Thursday, May 16, 2013

Flowers and Companions

A couple of my vegetables are flowering.  I also bought my wife some flowers for Mother's day, as this is her first Mother's day, and I think that flowers are very representative of fertility and reproduction.

Here is a hanging flow basket of purple flowers that I bought Brooke for Mother's day.  I don't remember their names.

Some of the flowers we planted were French Marigolds.  They are good companion plants with tomatoes, as they attract pollinators and are supposed to repel some pests.

Here is our Siberian Tomato plant with its companion French Marigold.

More Marigolds!

Our beautiful Borage continues to bloom.  Borage is another excellent companion for tomatoes.  It also works well with squash.  Borage attracts bees and predatory wasps and repel moths.

Our pea plants are growing tall, but the coolest thing going on with them is that they have...

flowers!!! They are also growing little pea pods.

We have Periwinkle plants creeping in from the neighbor's yard.  It is everywhere.  It is very invasive and is growing rapidly.

The blackberry bare roots are almost done blooming.

The cherry trees no longer have flowers, but they do have little fruits!

Here are some white flowers that I think are white garlic growing in the corner of my yard.

We have a single apricot.

Some baby apples.
Some blossoms from the neighbor's tree.  Does anyone know what type of tree this is?


Our grape vines are growing fast.

We harvested some radishes!!!  Brooke says they were super spicy.

Our tomatoes are not flowering yet, but they are growing fast.  These are my fig tomatoes.

I made a trellis for my cucumber plants.

Within 15 minutes of putting in the trellis, the cucumbers started grasping on.


Companion planting is an excellent way of diversifying a garden, to help prevent it from being prone to being wiped out by pests.  I found a few good companion plant resources.

The Wiki on companion plants is awesome:

This is an excellent companion grid.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Plant Sales, World Naked Gardening Day, and Mulch!

I hope you all have enjoyed world naked gardening day!  Thanks to Carly for giving me another reason for exhibitionism!  I would include the link to the official wngd (.org) website, but there are sooo many naked people on it.

Am I naked in this photo?  Only my neighbors know.


Yesterday, Brooke and I attended the annual Red Butte Garden plant sale.  Although I have some qualms with Red Butte Garden, I have to commend their plant sale.  It's huge!  It had a large variety of plants, including native Utah species! 

While the Red Butte Garden plant sale was nice, I STRONGLY URGE you to attend the upcoming Wasatch Community Gardens Plant Sale on Saturaday, May 11th from 8am-1pm at Rowland Hall.  It has some excellent plants, and the proceeds go to an excellent organization.


We bought two varieties of pepper, Golden Bell and Purple Beauties.   I am very excited.

This herb with the beautiful blue flowers is Borage! It is an excellent insect-repelling companion plant with squash and tomatoes.  We bought and planted three today.

Our first year attempting cantaloupe.  I hope it gets along with squash, because I didn't check.  I should have made a better garden plan.

Here are our squash plants.  We bought and planted a butternut squash and a spaghetti squash plant.  I hope to grow these vertically.

Squash, borage, and cantaloupe.

I plan to buy most of my tomatoes from the highly anticipated Wasatch Community Gardens plant sale, but this one was interesting.  It is a Siberian Tomato.  It is supposed to be able to handle really low temps (~35F).


You might notice something new in all of my garden pictures.  It's straw that I am using as mulch.  Mulch is a gardener's best friend.

Mulch retains moisture, reduces erosion, eliminates soil compaction, and deters weeds.

The NRCS webpage on mulch suggests applying mulch after your soil has warmed up a bit in the spring.

Organic Gardening has a good list of types of mulch for your garden and the pros and cons of each.  I went with straw, because it is inexpensive and easily accessible.  The site warns that you should make you use a weed-free straw.  I bought my straw at the IFA, which I found was super close to my house,  so I am not sure if it is weed free.

The "for dummies" website also has a good comparison table.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Garden Update

It has been too long!  I have been working three jobs, so my blog has been suffering.  However, I do have time to give a quick update.

I harvested the first plants of the season!  Lettuce and kale.  Some of the leaves look like they have been munched on by something (snails?).

The beets and radishes are coming up!!!

One of my three pea plants died, but the other two are going strong.  Peas are more frost tolerant than I originally suspected.  Lets just hope that these last couple of cold nights hasn't stunted the peas.  I have a healthy pea plant growing inside to replace the dead one.

Here is my lettuce, kale, and spinach!  The lettuce wasn't quite ready for harvest.

There are mushrooms growing next to my garlic.  They are Peziza vesiculosa, aka Blister Cups.
I haven't found a source that indicates they are edible.

Here are some more of the same mushrooms.  These mushrooms are common in horse manure, which is the dominant composition of my garden.

I attempted to grow squash next to my greens, but a frost destroyed them all.  However, some parsley might be coming up (either that or weeds).  So far, the horse manure hasn't had many weeds.

Brooke is growing an herb garden.  In the round pots (counterclockwise starting in the foreground) is cilantro, oregano, and basil.  She also bought some basil and mint seedlings on sale at Whole Foods.  Supposedly, the mint grows like a weed, and can easily take over a space.

My harvest of greens!

Inside, I am growing eggplant (foreground), peppers, lavender, and tomatoes. 

The tomatoes are having a hard time getting enough water.

The eggplants are looking healthy.

A couple of my pepper seedlings are also doing well.

I am also growing two varieties of cucumber.  The seedlings are looking healthy.

The vine is my remaining pea plant.  I also have tomatoes in this picture.

So....that is it for the garden update.  I promise not to keep you hanging much longer.  I will finish one of my jobs in late June, but I will update before then.

I hope to talk about mushroom cultivation,  jumpstarting a compost pile, working with concrete, and other fun garden-esk topics.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Garden Update

My garden plot as of 4/2/2013

My containers.  Yesterday I planted two fig tomato plants in the one with the wall-o-water.
The garlic is doing well.
Root vegetables.  Most of what you can see in the picture are radishes.

Some kale.

Lettuce, spinach, and kale.  Some of the lettuce in the foreground is being eaten.  I think it is birds.
I put up a hawk decoy in attempt to deter some of the birds.  I don't know if it is working.