A garden is the best alternative therapy.

Posts tagged ‘green beans’

Spring veggie garden start

As the lettuce continues to mature, the spinach offers yet another harvest, and the broccoli is producing side shoots like crazy, I know the winter garden is almost done.  I still have a few rows of carrots going, and hopefully I can harvest them in another month or so, but I’ve already started switching beds over to the summer garden.  I say summer because Spring lasts all of four weeks here it seems.  I have transplanted zucchini, squash, cucumbers, green beans, and have sowed another round of green beans as well as sunflowers.  My peppers are doing pretty good – I’ve actually had them outside now for the past week, but they are still portable.  I won’t put them into the ground until later this month.  I have to harvest some more lettuce first.  In total, I have four orange bell pepper plants, two jalapeno plants and four cayenne pepper plants.  The pics are small, but you can view them full-size by clicking.

Ring-O-Fire Cayenne and Cal Wonder Orange Bell peppers

Jalapeno plants

Heirloom Yellow Crookneck Squash - second go (last fall was a fail)

Black Beauty Zucchini - Second Go (last fall was a fail) - also pictured: Red Sail lettuce

Straight Eight cucumbers - second go (Last fall was a fail, these look not so good either)

Blue Lake Beans - second crop (last year did good, but planted too late)

Tendergreen green beans - first attempt

Broccoli bed is really full right now

Another view of the broccoli bed

Mammoth sunflowers in the morning shade

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Update: the garden at three weeks

I’ve got three each of yellow squash, zucchini and cucumbers growing on the South side of the house.  I’ve also got a bell pepper plant and green beans on the East side.  The bell pepper has been with us since early June – having survived the summer heat with a couple close calls, I couldn’t bring myself to pull it up.  We eat peppers like crazy, so it’s worth it for me to try to keep it going.  It lost nearly all of its leaves twice – once due to an overly concentrated soap spray I used to combat some flea beetles and then once due to three hornworms.  As you can see, it’s got a lot of fresh new leaves on it, and even a few flowers.  I did it a favor by removing about 50 nubbins it had started so that it could concentrate on growing leaves again.  It looks like that worked.

the green peppers rebound

the green peppers rebound

The beans are now producing another set of leaves.  Not sure what’s been eating or moving across the first set of leaves – but you can see traces of them as white lines.  Anyone know what this is?   It is interesting watching the leaves unfold as they do.

beans, 3 weeks from planting

organic Blue Lake bush beans, three weeks from planting

beans, up close

beans, up close

The zucchini is developing well.  I cut off the first set of leaves because they were yellow and dead.  It’s got new leaves forming near the base, as well as little nubbins.  I assume these nubbins are going to produce more leaves.  If so, it looks like it’s about ready to explode with new growth.

Black Beauty zucchini, three weeks from planting

organic Black Beauty zucchini, three weeks from planting

zucchini, up close

zucchini, up close

The squash plants are also coming along.    They’ve already got a good covering of leaves.  Like the zukes, the squashes also have a lot of new growth near the base, as seen in the picture below.  To me, the little nubbins look more like flower pods than leaves, but we’ll see what they turn into.

organic, heirloom Yellow Crookneck squash, three weeks from planting

organic, heirloom Yellow Crookneck squash, three weeks from planting

squash, up close

squash, up close

As are the cukes.

Straight Eight cucumbers, three weeks from planting

organic Straight Eight cucumbers, three weeks from planting

Our Bougainvillea continues to give us a bounty of beautiful fuchsia blooms.   And, recovered from an invasion of Hibiscus Beetles, the hibiscus offered up this beauty this morning:

a tropical beauty!

a tropical beauty!

Finally, I hope to be able to get some work done in the yard today.  The rain brought back the grass very quickly, so I’ll have to break out the lawn mower for the first time in over eight weeks.   I’ve pumped myself up with some Claritin and Benadryl, as the Bermuda grass gives me fits.  Wish me luck.

Maybe tomorrow I can get started building the last of the beds for the broccoli, spinach, lettuces, parsley and carrots.   We’ll see…

***Afternoon Update*** Whew.  I’m sitting here with a brew after moving a 1/2 yard of dirt for the rest of the raised beds.  This time I enlisted my daughter, who’s itching for more allowance money.  Many hands make light work, as the saying goes.  We knocked out the dirt-moving in about 1/2 an hour – after I loaded up the dirt in the Element and came back home with the load.   I’m still stoked that the grower’s mix only costs me $16 for a half a yard.  I counted at least thirty 5-gallon buckets full of dirt at that price.  If I was to buy that by the bucket, it would have cost me $150 easy ($5/bucket).  Unbelievable.  So what if I have to sweat for a couple of hours and perform some manual labor?!  I still hope that tomorrow afternoon I can get over and pick up some lumber and get these things assembled.  I figure a total of $50 is all it will cost for a couple bags of manure, boards, braces, nails, which includes the $16 for dirt.   I consider this an investment because the boxes and dirt can be reused again and again.

The veggies at two weeks

It’s now been a little over two weeks since planting the squashes, cukes and beans.  We’ve enjoyed a good steady rain for the past two days, which has saturated the ground with much-needed moisture.  We are forecast to continue receiving rain for the next day and a half, finally letting up on Tuesday.  I think the veggies will be more than ready for some sun by then.  They have grown quite a bit over the past few days, and I think the natural watering, combined with cooler weather and overcast skies has contributed to this.  Nevertheless, I would like it to return to some sunny weather for a few days and let everything dry out a bit.   If only I could control the weather …

Here’s a round of pics of the veggies, fifteen days from planting:

Yellow squash (fifteen days from planting)

Yellow squash (fifteen days from planting)

Zucchini (fifteen days from planting)

Zucchini (fifteen days from planting)

Cucumbers (fifteen days from planting)

Cucumbers (fifteen days from planting)

Our rosemary plant has officially died.  It’s been struggling now for the past few weeks.  We planted it in early summer, instead of waiting for fall.  It just couldn’t survive.  I’ll be digging it up when things dry up a bit, then I’m going to expand the hole, fill with a sandy mix of good soil, then try replanting another bush in a few weeks.    I know it will take off in the winter – if I can just get it there.  In the meantime, I did manage to take several cuttings of the healthy parts of the plant before it died.  I lost a couple of those, but have five starter pots of cuttings hopefully growing happy roots as I write this.  If they root, I’ll replant them all in a larger pot and grow those on the side as well.  Can’t have too much rosemary – we use that stuff like crazy!

Rosemary cuttings

Rosemary cuttings

The lavender plant got a good dosing of rain yesterday and it has greened up quite a bit.  It quit flowering in late June, but it still smells good.

the lavender ...

the lavender ...

To show you how prolific mint plants are, take a look at this picture below.  I took some stems of my spearmint plant, cut them into two inch pieces, then dropped them in a jar of water for a month.  I didn’t think they were going to root for the longest time, then it exploded.  Just look at the roots – and the young stems and leaves sprouting up out of the water.   I didn’t really have a plan for these, but I’ll probably get a larger pot and bury these under the soil and let them really take off.   With mints, all you ever need is one healthy plant and you can make a hundred more.  Or, if you plant it in the ground, it will spread like crazy (with the right conditions).

Spearmint stems, still wanting to live!

Spearmint stems, still wanting to live!

I’ve got a marauding band of small green worms, which have been moving between the basil, marjoram, oregano, sage and thyme.  Yeah, they have a wide range of culinary interests.  I got down on my hands and knees for a good fifteen minutes today, trying to find them all.  As I was searching, I happened upon this little guy among the basil – hopefully, he’s helping clear some of them away, too.  Not one to let wildlife feel unwelcome, I picked up the little guy, took a few shots, and let him go, hopping through the thyme.  He was the smallest anole I think I’ve ever seen here in Texas!

Baby lizard among the basil

Baby green anole lizard among the basil

"Uh, let me go!"

"Uh, let me go!"

Another bean pops up …

That means that all but one of the 33 seeds I planted have come up!   You really can’t get a better germination rate than that, so I highly recommend buying  your seeds from Seeds of Change.com.

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The fifteenth bean to pop up ... only one hasn't! (11 days to germinate)

The fifteenth bean to pop up ... only one hasn't! (11 days from planting)