Veggie Garden Update

I got all my veggies planted and am enjoying seeing them grow. I started most of the seedlings indoors about three or four weeks earlier than last year to give them a better head start, which ended up being around the last week in February .  I really think I could have started them earlier though, especially the peppers because they take a long time to sprout. Next year I am going to start them on the first of February, which will be fun because February is such a boring month for me!



My tomatoes are doing great!  I did three regular tomato plants and three beefsteak tomato plants. I am overexcited to have fried green tomato sandwiches!
My cucumbers are doing great too. I’m not a huge fan of cucumbers, but I kind of want to try making pickles so I planted them anyway.

I decided to add more flowers to my garden this year. I plants lots of marigolds and nasturtiums that I grew from seed to look pretty among my veggies and also to help keep bad bugs away from them.
 I love how the nasturtium leaves look like tiny lily pads. 
Last year suqash borers ruined every squash plant I had. So this year I put little shirts around them to protect them. Hopefully it works!  I planted so many different kinds of squash and gourds.
Cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are coming along nicely. I put in new plants every couple of weeks to hopefully have a constant harvest.
Last year my Luffa plants failed miserably. They finally grew fruits but they didn’t mature in time before the first frost. This year I started them way earlier but dang bugs kept coming along and chewing them! Even though I put strong repellent on them. They look pretty sad but are making progress, I really hope they work this year!

My peas are doing great!  Last year they didn’t do anything. They sprouted, looked really bad and then died. This year a planted about 4 times as many thinking most of them would die, but, actually they all lived and now I have peas taking over an entire corner of my garden. But that’s okay because I love peas!

The only thing I am discouraged about are my carrots. I planted seeds weeks ago and they have barely done anything. I put a bunch of fertilizer on them so maybe that will speed them up. Haha.

Are you growing any vegetables this year? 

Zucchini Carrot Apple Pecan Bread

I recently came across this recipe on pinterest and just knew I had to try it! I made a few modifications and halved the recipe because we really don’t need to be eating two whole loaves of bread, but you can always double it back up if you want.

Ingredients:

Half a cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1/8th cup of orange juice
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice (Or any combination of spices really!)
1 cup of shredded carrots
1 cup of shredded zuccini
1 half cup of diced apple
1 half cup of chopped pecans


Shred the zucchini and carrots in a food processor or with a grater, dice the apple and the pecans if needed and set aside. 
Soften the butter and cream it with the sugar, then add the egg, vanilla and orange juice.
 Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add them to the wet ingredients and add the veggies.

Once everything is mixed together, scoop it into a greased bread pan and bake at 350 until done, approximately 50 minutes.

Once it has had time to cool, slice into it an enjoy! 

I really liked this bread, the colored veggies were pretty and gave it an interesting texture and a yummy flavor! I would definitely bake this again.

Does anyone else’s kitchen turn into a disaster zone when they’re done baking?  I can’t seem to help but make a giant mess! It’s all part of the fun though.

My Veggie Garden- Lessons Learned

All last winter I dreamed of starting my vegetable garden.

It turned out just as I had imagined it, but not everything worked out like I hoped. I learned plenty of good lessons this year that I will definitely pay more attention to next time.

Lesson 1) Trellises need to be staked in the ground

I made my own trellises this year and didn’t think about having to steak them in the ground, so whenever a strong gust of wind came about, they fell right over! Luckily my plants didn’t snap in half. The thinner ones I was able to push into the dirt but I couldn’t do it with the thicker ones. Next year I will probably attach some write to the bottom of them to push in the ground.

Lesson 2) Squash borers! 

These are the worst things ever! The stupid little worms hatch from eggs laid at the base of squash plants and bore their way up through the center of the plant, cutting off its water supply and killing it slowly. I lost every single squash plant I planted, and that was what I was most looking forward to. 😦  Next year I will sprinkle repellent on them like crazy.

Lesson 3) Plant Early Crops Sooner

I waited too long to plant my cooler season crops like peas and spinach so they ended up not doing much and then burning up as the weather got hot.


Lesson 4) Self pollination is a good idea.

I had plenty of bees buzzing around my garden so I didn’t think I would have any problem with pollination, yet all my future squash would turn brown and fall off right after they were done flowering. Once I starting self pollinating each fruit, I didn’t lose any. Until the squash borers came around of course!

Lesson 5) Loose Dirt is Good Dirt

Around here our soil is a solid mass of red clay. It was a lot of work to loosen it up and and mix it with nice dirt so I probably didn’t do a great job with that. As a result my carrots, beets and radishes didn’t do to well, so next year I’ll make sure to get that dirt nice and loose! 


Lesson 6)  Hungry Rabbits!

Never underestimate the power of a hungry rabbit!  I had to wrap my fence in rabbit wire to keep these guys out, otherwise I think they would have eaten everything.

All in all it was a pretty good vegetable garden, I am really looking forward to next year!

What are some lessons you have learned about vegetable gardening?

Cosmo the Hungry Rabbit

This spring a little rabbit moved in under our back deck.

I named him Cosmo.

I saw him almost every morning, hoping around the yard and munching on all the clover in our grass.




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But it wasn’t long before he discovered the yummy new veggies I had planted in my vegetable garden!

The fence was no match for this tiny guy! And he had quite the appetitie. He ended up eating three bell pepper plants, two hot pepper plants, three eggplant plants and an entire broccoli stalk all within a matter of days! I knew it was time to rabbit proof my fence if I wanted any hope of getting fresh vegetables.

And it worked great! You can check out my post about building it here.


I fed him fresh fruit, oats and water in hopes of being able to pet him, but I could never get close enough.

As he got bigger I saw him less, but he still came back to visit every now and then.



Then the best thing ever happened….
Cosmo had a baby!!!!!!!!

Now they both come visit my yard 🙂

Veggie Garden Update- Plenty of Veggies!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a veggie garden update!



Ok so some of my bell pepper plants started growing… Well, whatever these things are… o____0 No idea what happened there.

Annnnd, I know you’re all wondering how my luffa plants are doing…

They’re doing great! They’ve taken over the fence and are starting to flower!


There is a future luffa, waiting to bloom and be pollinated!


I kind of let my broccoli get out of hand..
This is one of two gourds I’ve gotten. Sadly all of my squash plants got infested with squash borers and most of the vines died!! 😥 I replanted them but I’m not sure they’re grow in time before the first frost hits. I was really looking forward to drowning in squash this year!

But other than my squash fiasco my garden has been doing great! I love going out and picking fresh veggies from the backyard.

What are your favorite vegetables to plant?

Veggie Garden Update: Flowers Galore!

All of my vegetable plants are in bloom!


Tomato 

Cucumber

Squash


My Zucchini haven’t started yet



My bean plant has outgrown it’s trellis!

Good news, my Luffa sprout survived the rabbit attacks and  is doing great! Better news, I have TWO of them! Shortly after posting that update I noticed that two more luffa sprouts popped up, making three! But then a bug came and ate one of them so I was left with two. I’m just happy they grew!

Eggplant flower

 My green beans!

Pepper plant

I can’t wait for all the vegetables!

Veggie Garden Update: The Finished Fence!

In my last veggie garden update, I talked about how a certain little rabbit named Cosmo had been visiting my veggie garden. 

I was using a rabbit repellent spray which seemed to be working, but shortly after my post that hungry guy ate ALL of my eggplant and banana pepper plants, most of my bell pepper plants, one chili pepper plant and entire broccoli plant! All in a matter of a few days! So I knew it was time to line the fence with rabbit wire.

First I had to seal the entire fence with a water proof and UV proof sealant. It took forever!
Then we took turns stapling the rabbit wire to the inside of the fence. It was tricky to unroll it, but the stapling part was fun! We had to be so careful not to squish the vegetable plants. At one point I screamed because I thought Steven had stepped on my last hot pepper plant. Turns out he had stepped just in front of it but I gave him a good scare! 
Making sure the gate was rabbit proof

We worked on it every evening for about a week. We were worried the wire would make the fence ugly, but I acutally like it! I think it makes it look more like a vegetable garden and gives it a finished look. If I had known this ahead of time we would have finished the fence before we planted the vegetables so it would have been easier. We ended up losing a few bean plants, one got squished and one got covered in the sealant, turned brown and died. But I had a bunch of bean plants so not big deal!

The fence has been up for a few weeks now and so far no more veggie fatalities! I can’t believe one little rabbit could do so much destruction, but at least now my plants are safe 🙂

It was fun building the fence, but I am looking forward to next year when all I need to do is rough up the soil and put the plants in the ground.