Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Put more vegetables out in the garden

My eggplants and bell peppers  have been out in the garden for a few weeks now and are doing well in their protective Wall 'O Waters and Cozy Coats.  In spite of all the rain we've been having, along with colder than normal temperatures, the plants have survived and even grown a bit.  Right about now I am SO thankful I made raised beds when I started this garden!  There's been at least an inch (and up to 4 inches) of water between the beds for the last few weeks.  I got a few decent days though and I was able to harden off my yellow bush beans, green beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes.  This year I'm planting the tomatoes between the peppers and eggplants, which means they'll also benefit from the warmth of the Wall 'O Waters.
Because it's been so cold and windy this spring I also wrapped a long sheet of plastic around the entire row for added protection. 

So far the little guys look pretty good.  The beans are planted in the middle row.  I set up a wire fence for them to climb before I planted them.  I was going to wait on nicer weather, but beans get so big, so fast!  I could practically watch them grow under the light!  They seem to be doing pretty good too, and have even started climbing their support after only a few days. 
That's my garlic that you see behind the beans.  It looks really good this year, and by midsummer I should be able to dig my first bulbs.  The onions I planted earlier this spring are getting bigger too.  I use onions and garlic in almost everything I cook, so it only makes sense to grow my own.
The cucumbers also have a fence to climb up for support.  I just used my old garden fence and cut it into the lengths I needed, then used stakes shoved deep into the dirt to secure it.  Another good thing about allowing the vegetables to climb is that they stay off the ground, which means fewer bugs and animals (like voles, my worst garden pest!) can get at them.  Air can circulate around the veggies better and that means less chance of rotting.  Plus they're easier to harvest and monitor when they're not on the ground, covered in leaves (and probably weeds).
I still have to put out my summer squash and zucchini, but I'm going to let them stay inside for a little longer.  I also started a second batch of beans so I'll have a longer harvest time.  Hopefully I can come back in a month or so and show you pictures of much larger plants, and maybe even a few veggies ;-)
Thanks for visiting my garden and watching it grow with me!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

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