Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Garden Day, September 24, 2010

Today we got the Fall Garden planted and below are pictures of everything we put in the ground and the work that we did.

We had been having a problem with rats, so one of our Garden Days was dedicated to moving the compost pile! By moving the compost pile, we hoped to restructure the piles to create a better environment for composting to happen.

Below is a picture of the compost pile moved back and the room it made for a new raised bed. This one is going to be a "Salad Bowl" in the spring.

Baby radishes coming up from seed. We got  a lot of well composted turkey manure from the Juvenile Day Treatment Center.

Snow Peas!

This is our first individually rented bed. For a monthly fee, we have several beds that can be rented out. Renters have access to all soil, amendments, all natural fertilizers and pest control products, tools, seeds and plant starts.

Carrots from seed. Both the regular orange and a cool red variety.

This is the third comfrey plant I have tried to grow and hopefully this one will make it! I think it is in a better location, with better soil.

Below is a picture of the cabbage starts we planted with a mature basil plant in the top left corner.

Meet our Fig Tree, compliments of Shelton Herb Farm.

This colorful little vegetable is a "Numex Twilight" hot pepper. You can eat the peppers at any color as they range from light purple to deep red. Very spicy.

Here we have a bergamot, or Bee Balm, also donated by Shelton Herb Farm.

This is a uncommon variety of St. John's Wort, the punctatum variety that grows wildly in the mountains of North Carolina. This was a transplant from seeds I gave my mom, from a plant in the mountains. Instead of growing as a creeping ground cover like the perforatum variety, punctatum grows in a shrub like form and I have seen it grow up to 3 feet tall!

What we didn't realize about our mullein plants (Verbascum thapsus) is that they attract stinkbugs. What we also didn't know is that stinkbugs love watermelons. 

We also planted a variety of winter greens, including turnips, mustard and kale.

This beautiful sage plant was given to us by our friend Nicole. It makes beautiful purple flowers, the leaves burn well when dried as incence and it has a variety of medicinal uses. 

The newly planted garden from various angles at the front of the garden.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What's growing in the Garden? June 2010

This summer has been very hot and dry. We have had less rain than we would normally have had, and the rain we did get came all at once last Thursday! We have a limited number of veggies growing this year, but some of the perennial herb type plants are establishing themselves well in the garden. 

Meg Shelton of Shelton Herb Farm generously donated many of the plants that have done well this summer. Below are a variety of peppers including bell and a sweet white variety.

This is one of my favorite new peppers, it is called the Numex Twilight variety and as you can see it makes peppers that turn different colors from light purple to fiery red. They can be eaten anytime after they turn purple, but they are so beautiful I have been leaving them on until they turn red. They are super spicy though, so be careful!
Our milkweed plants are still thriving, although instead of attracting butterfly and moth larva, all we have been seeing are many aphids. I figure they are food for something also and I have not done much to eradicate them, I hope it will attract lizards (which we have seen a couple) and ladybugs (also a few). The plants are very resilient and even after letting go of one batch of seeds, new shoots have started coming up at the bottom and I think we will get a second blooming. 

One of my favorite plants, the Vitex agnus-castes is doing incrediably well. This native of the Mediterranean loves our sandy soil and the hot summer. It has more than doubled in size this season and continues to flower and bear fruit. The only plant that I have seen more bees and butterflies on than this gem has been the catnip. She has been providing great shade for the plants recently planted around her base.

Below are three of the plants who live under the Vitex shrub. 

The St. Johnswort  on topwas planted in the shade of the Vitex shrub. The one below and to the left was planted in a more exposed location. Notice the greener color and stronger looking St. J's in the top photo. The one growing more exposed is browner, smaller and not thriving as much. 

You can see from these pictures that the Stinging Nettle (on the left) and the Motherwort (on the right) are both becoming well established in the garden. If you look closely in the bottom of the picture of the nettle, you can see the baby plants that have come up (run) from the main plant. That is an excellent sign that the plant is established and will continue to spread and flourish. The Motherwort will do the same in the future.

Our watermelons have so far been our best summer vegetable. Here is the biggest one that was unfortunately harvested too soon. But you can see from the size of the patch that we have several more watermelons on the way. I think we have a total of 5 as of this post. Not super, but way more than the 0 we had last year!

Finally, but not least, this is our new Fig Tree! I am very excited about this addition to the garden. Meg thinks it is a cross between the brown turkey variety and the celeste variety. The fig is doing really well and has new growth! We will have to wait a few years for it to start producing, but this is definitely a start!