Kalyn's Kitchen

Friday Night Photos: Progress in the Garden (2011 Garden Update #5)

One of the crops plants I’m having fun growing this year is onions!

Here’s an update on the progress in my garden.  I’ve been telling everyone who visits my house how thrilled I am with my greatly improved garden, with drip irrigation and black cloth/gravel around the beds.  I think making those changes last fall has decreased my weeding by at least 75% this year.  Things are growing well, and one of the crops I’m having the most fun watching are the onions shown above, started by my brother-in-law Clayton in his greenhouse.   This is the first time I’ve grown onions, and I’m looking forward to the first time I can walk out into the garden and pull out an onion for something I’m cooking!

I realize from the comments that there are people reading my garden updates who’ve never had a garden, so I thought it would be fun to show how quickly plants can change in a relatively short time.  I took some photos of my four main garden beds back in June, then three weeks later I took another set of similar photos.  I think you’ll be amazed by the progress. 

Here’s the farthest west bed which has (front to back) straightneck yellow squash, 8-Ball Zucchini, and zucchini.  This photo was taken June 24.

Three weeks later the plants are much bigger and there’s lots of squash appearing.  I think I’ve picked about 10 squash, some from each of the plants.  You can see the straightneck yellow squash peeking out in the photo, and the other plants all have little veggies on them as well.

The second bed had bushy radish plants growing on June 24.  Next to the radishes chard seeds were planted, but a lot of that first chard planting was eaten by quail.  Farther back in this bed is dark kale, Red Russian Kale, and the onions.

Three weeks later the radishes have all been picked and eaten, and some chard plants are showing up.  (I replanted seeds and covered the chard with netting to keep the quail away.  I’m still hoping more chard seeds will sprout to fill in the spots.)  The dark kale and Red Russian Kale are now so big you can barely see the onions in the back of the bed.

The third bed has an assortment of plants.  Along the sides in the front are cucumbers, in the center in the front are two eggplants, along the sides in the middle are two peppers, and in the back are French beans planted from seed.  The beans were up pretty well, but the other plants were pretty small on June 24.

What a difference three weeks can make.  Now there are cucumbers galore on the vines, and I’ve even eaten a couple of cucumbers.  The eggplant is starting to get little baby eggplants, and the peppers have teeny tiny little peppers.  The bean plants are much bigger and have lots of flowers where beans are going to appear.

The last main bed has winter squash.  The front plant is Honey Bear Squash, a type of acorn squash that’s supposed to be extra flavorful.  The plant in the back is buttercup squash, something I loved from the store but had never grown before.

I’ve been amazed at how the buttercup squash has gone wild sending out vines all over the place, which I go out and faithfully tuck back in every day or so to attempt to keep the plant contained to the bed.  Meanwhile the Honey Bear Squash hasn’t hardly spread out at all, but it’s producing lots of squash.

And just a few baby veggie shots to show you some of the veggies I’m keeping my eye on.  These are Honey Bear Squash, and I have NO IDEA how to tell when they’re ripe, but I’m sure these have a ways to go yet.

The Buttercup Squash are much smaller, but the plant is loaded with baby squash like this one.  I’m guessing there might be as many as 20-30 squash, if you could find them all under the leaves.

And the other plant that’s going crazy is the yellow straightneck squash.  I love this variety that doesn’t get the bumpy skin you find on crookneck squash, and it’s one of my favorite summer vegetables.

Some people may be wondering about tomatoes, but no worries; they are grown in two beds going along the side of my deck and I’ve had a few ripe tomatoes already.  I’ll show you what kind of tomatoes I’m growing this year another time.  For other gardeners, there are recipes on the blog for pretty much every kind of vegetable I’ve ever grown in my garden.  To find recipes for a certain type of vegetable you’re growing, just enter the name of that vegetable into the box where it says SEARCH, located top right on the blog.

You can see more garden updates from earlier this year or other years by using the tab for GARDENING at the top of the page.   If you have a garden, what kind of progress are you seeing this year?  Let us know in the comments about how things are growing in your garden.
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    18 Comments on “Friday Night Photos: Progress in the Garden (2011 Garden Update #5)”

  1. Bruno, I am so happy with how my garden has turned out. Happy gardening!

  2. Hi Kalyn,

    Your garden is amazingly productive! Mine is just starting to fill out and produce.


  3. CJ, quite a few years ago I had two big trees cut down that were shading my garden for a large part of the day and I've never regretted it a bit! (My neighbor has an enormous tree that gives my yard afternoon shade, so I get the best of both world.) Have fun with your garden, snipping fresh herbs is so satisfying!

  4. Beautiful garden! The investment of all the earlier work is paying off in spades. Thanks for sharing!

    I have very little sun and a tiny spot to grow in, so I only have 3 cherry tomato plants and lots of herbs. I still get some gardening satifaction when I walk out my kitchen door and snip what herbs I want for the next meal. We'll be taking some gigantic tree down this year so I am planning on having a garden in the future.

  5. Nate, I've already started giving zucchini to the neighbors!

  6. Your garden is going great! I tried to grow onions before but I guess I didn't have the knack – they went straight to flower and seed.

    You are going to have a lot of zucchini on your hands very soon!

  7. Thanks Christine! I have to admit I'm a pretty avid "veggie watcher!"

  8. Isn't it amazing how vegetables will take off and grow practically before your eyes? Wonderful photos and narrative, Kalyn.

  9. Jay, I hope your health issues get cleared up so you can get back to gardening. Last summer my whole garden space got so full of weeds I felt like I could never catch up, so I was determined to do something to cut down on the weeds, and I'm thrilled with how well it's working.

  10. Wow, looking great Kalyn! I'm loving how weed free your garden beds are. Mine have been badly neglected because of health issues that have kept me away for almost 2 yrs, so you can imagine what a mess they are now. I'll have nothing this year as it'll take ages to clear my beds of weeds, especially that wicked morning glory! Hopefully from reading through your garden posts on how you've set up such a great system, I'll actually have a decent, and, weed free crop next year!

  11. Margaret, so true. You have the best of both worlds! I highly recommend the raised beds; absolutely love them and I'm kind of amazed every year how much you can grow in a small space.

  12. You can have a garden in the city too! It's just a different kind of work.

    I am totally inspired and I promise myself next year I am doing raised beds on my rooftop.

  13. Maris, I absolutely love having a garden. I think it's the one thing that's kept me from ever moving to a big city (because I love cities too!)

    Lydia, I was kind of surprised at how much change there was. This was lots of fun!

    Mikie, I have tried arugula, and this year it might have done well here. Most of the time though it gets so hot so in Utah that it just goes to seed very quickly. I may try it in the fall though. I was in Austin in June and feel bad about your drought.

  14. Beautiful Garden! Here in Texas, under the extreme drought conditions, everything is just about dead though I have a great eggplant bush that has produced nearly 15 gorgeous eggplants. You should be growing Arugula. It makes a great pesto. I blogged on making it and a recipe using chicken with the pesto that's good on my blog. http://www.mikiebaker.com Enjoy your beautiful garden!

  15. I think all gardeners, even the experienced ones (which I am not), should take photos like these. On a day-to-day basis you don't always notice the progress in the garden, but with photos, you feel optimistic all over! Next year, if my tomatoes survive, I might add more veggies. I wonder if those little Persian cukes would grow in Rhode Island.

  16. Kalyn, you have a mini farm! It's fantastic!

  17. Pam we've been having lots of rain, and the garden is loving it even if I'm not!

  18. Everything looks so green and lush, nothing like how stuff looks at my house.