Vegetable and home garden update- What’s working, what’s not

First tomato of the season

Well, folks… I’m happy to report our very first heirloom tomato is growing! Before we know it, we’ll be enjoying the fruits of our labor and biting into a big, fat, juicy tomato. Now that it’s been a couple of weeks, I thought it’d be a good opportunity to give a “progress report” on our seedlings. Should I start with the good news or the bad news? Good news, of course. Let’s take a look at what is flourishing:

1. Tomatoes- Two of our four tomato plants have yellow flowers. This means the plants will soon start bearing fruit.

2. Green beans- These are doing great in our home garden, but we only have 6-8 plants in our vegetable garden. Between the two sites, we should have plenty of beans and I’m not worried about it. I actually didn’t plant that many in our vegetable garden anyway, so our yield is doing just fine.

3. Snap peas- Holy cow they’re growing! Looks like almost every seed turned into a plant.

4. Cucumbers- We have three strong, healthy cucumber plants in the garden.

5. Zucchini- The success of our zucchini shouldn’t come as a surprise. These are pretty easy to grow. But…I planted them and it worked so woohoo!

6. Summer Squash- I’ll reiterate my last point about the zucchini here. These are also pretty easy to grow, but growing they are!

7. Watermelon- We have three watermelon seedlings. I’ll have to figure out the typical yield per plant, but I’m sure this will give us enough for the season. Then again, the little baby growing inside me craves watermelon more than anything else so I’m sure I’ll be buying more at the store to keep this baby happy.

8. Dahlias- I am SO excited about these. Every single tuber is growing, and some of them are over a foot tall. I freaked out at first, thinking three of our plants had been eaten by an animal or just weren’t working, but patience has paid off and now I’m more than encouraged by their progress. After some research and knowledge from my expert gardening mother, I learned that dahlias can grow at very different rates. We have some plants that are an inch tall, and others that are enormous. This is okay and nothing to be concerned about. Yippee!

9. Nasturtiums and marigolds- Both of them are on their way! The marigolds are mainly to deter pests from the garden, but I won’t complain when we get some pretty blooms. And the nasturtium also deter pests, but I pretty much only planted them because I got the seeds for free and I figured “why not?”


Onto the “bad” news, or the not-so-successful plants. Dun dun dun…

1. June bearing strawberries- Unfortunately I made a couple of rookie mistakes and I’m not holding my breath for any homegrown strawberries this year. You can buy strawberry plants in a couple of ways: the bare roots (what I did) or the strawberry plant already growing. A lot of people stay away from the bare roots because they’re more work and not always as successful, but they are also a lot cheaper and I like the satisfaction of saying “I grew those from scratch!” Well… I followed the instructions on the bag and now, since I still have no evidence of any plant whatsoever, I’m starting to question their viability. It turns out a lot of people soak the roots in warm water before planting. Since you’re buying the roots in their dormant state, this “wakes them up.” Maybe our plants are still dormant. But more likely: I killed them. Not on purpose, of course. But even more important than “waking them up” is not burying the crown. I definitely buried the crowns. No one ever told me not to. Apparently when you bury the crowns, the plant will rot. Today I dug up the strawberry roots in our hanging baskets and re-planted the with their crowns exposed, figuring I have nothing to lose. They don’t feel soft, mushy, or rotten yet. I’ll do the same when I go back to our garden plot in the next couple of days.

2. Onions- Again.. I very well might have messed these ones up. You see, when onions start growing they look a heck of a lot like weeds. And since I’ve done a ton of weeding, I may have accidentally yanked them out of the ground. I don’t think I did this, but it’s definitely a possibility.

Well, there you have it! I’m pleased with the progress in our garden so far. Aside from the strawberries, I really have no regrets. And we all learn from our mistakes, right? 🙂


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