Pics From My First Garden + What I Learned

edmontongardenAugust 27, 2013

How do I get all of these tasty vegetables???

I've come to this site a lot this year, but I only made a couple of posts. So here's a big one to make up for it.

The grass in my backyard was full of weeds, so I tore it out with a Bobcat and replaced it with top soil from Spruce Grove.

Then I turned it into a garden.

For the record, I live in Edmonton, where it is freezing cold & snowing most of the year. It snows from October until April. And then the snow melts, and it usually snows again in May. We have cold days in June. Then it gets sunny for a few months. And by the end of August, it gets cold again.

I had gardens before, but they were small and didn't work out well. But this one did, thank God.

I learned a lot. Most plants are tough. But weeds are tougher. And pepper plants are always angry. There are bugs everywhere. Some of them bite. The bees are giant. Each plant has its own annoying pest. Plants will grow to fill up every space they can, especially tomatoes. Some plants sit there for a while until they decide to grow, and then they take off. Above all, be patient.

I fertilize with Miracle Grow and Daniel's (at the recommendation of the local greenhouse).

On May 15, I bought a bunch of plants from the local greenhouse, planted them, and used the pots to start a whole bunch more plants from seeds.

When the cucurbits (I learned that word here!) wouldn't grow and started to die, I planted some more around June 15.

Then a few weeks later, everything took off.

I found a few cut worms, which didn't cause any damage. They were easy to find because the ants were carrying them back to the nest for torture. There are ants everywhere, but they don't seem to be causing any damages.

I found some green caterpillars, which have made a few holes in the broccoli & sunflowers. I also found a spiky, furry, orange & green caterpillar, which was eating the potatoes, so I took it to the front yard.

I grew snow peas & snap peas from seeds. Then I transplanted them into the ground. But I forgot that I planted two types of peas. When I went to harvest them, I wondered why some of the pods weren't filling up. Peas did very well until August 1 when they started to die off.

The evil rabbit ate some of my pea plants early in the year. So I had to put blocks under the gate to keep him out.

The squash sat there for a long time and wouldn't grow. Then it took off, and made four yellow bananas which I cooked with some tomatoes (also from the garden), basil, garlic, and cheese.

The cucumbers sat there for a long time and wouldn't grow. The seedlings were leggy when I bought them, and many died.

When I got some more, I buried them up to their leaves. I also planted one set in a pot with Miracle Grow mix. I also started a whole bunch from seeds. They grew, but the ones in the pot grew faster.

During August, I was able to pick dozens of them. There are lots of cucumbers. Many of them hide. And they are tasty.

I also picked a couple of English cucumbers.

The English cucumbers I started from seeds haven't made anything yet.

The pumpkins sat there for a long time and wouldn't grow. Then one of them took off until it was 20 feet long. They made lots of flowers, but only one pumpkin.

The cucurbits got tangled up with the pumpkin.

The runner bean sat there for a long time and wouldn't grow. I thought that it was a watermelon at first. It wrapped itself around a bamboo pole and then it took off until it was everywhere. It wrapped itself around every pole it could find. And then it started making beans, but none of them have filled up yet.

The watermelon sat there for a long time and wouldn't grow. Then it died.

I started some watermelon from seeds (which were old & exposed to water). They took forever to sprout and are growing very slowly in pots.

They grew without any issues.

I planted them in pots and then I transplanted them into the ground. They are growing slowly, and none have made bulbs yet. But it was too much work to separate all of them, so I planted a bunch of them in clumps.

Despite the seed tape, they still seem to be crowded, and are growing slowly. The largest ones are about 4 inches long.

The broccoli grew and grew and grew, and then the evil fly laid her eggs underneath and killed them.

At first, they would wilt when it got hot, and then rise up when the sun went down. Then one day, one of the broccoli plants would not get back up. And then one day, none of the broccoli plants could get back up. So no broccoli for me.

I planted the radishes in pots and then transplanted them. They grew and grew and grew, and then the evil fly laid her eggs underneath nearly all of them, and they all died.

The corn grew slowly and turned purple. So I added starter root fertilizer (they needed Phosphorus). Then they grew until they were four feet tall, and I had lots of corn.

The strawberries grew slowly, and made small fruit, but they sent out lots of runners. In mid-August, they made larger fruit. But I think that the sunflowers and corn blocked too much from the strawberries, which is why they didn't grow as fast.

I planted four white potatoes, and many red ones. One of the white ones went rotten, but the rest of them grew. The potatoes grew 4 feet tall, and I didn't bother to bury them. I robbed them of their white potatoes, but they are making more! Eating a white potato was like eating a cloud.

Some of the plants made flowers and some are dying off now; it will be time to harvest them.

The tomatoes grew and grew and grew. Two of the cherry tomatoes were planted in tiny pots, but they grew the tallest. But the plants got so tangled up with each other that it became impossible to find all of the red tomatoes.

The tomatoes that I bought from the supermarket didn't grow very well. Some of the tomatoes touched the ground and bits of the rotted off.

The lettuce grew quickly. Everytime I cut off a leaf, it grew back. But some of them were bitter, and after I ignored them for a while, they made flowers.

I started them in a pot and then spread them out. When I ran out of pots, I put the rest in the ground. I harvested lots of fava beans. The beans in the ground grew faster, and the ones in the pot turned yellow.

I started them in pots, and then I planted them all over the place. They are over 6 feet tall, but none of the flowers have opened yet.

I planted it and it got longer, but it never made any grapes.

I didn't bother to read the instructions on the package. I planted the crowns with the roots sticking out of the ground, thinking that they were dried asparagus. When they didn't grow, I came here. Then I planted them correctly (I hope), but they didn't grow.

I planted peppers in the ground and they all went crunchy. So I took them to the greenhouse and they gave me new ones. The lady at the greenhouse gave me Daniel's fertilizer. She said to give them fertilizer every week.

I think that they went crunch because I sprayed them with insecticidal soap, and it was a hot day. I never used chemicals again (except for fertilizer).

This time, I put them in pots. But it was wet for a while, and many of the blossoms fell off. They made a few peppers each, and then it got dry. A few weeks ago, each of them made dozens of blossoms, and now they each have about a dozen peppers.

Giant Bumblebee:

More pictures here:


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Congrats on your first garden. As they years pass, the better you'll get...the more failures you'll discover...and the more successes you'll master. You're paying attention to not only what's growing well and what isn''re paying attention to how plants compete with each other in your environment.

"I planted peppers in the ground and they all went crunchy. So I took them to the greenhouse and they gave me new ones."

...and it sounds like you've found one hell of a friendly supplier there. Good on them.

Good luck with the rest of this season and next season, too.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 1:55AM
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What an amazing harvest! I could see that your effort really paid off! Nice job.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 2:11AM
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Good going!

Just one thing: "And then it started making beans, but none of them have filled up yet." I know that in the US some people eat runners as shellies and dried beans but in the UK they are exclusively used as green beans. If they 'fill up' they're inedible in most Brits' view. (Not saying that's necessarily true) Of course, you should eat them how you want but have you tried them as green beans? The more you pick the more you'll get. But if you let the beans inside develop they'll stop cropping.

This post was edited by florauk on Tue, Aug 27, 13 at 10:18

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 4:36AM
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I think I discern a theme in your report!

One thing about where you live, once the season gets going, you have those long, long days for it.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 5:24AM
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ltilton: That is correct. In July, the sun rises at 5AM, and sets at 10PM.

florauk: I don't remember planting beans. When they came up I thought that it was a watermelon. When they made pretty flowers, I came here and that is when I learned what it was.

I pulled one off today:

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 2:37PM
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That is just right for eating as green beans. Depending on the variety you may need to string them.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 2:50PM
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