Kalyn's Kitchen

2009 Garden Update #2 (Lots of Veggies and House Renovations)

House Renovations viewed from gardenI’m still enthusiastic about gardening, but ever-ongoing house renovations are making it challenging this year. My sprinkling system is still torn up, and above is the view from the garden to the construction zone that’s currently my back yard. Even with those issues, the weather says time to garden, so I’ve managed to keep the volunteers alive and plant a pretty good variety of veggies. (Warning, lots of photos ahead; this is partly for me to keep a record of what I’m growing. Links to plant descriptions are purely for information and aren’t intended to be an endorsement of any seed purveyor or plant distributor.)

One thing I’m loving about the new raised beds is how easy it is to grow things from seed and this year I’m trying these French Beans, which are a bush variety of long green beans.

Another plant I’m growing for the first time, and from seeds is Methi or fenugreek leaves. (Thanks to Padma, who sent me a packet of seeds when I said I was interested in trying to grow this type of greens used in Indian cooking.)

I’m also growing radishes again this year, the easiest of all plants to grow and great for salads. These French Breakfast radishes are next to my volunteer Swiss Chard.

Every garden needs squash, and one of my favorites is this yellow straightneck squash, an ingredient in the version of Creamed Zucchini my mom always used to make.

I looked everywhere to find an 8-Ball Squash plant, and this guy needs a little nurturing but all the flowers tell me he’ll be fine. If you’re not familiar with it, 8-Ball Squash is a round variety of zucchini, which are great for Stuffed Zucchini.

I also have some regular zucchini, but this year I managed to restrain myself and I planted a reasonable amount!

A new plant for me is red cabbage, which I bought as small plants in hopes they’ll mature before it gets too hot.

The last few years I’ve loved growing eggplant. Last year I tried white eggplant, but this year I just went for Black Beauty, a traditional purple variety.

I also have a couple of plants of Japanese Eggplant, which are long cylindrical shaped eggplants with purple skin. These are great for grilling.

I always try growing red bell pepper, even though I usually don’t manage to get too many of them.

One of my favorite garden plants is Spaghetti Squash, which I planted in one end of a raised bed this year. If you grow your own spaghetti squash you can pick it when it’s still green and try Spaghetti Squash cooked as a summer squash, something I love.

I had four small cucumber plants which are Bush Cucumbers, (not named for the former president but cucumbers which grow on a bush!) One has already been completely eaten by snails, so I guess I’ll have to hit the garden center to replace it.

Finally, I wanted to show how my basil is coming up that I planted from seeds. These rows of basil will need vigorous thinning when they get a little bigger, but by mid summer I should have basil galore.

Of course there are lots more herbs and tomatoes, but this is already getting pretty long so I’ll show those in the next u pdate!

This is the second garden update for 2009. You can see all the updates in order by clicking the label 2009 Garden Updates.

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    19 Comments on “2009 Garden Update #2 (Lots of Veggies and House Renovations)”

  1. You really have a garden Kalyn. Ours is too small this year.
    Great shot of the house!

  2. Just found your blog while searching for South Beach recipes. I share your love of food and gardening! Two thoughts about basil…when you thin, add those seedlngs to a salad and drizzle on the Italian dressing! If you are like I am, basil is something I need year round. In the spring, when I buy a bunch at the store, I root a few short pieces in water in my kitchen window and then set them in the garden when it gets warm. Be sure to pinch out the tops so they don’t set blooms too soon.
    Happy gardening!

  3. Amy, the garden beds were from last year, so at least that’s not a change. No more change please!

    Cndymkr, I’ve grown basil from seed for many years, but it does need careful watering and warm nights when it’s young. Sorry to hear it didn’t work for you. Wish I could send you the ones I’ll have to thin!

    Pam, tomatillos need two plants. If you have two, you’ll get hundreds of them! Cucumbers can be touchy but they’re pretty easy to grow once they’re established. My cucumbers keep getting eaten by something!

  4. The garden looks great! I’ve added 2 new veggies to the hot peppers that I usually grow. I’m trying tomatillos and bush cucumbers, wish me luck!

  5. I tried to grow a couple of different types of basil from seed, it was a huge failure. I will stick to the garden centers basil from now on. This year I’m trying purple basil and sweet basil.

  6. Wow, you sure do have a lot of changes happening in your life! Work, house, garden, what’s next?

  7. Hi Sarah,
    Just dirt between the raised beds! I had good intentions of getting bark last year but never did and this year I’m guessing it’s not in the budget. I might start putting grass clippings between them so I don’t have to worry so much about weeds!

  8. Kalyn, wow! You’ve gotten so much in the ground. I love your layout of the raised beds — what do you have between them? It looks so tidy.

  9. Thanks everyone for the nice feedback on the garden. I’m going to do some serious weeding as soon as I’m out of school! My contractor tells me the sprinklers will be fixed in a few weeks, so fingers crossed.

    As for the methi leaves, I truly have no idea how they’re used, but will check Food Blog Search for ideas!

  10. I love seeing your garden updates. You’re growing so many vegetables. I’ve just got chili peppers and tomatoes. I’m eager to see what you do with the methi plant.

  11. Looks wonderful Kalyn! I have zero green thumb so I am sticking to herbs and tomatoes but always applaud the patience and dedication to gardeners like you! Way to go!

  12. wow, some of your plants are already bigger than mine. 😉 Congrats!

  13. The garden and house look great! We are running behind! I hope to still get a garden going!

  14. Your garden is wonderful and thriving. As a new gardener I’m fascinated to see how others are going about it. I really look forward to watching yours grow all summer!

  15. It looks like you’ll be eating well very soon! That’s a great looking garden!

  16. I’m amazed that, with all of the construction going on, you’ve been able to get so much of your garden planted! I’m a huge fan of Japanese eggplant, so I’m glad to see it in your garden. Now I’m inspired to go out and plant the one tomato plant I bought this year….

  17. that garden looks so amazing, you are an inspiration! nice work on that, thanks for sharing. 🙂


  18. Lou, wish I could remember, but honestly the last few weeks are kind of a blur! I’d say it’s been close to three weeks, but that’s just a guess.

  19. Hi Kalyn, your basil all look healthy! I’ve got a few tiny shoots coming up that are only half their size (and I’m in zone 8). When did you sow yours?