Garden 2014

This weekend I was able to plant more or less the whole garden, it took a couple days but I got just about everything in. You can see it in all its glory in this photo, please excuse the poor photo stitching. It was taken for documentary and not really artistic purposes.

There were a couple of unsanctioned sprouts that I spared, I think one is a tomato and two are pumpkins. I moved the pumpkins to pots so I can, hopefully, control where they grow. Last year they took over the backyard.

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The 2014 Garden:

  • Italian Heirloom Tomato
  • Tomato Juliet
  • Roma Tomato
  • The girls flowers
  • Watermelon
  • Habernero Peppers
  • Serrrano Chili
  • Cayenne Peppers
  • Heirloom Pepper
  • Jalapeno Peppers (x6)
  • Pickling Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Black Prince Tomato
  • Black Beauty Eggplant
  • Butternut Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Heirloom Zucchini
  • Sun Gold Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Two Pumpkins? from last year
  • Basil, Sage, Oregano, Cilantro (not pictured)

Growth and First Fruits

We’ve had a set of warm days the past couple of weeks and the garden is growing quite nicely. The first fruits are starting to show themselves, with strawberry and some peppers.

In the past couple weeks I’ve also planted two additional pepper plants, a heirloom Fresno chiles and a heirloom Anaheim chili.

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Second Planter Box

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This weekend I was able to plant my second planter. It took a bit of time to get to, I first had to remove a massive licorice plant which almost defeated me but after many hours of fighting, a bit of blood, lots of sweat and I held back the tears the plant finally met its demise. It will stick around until I can chop it up and slowly dispose of a bit each week in my compost bin.

In the new box, I planted two orange-strawberry tomatoes a heirloom variety that sounded delicious. Three different types of cucumbers, which supposedly will overrun me, but I can test out my pickling some more. Four string bean plants, but one doesn’t look so good a day after planting.

Another jalapeño plant, I’ve got five different jalapeños each in different spots in the yard, one is bound to produce something! Plus I planted some beet seeds, but I think they should of gone in the ground a little sooner.

Additionally, I planted three marigold plant which according to the graphic from the New Scientist (see below) is supposed to provide a natural pesticide. I also planted some geranium near by, not pictured.

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Here is my first planter box doing quite well, one month in. See a month ago. Its a little crowded, I’m a bit concerned my tomatoes are shading my zucchini, but all in all everyone looks healthy. Plus we’ve already had two salads from the spinach!

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Impatient Planting

I built my raised garden bed yesterday and being a bit impatient I planted a bunch of vegetables today. I know it is only March 18 and way too soon to be planting anything especially tomatoes, I planted four tomato plants. I’m risking frost, too much rain, not enough sun and all, but maybe they will turn out to be a heartier bunch.

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Here’s what I planted:

1 heirloom tomato, 2 early girl tomatoes, 1 big boy tomato, 2 zucchinis, 4 spinach and 4 jalapeno peppers

After planting, being I littled worried I consulted this SF Planting Calendar I feel that the zucchini will end up doing ok, but the guide for the peppers is not until April, and the tomatoes in May! I think next weekend I’m going to have to build a second garden bed for my backup plants.

I also planted herbs and a few other potted items on the side of my house:

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Raised Garden Bed

For my garden this year, I’m building a couple of raised garden bed. The beds are pretty simple construction, a couple of boards on each side nailed to 4″x4″ posts in each corner.

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My plan was to build the beds two feet tall to hopefully avoid a certain predator. Ideally the garden is big enough that it will prevent Kingston from hopping up and digging in it.

My initial plan was to use 2″x6″ boards on the side, but I didn’t realize how expensive that would be, nor how big a 2″ wide piece of wood really is, they would have been overkill. I ended up using a 3/4″ x 12″ boards for the side and an 8′ piece was still around $20 each.

I bought all Redwood, mainly because I didn’t find Cedar at my local Home Depot, not sure if it was my poor searching skills or they didn’t carry it.

Total Lumber came out to just over $100

  • (1) 8′ long, 4″x4″ posts ($30)
  • (4) 8′ long, 3/4″ x 12″ boards site ($20/ea)

Also for just 50¢ a cut, they will cut the wood in store, the first two cuts are free. This is really helpful especially for bringing 8′ pieces of wood home. So I had them cut most of the wood basically in half, I still had some sawing to do at home but much easier.

One thing to think about, a tall garden bed means you need to fill it with more dirt. Now thankfully in my backyard there used to be a small hill where I was putting my garden, so I had a fair amount of dirt for the first bed. I built a sifter which I shoveled all the dirt through to remove rocks. The sifter is just a mesh wire stapled down to a frame. I used the same mesh wire for the bottom of the garden bed to prevent gophers or moles coming.

To figure out how much dirt you will need, a little math, a 2′ wide by 4′ long and 2′ high garden bed.

2' x 4' x 2' = 16 cubic feet of dirt!

The 2 cu ft bags cost $3-$6, so if you need to buy 16 bags, you might be looking at spending $100 on dirt, sorry I mean on organic gardening soil, sounds more expensive that way. Plus hauling around the bags is no fun either, so plan accordingly.

Here are a couple of photos of the finished bed, it really is just boards nailed to a post, though I did use some wood glue. Pretty basic construction, but functional. I think if it starts to bend out I can add some brackets or a stabilizing board.

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Complete box with veggies and the beast:

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Spring Time!

This week marks our one-year anniversary in the house. We’re testing our green thumbs now with some gardening, a little limited on space due to a certain four-legged enemy to plants. Hopefully his chewing and wanton destruction is only a puppy phase, unfortunately it may last up to 2-years old. Our first planting is to attempt a salsa garden, we planted three types of tomatoes, two types of peppers, cilantro and a few other herbs. We can’t wait until summer and it all starts coming in. Fresh salsa on us!

Also it looks like we didn’t end up killing any of our flowers, they all survived the winter. We even planted some tulips, which were from Matt and Karen’s wedding and they came up beautiful!

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