Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Works For Me Wednesday-Scaling Back The Garden

Hey everyone! Even if your *cough* help doesn't look like this...
There are some years you might not be as into gardening as others. This is one of those years for me. But I heard more than once that I had to do something, so on a beautiful Saturday I did decide to skinny up the garden to way less than 1/3 the size it normally is and plant a few things.
While this won't make the cover of BHG magazine, I'm using it as a test model to see if I miss the bigger garden and also to see if I want to build more of the raised beds the cukes are in. I'm also curious about the container plants, if they do well, that's a nice alternative to turning over (and weeding) a big garden. So, here are my notes on what's happening so far:
  • The tomato is called Super Bush and it is (please forgive me:@) happier than a pig in mud! That is one sturdy, ambitious little plant!
  • The zuke is doing well. Just hope to keep the cucumber beetles away, they destroyed them last year.
  • Green Beans, so here's the deal... It turns out I'm a bit of a hoarder, a seed hoarder! Never realized it until my son asked to see what I had and pulled about 8 packs of string bean seeds out of my closet. This first batch of beans was dated 2009, only a few came up so I did replant some newer ones. Believe it or not I found cucumber seeds dated 2004! I have gone through and thrown everything over 2 years old out-head hanging in shame.
  • Yellow flying saucer squash came up and I'm thrilled! I put 4 seeds in this pot and the birds snipped 2 off grrrrr, that's why the flag is there now, as a deterrent. This is the best summer squash in this reporter's opinion. It's meatier than zucchini, you can pick it anywhere from 1" to 4" and it's great! The little ones are gorgeous on shish-ka-bobs and the larger ones are very nice diced with zukes and steamed, then lightly mashed with butter and S&P-super simple and great!
  • My rhubarb is a good 4 years old now and I'm truly glad I have it. Even if I did away with the garden site I'd still have a clump of rhubarb growing in the middle of the yard! 
  • Thyme is in the barrel to try to help it behave... it's 2 years old and does like to sprawl...
  • Rosemary does well in Philly, especially when we have mild winters (I'm sure the ultra humid summers help too). When it snows a lot it's treated as an annual.
  • This is the first year I've only planted one basil plant, usually it's a six pack. So I'll truly find out if I miss it or not!
  • The chives are well established and I just cut them back to encourage more growth. I find that they will regrow nicely but don't remember if they bloom again (I think they do)... If yes, I'd like to make some more chive blossom vinegar.
  • This parsley has wintered over and is in it's second year. It keeps trying to bolt and I cut the stems with blooms off. I'm hoping it will last through this summer and I'll replace it next spring.
  • I have to admit that I planted the sage for one specific recipe and the plant was cheaper than cut fresh sage at the store. So it wasn't planted in "prime real estate" and it's kinda on it's own. We'll see how it does.
  • This is the first time I've planted cilantro, I'm sooooo hoping I decide I love it and start to use it often. 
So that's how I've scaled back this year, a much smaller area that's easier to water and hopefully weed.
How about you, did you go big or small, or decide to take the year off?
Have a great day:@)

32 comments:

  1. i don't garden, but 'hi, earl!' :)

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  2. what a cutie Earl is.. looks happy there too. my garden is in pots so you are way ahead of me.

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  3. What a lovely garden! My grandmother always grew rhubarb for jelly. I had a garden one year and discovered that I'd rather get my okra from Publix than have to itch all day after picking it! Plus, I had so many cukes that the neighbors started pulling their shades when they saw me coming to give them yet another bag of them! lol Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

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  4. That is a nice little garden patch, Lynn. I think you have all the basics. I kind of miss the zucchini blossoms when I grew them, but I can find them in the store (but they are price-y). xo

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  5. Nice little area Lynn. I've just planted 4 tomato plants. Last year was horrible! I've got 2 heirloom varieties, one Celebrity and one Roma. Bush pickle cucs and one eggplant and two basil. Let's hope we have a good crop this year!

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  6. That is a BEAUTIFUL garden. Love herbs. Sandie

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  7. A beautiful garden you have there and I'm quite jealous. Would love to be able to walk out my back door and select my own fresh foods for dinner. YUM!

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  8. Love your smaller garden. None for me this year since I'm away from home so much. I do miss fresh herbs and tomatoes! hugs, Linda

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  9. Hi Lynn! What a wonderful garden you have! Love your raised bed and your little stepping stones. Your plants look great and you do have the cutest Help of anyone! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    shelia ;)

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  10. I planted a ton this year, and I'm crossing my fingers because last year I lost so much to those dang cucumber beetles...do you have any idea how to keep them away??

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    1. I don't know of anything organic, if someone else does I'd love to hear about it too:@)

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  11. Looking good! At least you have something growing this season!

    You've seen my garden. I upped it a bit this year from last year. I do have a question for you... What do you do with flowering basil? Do I leave the flowers? Should I cut them off when they're done flowering? This is my first time growing herbs. Also, my dill has gone mad! It shot up like crazy. Can I trim it back to get it fuller?

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    1. Make sure you keep the basil flowers cut way back. Plants will put their energy into either making flowers (and ultimately seeds) or leaves. Don't even let them bloom, just keep cutting that growth off. And don't be afraid to use your basil, even snip a little just for garnish, that will help it grow fuller.
      Unfortunately I've never had luck growing dill, love it though:@)

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  12. Lynn, I think you have a fabulous garden. It is neat, organized, growing, pretty and has some great architectural elements! Please keep showing us pictures as it grows!

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  13. You have done a great job of packing so much into your well planned area. We also had to cut our garden back to make a new chicken 'wing' to give them a bit more room. I have a basket full of seeds that are from...who knows what year until I did through and also hang my head in shame, and then I plant them anyway, unless it is something that I have to have, like my pole beans. - Great post, love seeing your garden! xo

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  14. I think your garden looks great! My hubby gardens at a friend's yard, but they scaled back this year because of our severe drought last year in Texas and our water restrictions. The flying saucer squash sounds really interesting. I will need to tell them about that. My basil that I had in a pot was eaten by the bunnies in our neighborhood. I guess they're Italian rabbits!!

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  15. We went bigger this year. I have raised beds. But added a 12 feet x 18 feet garden on our side lot. We will find out if I made a mistake come canning time.

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  16. It looks a thousand times prettier than ours. Ours has no loveliness and looks like three big graves. I need to take a page out of your book and combine some pots and stuff in there.

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  17. Love your smaller garden. I had to pretty much give up the garden this year, except for herbs in pots but hoping for next year.

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  18. You've got a great manageable garden! Only gardening here now is flowers that do well in shade. Way too many huge trees for a vegetable garden and I really miss it!!! Happy gardening!!!

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  19. I love the size of your garden. You fit things in so nicely. Cilantro is a funny herb, you either love it or you don't. It took me ten years to get accustomed to it and now I love it.

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  20. I love the raised beds you have! Your garden looks very nice! Ours got bigger this year....I blogged about it here... http://hippiedogcompany.blogspot.com/2012/06/our-garden.html

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  21. Your garden looks great, I will be watching to see how you like the smaller area's. Our garden's are still fairly large, some of my friends call it a truck farm and I am sure that someday we will have to scale it back. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week!
    Miz Helen

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  22. That's a great size garden and I will be very interested to hear if you are happy with it. It looks so neat and organized. Good luck with the cilantro. I'm down to one tomato plant and a few herbs.

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  23. You've made me feel SO GUILTY about not have an edible garden...I used to have HUGE Veggie Gardens when my boys were growing up but now, I've converted to "FLOWERS"! I do miss it though. LOVE Earls little garden hat. "WHAT A HAM"!!!
    Have a fun week,
    Big Hugs,
    Donna

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  24. Your garden is about the same size as mine, Lynn, only everything I grow is in containers as I have only cement or a wooden deck in my little city backyard. Even small gardens can keep us busy, right? It's worth it for fresh herbs and some veggies ;)

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  25. Now this looks like the perfect size to me. You've got a little bit of everything and I hope you can enjoy and relax a little more than last year. Hopefully you can keep Earl out of it too!

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  26. I am going to have to run back and check your hummus with peanut butter as I just bought tahini the other day for hummus and about choked! It looks like a fabulous little garden filled with lots of things. As far as cilantro goes, it is a cold weather plant like spinach so it might not do too well, but I like to let it go to seed and then let the seeds blow where they may and they start up in the spring. Mine is fabulous this year - the best ever with big full plants and they haven't shot up and tried to seed so quickly so the weather must have been perfect this year - so what I am sayiee ng is that if it isn't successful because it is late in the season, just let it go to see and see what happens next spring.

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  27. I love your garden layout. With left our garden to michelle this year....there are about 10 plants total.
    Happy Thursday!!

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  28. Earl, Earl quite grunt-rary, how does your garden grow? Waaaaay better than mine, that's how!

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  29. Even a small garden can be very productive. Our garden isn't very big at all, but we are getting plenty for us & plenty to share. I'd love raised beds & we may do that next year.
    CAS

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  30. Hi Lynn, Gardening is a lot of work, but it looks like you will get quite a bit even from your smaller area. Somedays I wish mine were smaller; to be quite honest, it's not the process (of gardening) that I enjoy; it's the results. Have a great wknd, Lynn, and enjoy those herbs. Soon enough you'll be enjoying fresh vegetables as well!

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Thanks for stopping by!