The garden is continuing to grow. There's plenty of lettuce ready to be eaten, and we've harvested enough swiss chard to make two quiches! I also picked a few of the carrots because I was curious how big they had gotten. They look pretty tasty! I planted two strawberry plants as well. They sent out tons of runners, but only one has bloomed. I'm going to see what happens, and if I get any berries off of it. Next year I think I'll set up a separate area for the strawberries, otherwise they'd easily take over my 4x4 block with their runners. There are lots of little tomatoes ripening on the vines as well. I can't wait for them to be ready to eat, there's nothing like fresh tomatoes from your own garden. I'm going to start a worm composting bin so I can return some of the waste products from the garden (like carrot and onion tops, tomato vines) back to the garden. I'm a bit nervous about this...but the investment is pretty small. There's a local company, wormcomposting.ca, that sells the red wiggler worms, so I'll probably be ordering a quarter pound of worms from them shortly.
My square foot garden is coming along quite nicely now! I put in the last transplants from a local nursery a few weeks ago: strawberries and some sweet red peppers. I'm still a bit undecided on if it's worth it to start from seed and then transplant or not. The plants that managed to survive the transplanting process and the onslaught of various pests in the spring are much smaller than plants I've seen at the local farmer's market. I've actually picked up some tomatoes and herbs at the farmer's market to supplement the ones I started from seed. All the lettuce, swiss chard, cucumber and melons that are growing right now I seeded directly into the ground. I think I probably need to make sure the seedlings are getting enough light, and that there is enough nutrients in the soil for the seedlings and transplants. I've managed to harvest quite a few radishes already, and even some cilantro and basil! I'm a bit worried about the garlic...it looks a bit sickly lately. The onions look great though! I haven't had too many problems with pests lately. There are nibbles on some leaves of most plants, but nothing really major. I love going out to check how the plants are growing every day. It looks like I'll be able to start harvesting some lettuce and swiss chard soon!
I've started a little vegetable patch in the backyard this year. I heard some folks at work talking about square foot gardening, so I thought I would give it a shot. So far I've had mixed success. Plants started directly in the garden have done great so far. These include red and white onions, garlic, carrots and radishes. I think 100% of the garlic, radishes and carrots I planted have sprouted, and about 85% of the onions have sprouted. Germinating seeds has also gone fairly well. Almost all the seeds I've started indoors have germinated and gotten to the point where I want to transplant them either outside or into a larger container...and it's this transplanting thing that's the hardest part so far. None of my broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, swiss chard, cantaloupe or eggplant have survived transplanting. Four (out of four) tomato plants survived going from seedlings into bigger pots, and I just put them in the ground yesterday. This evening 3 of them were still upright, so I'm hopeful there. One of two basil plants is still alive...the other one looks like somebody came along and cut it off at the stem, which is a bit strange. It's not the end of the world, I'm planning on getting some already started plants at our local farmer's market in June to make up for any of the plants that I couldn't get started. I just had no idea that transplanting was so tricky! Anybody else noticed how computer "hackers" also tend to be interested in hacking other parts of their lives? Gardening or cooking or photography - all allow you to have really fine control over parts of complicated processes, and let you play with how changing one piece affects the whole.