with the little 4' x 4'. The broccoli is doing quite nice. Another head has started on it and it will not be long until Abby gets to have some more broccoli.

Packman Broccoli - still going strong
Abby's future garden snack

The Avens seems to have done its thing. It is simply building up foliage and not putting out any more flowers. Being as it is a perennial, I guess we will see what it does next year.

The Better Boy Tomatoes are still growing. I put stakes out next to them tonight. It will not be long until I will have to start staking them. I think I will build a twine trellis for them to grow up once they get going. I had to prune back some buds tonight to promote some more growth out of them before they start flowering.

Bed # 1 of the 6' x 6'. The Marigolds are still putting out some pretty blooms. They appear to be doing well.

The Zucchini is still growing. One of the ones in the back is showing some yellow on the edge of its leaves, but I think that had to do more with the fact we reached almost 90 today and it is still a young plant.

The Zinnia flowers are still growing some. Not much additional growth but they are going.

The Better Boy Tomato plant is also doing well in this bed. I also had to pluck some emerging buds from this one as well to keep it growing and not flowering.

Of the three Dixie Hybrid Squash I put in this bed, only two remain. I damaged one of them transplanting it to a Styrofoam cup and it never fully recovered. The first day it was in the ground it wilted and I soon plucked it out. I will probably replace it with a pepper plant in the near future.

Isaac went crazy Saturday for some Cauliflower. He wanted them really bad when we went to Walmart on Saturday. So I popped for the $1.75 and we bought some White Cloud Hybrid Cauliflower. We planted one in the first 6' x 6' bed and it is doing fine. We planted it Saturday night when it was cool.

Bed #2 of the 6' x 6'. In this bed I have the pride of our garden so far. 11 little Okra plants. I planted them from the Styrofoam cups and they are continuing to do well. They have added about a 1/2 inch of growth since the were moved last week.

Grow little Okra Grow!

I have also planted the four cherry tomatoes in this bed. They are doing well since they were just moved last Saturday night. Hopefully I can have some progress on their growth next week. Right now, still doing well.

In this bed there is also two more of the Cauliflower that Isaac wanted. They seem to have survived transplanting and are doing well. One even survived the tragic encounter with Andy's weeding ability. He also "weeded" two of the Okra plants as well, but they have survived so far.

Hopefully we will have some pictures of the 2nd 6' x 6' bed soon.

Bed #3 of the 6' x 6'. This one was just built on Friday and already it is full. How amazing is that! In this bed we have the 8 Poinsett Cucumber plants. They are doing well and have even showed some signs of growth since Friday via extra leaves that have popped out. I also will be building a twin trellis for these guys as well to grow up. I will be securing this to sides of the bed with the boards I got at work.

Isaac posing like the crazy gardener he is

In the back of this bed is the little project the kids are most excited about: Corn. Each of the kids got to plant 2 seeds of corn in Styrofoam cups. Each cup had their name on it and the plants are transplanted in the order of birth. All of them are doing well and showed additional leaves today.

Picture of one of Isaac's corn

Last but not least, planted along with the corn are Kentucky Pole Beans. I planted these the way we used to plant them when I was younger. This will allow them to climb up the corn once they have sprouted. I soaked them overnight in water to help them germinate. I should start to see little bean sprouts by this weekend if not before.

We also planted off to the side of this bed some more green beans that I will have to support with a twine trellis as well.

Out side the beds. Isaac's Strawberry is still going. I will re-purpose one end of the long additional bed I am going to build with his Strawberry plant in the fall. Right now it cracks me up because we have some wild Strawberries growing next to the house and Isaac likes to go and pick those and then sneak off and eat them.

Isaac staring at his All Star Strawberry
Isaac's Pumpkins growing

Right now all egg cartons are empty and disposed of. What germinated and took off I have moved to Styrofoam cups and are awaiting their day to grow big enough to be moved to their own bed. In these, I have Isaac's Pumpkins, which are going to force me to build the new bed quickly due to their size, three Roma Tomato Plants, one Better Boy Tomato plant (you may remember the tragedy of the other day) and the heirloom tomato plants. Three of the Midnight in Moscow plants have sprouted. Still waiting on the Chianti Rose and the Amish Paste Tomato.

Well I would say that is a good enough update for now. ... Almost forgot, the roses are still doing well. I have a Sunbright Yellow Rose and a Chrysler Imperial Red Rose. Both are showing signs of new growth and have really darkened their leaves. Hopefully they will continue since this is my first foray into rose gardening.

Sunbright Yellow Rose
Chrysler Imperial Rose

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Update - April 20,2011

Hello everyone. Here is an update from the garden. The Better Boy Tomatoes are still doing well. The Fordhook Zucchini plants have transplanted are doing well. Abby's broccoli is still growing as well. and has now sprouted its second small head. I will need to prune it soon and Abby will have some more broccoli to eat.

The seedlings are still doing well and I will probably transplant the okra to its permanent home this weekend. We will probably get a lot of production out of them. I am looking forward to this. They will go in the second 6' x 6' bed.

I transplanted the Zinnia transplants tonight to their permanent home. They are positioned next to the marigolds in the first 6' x 6' bed. These should entice several pollinating insects to the garden. If that does not entice them enough, I scored a good deal last night at Aldi. They were selling rose plants at a steeply discounted price. I got two rose plants for $2.99 each. If they work out great, if they do not, well I am out $6.

The second egg carton I started that had the pepper seeds in them are not doing anything yet except the Crooked Neck Squash which is sprouting its first head through the dirt. All three are looking good.

The tragedy that happened a few days ago was not as bad as it could have been. I did lose three of the Better Boy seedlings but two of the Roma tomatoes survived unscathed. Hopefully, they will be ready for transplanted soon for Styrofoam cups.

I also have another project I have to do this week. I need to build a couple of 4'x4' beds for Isaac's pumpkins. They are doing really good in their Styrofoam cups but they will need to be transplanted soon.

Still nothing from the Silver Queen corn, the heirloom tomatoes and other seeds started this week.

That's it for now.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Tragedy in Joe's Garden

We had a tragedy in Joe's Garden today. The small Roma and Better Boy seedlings that were going well were scorched today because I negligently left them outside to get some sun....all day. Luckily I noticed the mistake when I got home and quickly brought them inside and doused them with water. Within 30 minutes, the two Roma seedlings were back up to their normal selves but only one of the Better Boy Seedlings was back. The others were tragically lost. I quess I tried to harden them too much.

On the plus side, I did sow some of the heirloom seedlings I got in the mail. I planted two Styrofoam cups of the Amish Paste Tomato, two of the Chianti Rose Tomato, and four of the Midnight in Moscow Tomatoes. Two of these are for some guys at work that I talk about planting with. We will have to follow their progress to see how they do.

April 18, 2011 Update

Hello everyone out there. Just a quick update.

1. Cleared out the ground for the third and finally 6'x6' bed yesterday. Looking to build it tonight and then start filling it with dirt. Had some great help from a little helper named Abby.

Abby helping clear dirt

2. Abby and I moved the five Fordhook Zucchini and two Dark Beauty Zucchini to the 1st 6'x6' bed last night. They are now in their permanent home.

Fordhook Zucchini in its permanent home

1st  6' x 6' bed taking shape

3. Also moved the Dixie Hybrid Yellow Squash to Styrofoam cups. This was not that succesful though and I have worried they will wilt today. But we will have to see. If they do I will simply plant them in the beds.

Just a quick update.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 16, 2011 Update

Hello everyone out there again. The plants are doing great so far. Everything that was transplanted is doing fine and the Better Boy Tomatoes are still growing. The broccoli has started to form another head on it so hopefully Abby will have another bunch of broccoli to eat soon.

The seeds in the egg cartons have germinated and are sprouting up. My Dixie Hybrid Yellow Squash is truly amazing. It is now some 5" tall. I will transplant it to Styrofoam cups tomorrow. I did have a casualty in them as one of the spaces did not sprout. Again, I think it was due to too much water.

The Better Boy Tomatoes and the Roma Tomatoes are all sprouting up. I will need to thin the Better Boys within the next few days to insure that the strongest survive.

Did actually add some more plants to the mix tonight. I let Isaac, Abby and Andy plant some Silver Queen Hybrid Corn. We planted six seeds and put their name on it. I will have to let you know their progress. Also, added another egg carton full of seeds last night. Planted 3 Crooked Necked Yellow Squash, 3 Cayenne Red Peppers, 3 California Green Peppers, and 3 Jalapeno Peppers. I will also have to let you know the progress on them.

Abby and I attended a compost lesson today at Crabtree Farms. Learned a lot about composting and the wonder of getting free dirt.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What I am growing

Hello Everyone!

I thought I would give you a quick update on what I am growing in the garden and where it stands right now.

1. Clemson Spineless #80 Okra.  I have these 11 little guys in Styrofoam cups right now to let them grow some. These will be laid out in one of the three 6x6 beds, crowded in some with a variety of tomatoes. This picture was taken on 4/10.

Okra in the Styrofoam Cups

2. Better Boy Tomato Hybrid. These are indeterminate plants, which means that they produce tomatoes all season long as long as I keep them pruned. I have 3 of these little guys planted in the 4x4 bed and 1 in one of in the 6x6 bed. It may be a little crowded once they take off but I plan on allowing these guys to grow up, instead of out. I have seen some people say that these can grow up to 7' high. We will have to see how they do in my garden. I did not start these guys from seed, but instead purchased them from Walmart.

Better Boy Hybrid Tomato

3. All Star Strawberry. Isaac really wanted this for some odd reason when we went to Home Depot one Sunday after church. He was so set on it I let him buy it and we came home and we planted it in a small container. It probably will not produce much in the way of strawberries this year, but if we take care of it and let it grow (and move it to a bed in the fall) we should have a good crop of strawberries in 2012.

All-Star Strawberry

4. One Packman Broccoli Plant. Unlike its yellow '80s arcade namesake (I am positive it was not named after that) it is doing pretty good and has already sprouted one small bunch of florets. Abby promptly ate it when I cut it back to prevent the plant from stunting its growth. Hopefully we will get a lot more out of this one. I will need to be on the lookout though for root grubs so they won't kill it. 

Packman Broccoli

5. Cherry Red Tomato. These also are Indeterminate plants. I have 4 of these planted now and they are progressing nicely. This picture was taken on 4/10 and already they have doubled their leaves. A few more weeks and I can move them to their permanent home in one of the 6x6 beds with the okra. These also will be grown up instead of out. I have also read that these can also grow to considerable height.
Cherry Red Tomato Seedling

6. Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkins. Not really looking for any kind of edible fruit from these two small plants but I am hoping that when the fall gets here that Isaac, Abby and Andy will have some nice pumpkins to carve for Halloween. Isaac was very keen on these. He did, however, not like the seed packets with a carved Jack-O-Lantern on them. He said it was too scary.
Isaac's Pumpkin's - Jack-O-Lantern

7. Fordhook Zucchini. These are mostly for Jocelyn, however, I hope they do well because there is nothing better than fried zucchini. I have 5 of these guys currently growing in Styrofoam cups. Of the 6 seeds I started in an old egg carton, 5 of them survived. Right now they are starting to get their second set of leaves. This picture was taken on 4/10.

Fordhook Zucchini

I have several other vegetables I am working on now, but I will have to get pictures of them tomorrow or Thursday. Here is a list of what else is growing right now.

Poinsett Cucumbers - 8 plants going right now, in Styrofoam cups
Dark Beauty Zucchini - 2 plants going right now, in Styrofoam cups
Zinnia Flowers - 4 plants going right now in Styrofoam cups
Sumter Cucumber - 1 plant in Styrofoam cup and one in a seed tray that I need to transplant to a cup.

I have some more seeds sown in a couple of used yogurt containers and a used egg carton.
Dixie Hybrid Yellow Squash - 4 seeds
More Better Boy Tomatoes - 4 seeds
Roma Tomatoes - 4 seeds.

My next plans are to sow some corn and beans and then plant some pepper seeds (green and red bell and some cayenne and jalapeno). I also have plans to sow some egg plant seeds and some more yellow squash and zucchinis. I have two heirloom tomato seed packets ordered but they will not be here until next week. One of the heirloom tomato plants is called Midnight in Moscow. It is a "black" tomato whose fruits are in the shape of a heart when you cut them. The other is a Blue Ridge Mountain heirloom that makes some Beefsteak type tomatoes that weigh up to 2 lbs.

Hopefully we will have another update tomorrow.

Joe Delk

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Joe's Garden

Hello everyone out there in Internet-land. This is Joe Delk and I have a garden. Or more aptly I am starting a garden. I plan on posting the progress of this garden here on the blog and letting everyone out there see it and put some input on it. Mostly I would like to get back to the tradition of growing some of my family's own food and share with others as the harvest allows.

I also want to tell everyone what I am doing and how it is going. I want to post pictures as well of what I am doing. Since we don't have much of a backyard, I plan on utilizing as much as possible the space we have and seeing which does best. Hopefully readers of this blog will tell me tips they have learned and what works best.

Thanks for stopping by and check back for updates regularly.

Joe Delk