Archive for May, 2012

Sweet potatoes, peppers, and tomatos

Bed #1

We put down some white onions from bulb tonight as well as some sweet potatoes.  I know you can get sweet potatoes fairly cheap at the store, but I really want to taste an organic grown sweet potato from my garden.

Bed #2

Along with the onions and potatoes, I picked up a Mortgage Lifter tomato from C&C gardens in Hernando, a Park’s Whopper tomato, and a German Johnson Tomato, and about 16 pepper plants from Home Depot.  Some of the peppers don’t look so hot, but everything else is looking good so I transplanted them into the bed.  We also planted some ‘pizza peppers’ from seed in this bed – we’ll see how they do but I don’t have any expectations.

First crops for 2012 planted

M, A, and E helped me this evening get our first crops in.  We planted our first 4×4 section of bed #1 with sparkler radishes, green onions, and carrots.  A good watering and this bed is off to the races!!  I can’t wait to see what it is going to do this year.

Starting my garden for 2012

It’s sad but I’m getting the garden started late this year.  I intended to get it started earlier but some weather delays coupled with some availability of digging equipment pushed it back to mid/late may.

Our first year
…of gardening was 2010.  My mom came down from Branson and helped us build a 4’x16′ raised bed cinder block garden.  She heard about a gardening technique that a man named Len Pense from the Springfield Missouri area.  I purchased his downloadable manual which covered a lot of what you need to know to make these raised beds work so.. we built one bed.  I learned several things my first year:

#1 – Indeterminate tomatoes grow big – HUGE – in these beds.  I put two plants at one end of what I’ll call Bed #1 and they took off.  I made the mistake of planting two tomatoes together and buying the ‘big size’ tomato cages made of concrete reinforcement wire.  These cages are about 1.5′ in diameter and 5′ tall – great for most gardens – not for this one.  By the end of the growing season, both tomato plants were overflowing out the top and fell over.

#2 – I hate squash bugs.  I first saw the squash bugs and thought – eh.. no big deal – gardens are supposed to have bugs right?  No dummy – gardens are supposed to have worms.  The only reason most bugs show up is for dinner.  Thinking that gardens were supposed to have bugs, I paid these cute little white creatures no mind.  My yellow squash were the first plants to start to die followed by my beloved Zucchini.  I though.. what on earth would cause these plants to just die – was I not watering them enough? Watering too much?  No.. these white critters were now brown and there were even more little white critters … they were having dinner on my plants!!  Into the garbage heap and out to the street they went.

I learned several other lessons but those were the big ones.. oh.. and building raised bed cinder block gardens was challenging at best – especially when you have to dig out a hill to make it level.

Our second year
…started out pretty good.  I took some of the lessons I learned and tried to apply them:

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