Meet my new “garden coaching” subjects. Justin and Eyry have decided to start a garden (yipee!) and have graciously accepted my offer to help, so long as I can take pictures and post online. No problem. Now they’ll tell you they’re novice gardeners, but one look at their new plot and you’ll cross your arms and knit your brow and say, sure they are…
Okay. Those are some gorgeously formed beds, I’ll give you that–but they’re not that hard to make. Seriously. Not when you have the right tools, they’re not. And I’m not talking about a well-trained husband–as shown above–I’m talking gas-powered tiller! More
Yesterday morning I strolled out to the garden, ready for a day of transplanting tomatoes and peppers. You may recall I started my seed trays a month or so back and now felt ready to settle the little darlings into their new home. The kids had their cousins over for a sleepover and I’d enlisted their help. Gardening is BIG fun for those kids without their own garden at home (though I was pleased to learn their public school has a garden). As we strolled down the rows, tomato trays in hand, we stopped short. There, in the middle of my perfectly lined walkway was a pile of mud. Looking further, we noticed the entire end of squash were washed out. I mean, seriously washed out.
For a first time gardener, Tami is doing AWESOME. In this bed you can see her plants look great—squash, peppers, tomatoes and basil are all thriving together in harmony. If you remember, she planted the basil right in between her tomatoes, because these two make wonderful companions in the garden. Funny, they make wonderful companions on the dinner plate, too. Coincidence?
She’s pinched tomato suckers and pulled basil flower heads to keep these two healthy and happy. To continue this progress, she can prune her tomatoes once they begin to grow past the top of her tomato cage. This will also help to keep them full and strong.
The next bed over is residence to her okra and lettuce AND her first harvest. Already! Can you believe it?
Okra and lettuce make great companions, especially here in Central Florida because the canopy of the okra shades the more delicate lettuce leaves allowing them to flourish with ease. (I’m about ready for a salad. Anyone else?)
Upon closer inspection, we notice remnant damage on her okra leaf from the aphids and ant battle. Not sure if this is from the diatomaceous earth of the aphids sucking the life out of the plant. Will have to get back to you on that one. But the plants appear to be fine in general, with no lasting trauma.
Next up is our pole beans which suspiciously resemble bush beans. Now these varieties can produce very similar bean pods, but the big clue? No climbers.
Hmph. Never know what’s in these bags we buy these days. Remember our weed plant inside the blueberry? It happens. Course in my garden it’s usually do the fact that I occasionally forget what I’m planting where—despite my fabulous excel program! Sheesh. Yet another reason to become self-sustaining! (Just keep your brain cells more organized than mine.)
Go figure. Anyhoo, everything looks great. Beans are plump and her cucumber and watermelon are bursting with life from their in ground “hill” site.