It’s been nearly a month since I planted on May long weekend and I thought I’d show you the success I’m having with container gardening. This is a small selection of what I have growing in the back yard right now and I’ll show you more next month as the garden continues to progress.
So far, I have to say my most victorious success has been actually keeping plants alive past the two leaf stage. For whatever reasons, over the past few years my plants shrivelled up and died once the second leaf opened on the stem which led to me buying from greenhouses rather than being able to grow from seed to harvest. This year, things are quite different, as you will see. First though, let me tell you about the fantastic finds I purchased from Obsession Greenhouse in St. Louis. By the way, if you haven’t finished buying plants yet, take a drive out to St. Louis and I think you will see why I’m gushing. You won’t be disappointed with the selection and variety of plants. Unfortunately I waited too long to visit this year so I am not proudly growing Cucumelons. I DID find a black tomato though. A huge black tomato that stands taller than my five foot three inches. When the tomatoes are ripe, they turn red. My boy had already had his first taste of the season and, when he was done, he came to me with his hand extended. “Here, Momma.” In his hand, one tomato seed, which made me laugh. If I haven’t already taught him to love growing his own food, at least I’ve taught him to harvest seeds for next year! He’s five and he tells me his favourite part of gardening is “the watering” and I can’t say I blame him for that. Although, in a month, ask him again and he’ll say it’s the eating that he most enjoys.
I also purchased a beautiful red tomato from Obsession Greenhouse. Each year you can leave a pre-order for the tomatoes you’d like and they can be picked up around the May long weekend. When I brought mine home, I immediately transplanted it and now I’m starting to harvest vine ripened tomatoes as I write this. That’s right, be jealous. They’re delicious and sweet!
Finally I bought six ever bearing strawberry plants. The difference between June bearing and ever bearing plants is that June bearing strawberries only produce in June – which we can see with the strawberry sales in grocery stores now. Ever bearing strawberries will produce continuously throughout the summer. Strawberries are also perennial plants, which will grow year after year. This year I decided to try out a new way of growing my strawberries… milk crates. The bottom crate is loaded down so my strawberry tower won’t topple down in the wind. Then I planted one strawberry in each of the lower crates and two on the top. I can already see the plants growing above the top of the crate and, as the plants throw out runners (vines), I’ll encourage them to root around the sides of each crate. I hope to be able to show you a full, lush strawberry tower by the end of July or early August. Now on to the plants I’ve managed to grow from seed.
I’ve planted pumpkins, watermelon, green and yellow beans, cabbages, a plum, day lilies, ferns, yellow and red raspberries and rhubarb. For whatever reason, I don’t have success planting dill. Whether it’s an heirloom, fern leaf or pickling dill, I just can’t seem to get my dill to grow. My chives and garlic chives survived the winter. However, I lost a lot of my red raspberries – I would say half my crop, to winter kill. Fortunately, I have quite a few stragglers I’ve been digging up and transplanting so the loss won’t be as evident as it was when the leaves first opened up in the spring. Also, my apple tree bloomed this year and is now loaded with apples. Last year it didn’t bloom at all. The only difference between last year and previous years is that last year I wasn’t able to water the tree after the snow melted. This year, once the snow was gone and things seemed dry, I was able to water the tree. For me, that was a victory in itself as last year I wasn’t strong enough to do it and this year I am. Yay, me!
My final gardening success to report is one you’ll see in the photo of the red plant pot. I went to Dollarama one day and they had tomatoes, lettuces and strawberries one could grow from seed. I bought all three. The strawberries consisted of six seeds for a dollar fifty. Of course I bought it and planted them. I then placed it in my mini-greenhouse and hoped to see some growing magic happen. Fast forward to now and I have five little plants growing in the pot. I’m so excited to see them grow this year and perhaps, if we have a long enough growing season, they will even produce.
I still don’t see greenery with my sweet potatoes. My apples seeds didn’t sprout but I have an avocado growing and several seeds that I’ll be starting today, along with a lime see and several lemon seeds. If anyone is interested in Maple Tree seedlings, let me know and I’ll be happy to part with them.
Have a great week, everyone.