Thursday, May 29, 2014

Veggie Patch on the Southern Exposure

Vegetable Garden Day 1: May 29, 2014

Today we planted seedlings: San Marzano, Heirloom Black Krim, sweet cherry and Juliet grape tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, and basil. I'm excited about growing my own food! (Special thanks to my friend, LN for the help, knowledge and secret ingredient pixie dust).

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. 

To nurture a garden is to feed, not just the body, but the soul" 

~ Alfred Austin

June 11: Day 13

First sign of progress -- baby summer squash 'embryos'! 

"All you need is faith, trust… and a little pixie dust!"
~ Peter Pan

June 14: Day 16 

The first grape tomato bambino appears. 
Zucchini & summer squash-lettes are multiplying and flowering.

"And the day came 
when the risk to remain tight in a bud 
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." 
~ Anais Nin

June 19: Day 21

After the rainstorm, everything shot up and out. 

"Into each life, some rain must fall" 
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

June 20: Day 22

Someone ate my little yellow squash blossoms. The 4' fence is great for keeping the deer out but apparently rabbits can limbo under fences. I was not prepared for that. So, I looked into some products, settled on Critter Ridder by Havahart, &  sprinkled some around the perimeter of the garden. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

"Man plans and God laughs" ~ Yiddish proverb

Product info:

How It Works:

Critter Ridder animal repellent uses a combination of 3 different types of pepper
Critter Ridder® animal repellent uses a powerful combination of 3 different types of pepper: oil of black pepper, piperine and capsaicin. But it is more effective than any old pepper repellent; this patented and proven formula works by immediately irritating nuisance animals after they smell, taste or touch areas treated with Critter Ridder® animal repellent. Animals experience a burning sensation that is much like biting into a red-hot jalapeno pepper. However, Critter Ridder® does not leave a scent that is offensive to humans.

The Perfect Natural Animal Repellent for Organic Gardeners
Critter Ridder® granules is an OMRI® Listed product that is approved for use in organic gardening. Many organic gardeners prefer Critter Ridder® as an alternative to chemical pesticides.

June 27: Day 29

June 29: Day 31

July 4: Day 35

July 9: Day 40:

July 20

While away vacationing in Mexico for the week, Dylan was home, in charge of watering the garden. I came home to exploding tomato plants, many new cucumber shoots, 2 ripe grape tomatoes and one ginormous zucchini. I loved having the cucumber in my salad and I must say, those little grape tomatoes were the best I've ever tasted.  :)

July 25

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment  just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. 
A.A. Milne

I call it, A-N-T-I-C-I-P-A-T-I-O-N!!!

July 26: Day 58

August 2

My San Marzanos look like they went 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.

I looked it up. Seems this is common:

(Found this info at bonnie


Dark spots on the bottom of tomatoes are caused by blossom-end rot.
If you see a dark, rotting spot on the bottom of your tomatoes, it’s blossom-end rot. 
This problem, caused by a calcium deficiency, can be solved a few ways.
When tomatoes, peppers, melons, and eggplant develop a sunken, rotten spot on the end of the fruit, 
the cause came long before you found the problem. It’s called blossom end rot, 
and here is why it happens.
Vegetables need calcium for healthy development. When tomatoes, peppers, melons, and eggplant can’t 
get enough from the soil, the tissues on the blossom end of the fruit break down. The calcium shortage 
may be because the soil lacks calcium, or calcium is present but is tied up in the soil chemistry because 
the pH is too low. Also, drought stress or moisture fluctuations can reduce its uptake into the plant. 
Another reason is that too much fertilizer causes the plant to grow so fast that the calcium can’t move
 into the plant quickly enough.

August 13

Today's harvest

August 18

Fresh basil added depth and flavor to this morning's spinach egg white omelet. 

I'm fascinated by how the vine wraps, clings and climbs and also manages to hold the heaviness of such a large cucumber. Nature never ceases to amaze me - especially little things like this. Don't even get me started about my intrigue with spiders and their webs.

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"
~ E.B. White

September 3