Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hobbies: Part II

My (our, really) other new hobby is gardening!  Right now all of our plants are in pots so they'll be easy to pick up and transport when we move.  The only exception is the cantaloupe, which started out as a teeny tiny 3-inch transplant that quickly outgrew the pot we planted it in.  Take a look:

There are three cantaloupe currently growing on that sprawling monster of a vine, and we can't wait to taste them!  Hopefully it will produce more, but even if two of those are viable fruit the plant will have paid for itself.  06/15/11 Update: We ate one of the melons and it was amazing!  Well worth the wait!  The other one that was close to being ripe has exploded.  Burst.  Covered in ants.  After a long period of drought, we had several days of heavy afternoon showers...leading to melon explosion! All in all, the plants are doing remarkably well--even the ones my gardener-extraordinaire grandmother pooh-poohed (namely the peppers and cucumbers).

Confession time:  I am notoriously ambitious when it comes to starting new things. Unfortunately so is my new husband.  What started out as a few plants here and there quickly ballooned into the list below.

Spring/Summer 2011 Container Garden:
Apple mint
Bell pepper - 2 green
Bell pepper - 2 yellow
Bell pepper - 2 orange
Bell pepper - 2 red
Blueberry - 4 varieties (my favorite fruit!)
Chives - 2 pots
Cucumber - 4
Green onions
Jalapeño - 4
Kiwi (didn't even know we could grow these at home!)
Marigolds - 2 full pots
Pomegranate (really excited for this one!)
Purple basil
Satsuma - 2 kinds
Stevia - 3 plants in 1 pot
Strawberry - 2 kinds
Sunflowers (dwarf)- 2 kinds
Thai basil
Tomato - regular, grape, and cherry
Yellow squash - 3**
Zucchini - 2**

As you can see, we're quite the ambitious pair. 

**these fell prey to the dreaded squash vine borer, a hungry little grub that burrows into the stem and chomp, chomp, chomps away at the insides of your plant.  One day the plants look fine, and the next day (literally) they are limp and lifeless.  So sad.  By the time we did the research on what was affecting our plants, it was too late.  We did, however, manage to get a tidy little harvest from them, about 10 zukes and 5 squash.  These plants have since been replaced by 5 new zucchini plants--only this time, we took some precautions:

The clear plastic lid will hopefully deter the squash vine borer from laying its eggs in the soil near the plant.  The white part on the stem is a strip of pantyhose wrapped along most of the stem, including the portion under the soil.  This is supposed to prevent the squash vine borer from burrowing its way into the stem once it has hatched.  Whether or not these measures will protect our plants or not is yet to be seen.  Until then, we will be keeping a watchful eye out for any signs of those little buggers. 

Zucchini bumper crop, here we come! 

Do you have any gardening tips to share?  Or favorite ways to use up all that zucchini?

Why pay top-dollar for red/orange/yellow bell peppers when you can grow your own?
Blueberries need a pollinator, so you need to plant at least 2 varieties to get fruit!
Our first jalapeño was insanely spicy!  It was unreal.  (we picked it too soon)
The desert rose, my dad's favorite!  It's really loving the 90+°F daytime temps.
Puffy puffy pom poms.  I ♥ marigolds!
Strawberries!  Two plants aren't really enough, but it's a start.
The 'Patio' Tomato variety.  It's producing a lot of tomatoes for its height (20" tall!)


  1. I love your container garden! We live in a small apartment and don't have land we can use so I always appreciate seeing what will grow in a container :D

  2. Your garden is stunning! My mom swears by container gardens but I have yet to give them a try...I really wish I had a greenthumb, lol!

  3. I'm super jealous of your looks amazing!