Ralph’s Guest Garden Update

Excerpting from a comment today…

My in the ground garden is not doing very well this year. Thank goodness for containers. I just came in from collecting some seeds and watering the yard. I have a new found and deep unbelieving of anything the weather forecast says when it comes to rain. I know forecasting isn’t the most precise thing, but really. They are trying to tell me the temperature and sea levels in 100 years but they can’t tell me the weather for tomorrow.

This year I think the biggest change in the garden will be planting things for a fall harvest. I got a new winter seed catalog, ‘Summer planting means winter harvest’ from Territorial. Maybe I’ll have better luck in the cooler weather. A lot of the ‘leafy stuff’ grows well into the cold- I will put that to the test. This year I left pumpkins out. My vines got really big but nothing came out of them. Eventually they died, I guess from bugs. If my zucchini doesn’t grow again this year I think I’ll leave it out next year. I am thinking maybe less variety next year but more of what I do plant.

One thing I’ve heard of a few times but haven’t done yet is start a garden journal. I would use a paper notebook, although an electronic one would work. To me some things are better on paper. Is anyone using a garden journal or thinking about it? …

Thanks Ralph, for your comments and today’s …

QUESTION:  Is anyone out there doing a garden journal?  I used to keep a notebook where’d I’d write down what I was planting (since otherwise, if they were unsuccessful, I’d forget what I’d tried).  I haven’t done that lately but I do think of the blogging as something of a journal.  I’ve been keeping journals for most of my life (I think 3rd grade is the earliest I remember), so I can see how this is like doing the online blogging thing is like journaling, but it’s different because, as open and honest as you want to make it, the fact of the matter is you’re still writing something anyone can read.  I think it’s hard to let go of that fact (and maybe better not let go of anyway).  Of course, depending on who’s around you, a journal, too, is something that might not end up being for your eyes only.

I think that keeping a gardening journal could be very helpful, as I think the act of gardening is transformative, and observing by recording a thing that’s transformational helps bring it into focus.  However, I think I’d have a hard time deciding whether it would be a more touchy feely kind of thing or if it would just be a record to help remember what’s underground, and how it’s behaving.  What kind of journal would yours be? Go ahead … gimme the dirt!  (I’d love to see an entry if anyone’s up for opening up their deepest darkest secrets from their own gardening – or other – journal)!

What I’m Growing

It occurred to me I hadn’t shared with you what it is I actually put into the ground.  So here goes, by category, only edibles:

TREES/BUSHES:

  • peach tree
  • cherry tree
  • elderberry bushes (almost certain not dogwoods now)
  • Meyer lemon tree (in a container)
VEGETABLES:
  • tomatoes, four plant, purchased at a Saratoga Springs farmers’ market, all heirloom
  • cucumbers, eight plants, don’t remember where I purchased these but I think it may have been Shannon’s
  • pumpkins, from seeds, picked up at a restaurant in New Haven, CT, when we went to see my friend, Bill Demerit, who’s studying theater there.  I planted these and they shot right up.  I now have six plants (confirm).  Unfortunately, these are more the jack-o-lantern variety, but I figure they will give some nice color to the garden late in the season.
  • wild ginger, three plants, purchased from the farmers market in Saratoga Springs from a woman who was the only one with a plethora of native plants
  • carrots, multiple.  These are from seeds, which I didn’t really think would take off, since I’ve had difficulty growing carrots from seeds before but that was straight in the ground.  These are growing in a wooden box (like an apple crate) that I used to have hops from Six-Point brewery growing in (ever want to check out some good looking hops, pay them a visit by going to Rocky Sullivan’s in Red Hook – on the upstairs terrace, they usually have hops growing there).
  • beets, multiple.  These are also from seeds and, again, I planted more than I need, thinking they might not come up for the same reason – I’ve tried planting them from seed in the ground before with no luck.  In contrast, these little seeds [brand], which I put into the small plastic starter containers you get new plants in [name?] sprung right up.  I now have the dilemma of where to make their seasonal home.
  • jalapeno peppers.  These I picked up in a set of three starter plants from Shannon’s.  I had good luck with these plants last year and wanted to try it again.  I have them in a different location (south-facing upstairs terrace) than my north-facing backyard where they were before.  We’ll see if it matters.  They are in a couple planters with some other hot peppers (another jalapeno and cayenne, I believe) that I tried to maintain indoors over the winter but I’m not sure they’re actually going to produce again since they’ve remained essentially unchanged from last fall when I brought them in.
  • new addition: green beans (these seeds just went in the ground from my very most awesome neighbor friend, who is also growing green beans & sweet peas in a self-watering container)
HERBS:
  • sage
  • thyme (three types)
  • rosemary (not doing so great)
  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • mountain mint (got this from the Grand Army Plaza farmers market)
  • (will be growing: basil from the Triscuit box seed card & dill from same)
QUESTION:  what grows in your garden? Who’s happy this season?  Who’s not?