as the garden grows

Thursday, July 29, 2010
I got a late start to gardening this year because I didn't know if I was going to put one in. I think it was close to the end of June before I put in any seeds or already-started plants. I ended up buying my plants because I'd obviously left it too late to start my own.

I use the square-foot gardening method and have four raised beds which are roughly 4x5 (feet) each and one smaller, roughly 2x4, bed that I put in last year for potatoes. I also always end up using a few planters and pots for overflow. This year I used two pots on the patio, one for a cherry tomato and one for two hot banana pepper plants. The other peppers (four plants each of red and yellow bells and two more hot bananas) went into one of the main raised beds. I have never had much luck growing peppers. I think I managed to get one hot pepper off my plants last year and I probably had the same amount of plants in as I do this year.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that my patio-potted peppers were doing so much better than the peppers in the garden (which weren't doing much at all) so I checked on my favourite garden forum and learned that peppers love very warm soil. Apparently warmer than my fairly warm raised beds. So I transplanted them all to pots and now I'm just playing the waiting game. So far they look alright. Or at least they don't look worse. They are small but healthy. My two original patio'd peppers are going strong with at least 12 good-sized peppers and more little ones just beginning.

In the background against the house is a thriving tomato plant, variety unknown, which my mom found growing through one of the cracks between the patio bricks. I have no idea how it got there or why it's doing so well or why its colour is so much deeper and richer than the ones in the garden and patio container. It's under the roof overhang so never gets watered from above, gets only a few hours of sunlight in the morning as noon sees the sun directly over the house and heading towards the front yard, and I haven't been able to figure out how to support it very well. The minimal support it had was a bamboo stake jammed into another crack in the bricks and held in place by an 8x2x12' board. That board along with an 8x2x8' and the lattice in the picture became the new edging in a flower garden in the backyard.


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