Friday, October 30, 2009

Veggie Garden

In August I planted a vegetable garden. It was my first attempt at something like this and I've been meaning to blog about how things are going!

My husband built me a raised bed which I sectioned off like a square foot garden. I planted seeds of bunching onions, long thin cayenne peppers, bok choy, golden hubbard squash, bush beans, spaghetti squash, zucchini, and yellow squash. I used organic soil mixed with organic compost. The only things I transplanted were the pepper plants which I grew by seed indoors some months beforehand.

The bok choy were the first to show their cute faces to the world! They are very slow growers so I didn't expect to see them sprout first. The seed packet was a good one, practically every seed I sewed sprouted. A few days later the squash started sprouting as well as the bush beans (but I never did see a single bunching onion, the seed packet was old).

It didn't take long before the white-flies found my little garden plot. Here is an excerpt from my garden journal:

August 27, 2009
Whiteflies EVERYWHERE! It's awful. I spent pretty much an entire afternoon researching ways to kill them. I sprayed them with my soap solution recipe (it's for aphids but I read it will kill the whiteflies too). They are all over the leaves of my squashes and bush beans, plus the larvae on the underside. I hate them! I just read that the solution might be harmful to my squash plants so I may have killed them along with the flies. :(
I researched a few organic garden pest recipes. My dad used a pepper spray to protect his Tabasco and habenero peppers from being eaten alive by garden chompers. This is the recipe he used as he remembers it:

  • dishsoap
  • several cloves of garlic
  • 6-10 hot peppers (hotter the better!)
  • 1 gallon water
Place garlic, peppers and a small amount of your water in a blender/food processor and puree. NOTE: Avert your face when you take the lid off because the fumes are very strong. Strain the mixture and add the liquid to your gallon of water.

When you are ready to use the solution on your garden, fill up a spray bottle, add 2 tsp dishsoap, shake and spray every few days until the pests are under control.

Shake well before each use.
We had to leave for a few days in September. I left a soaker-hose attached to a timer so the seedlings would stay moist while we were gone. When we came home the garden was not only growing and alive, it was wild and the squash plants were huge! They pretty much took over the garden.

Next season I'm going to make a new bed where I can plant just squash separate from everything else! The bush beans and the peppers were still getting enough sun so I just let everything grow so I can see how things turn out. This is definitely an experiment in progress and I will have more pictures and info as the garden saga continues.

Additional photos of my Veggie Garden are found on my Flickr page.

If you are interested in building a square foot garden box like mine, check out Emily's instructions for making the garden box on her My Square Foot Garden blog: Build It!