Our shade garden is starting to take off with the rest of our vegetable gardens. This is the the area that is directly outside of our living room where we keep our fish tank and our seedlings. One of the cymbidium orchid plants that we picked up from GG a month ago is starting to bloom in our Shade Garden. These flowers are so detailed and beautiful.
We are really excited about the tomato plants in our fist garden plot. I mentioned last week that one of the plants was reaching 6ft in the air, I thought that we would show you the picture so you could get an idea of what I am talking about. The funny thing is that they are not even close to being done growing. They are just now producing their first round of produce, which means that they have allot more growing yet to come. This garden plot consists solely on plants that we either started from seeds, or volunteers. Volunteers or rouge plants are those that sprout randomly from the year before. Because we compost, and had chickens that free-ranged all last year, we have over 30 volunteer plants all over the yard that we have either left as is, or moved into a garden plot of pot to grow. So far 0ur volunteers range from spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash.
In this first garden plot we only used a straight batch of our homemade compost. This consists of our vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, dog hair, junk mail, chicken poop, and yard scraps. The compost is high in nutrients and keeps the plants healthy and strong. We mixed the compost a good three feet into the existing soil and let in sit for three weeks before moving our seedlings into the plot.
In our other garden plot (pictured above) we did not dig down into the existing soil at all but left the soil as is and only added worm hummus (worm poop) and worm tea to the top of the soil which we eventually watered into the soil. This is because we have a perennial artichoke plant in this plot that we do not want to kill. We have already harvested over a dozen artichokes from this plant so we cut it back a month ago to let the last one turn into a flower. I guess that it wasn’t done because as soon as I cut it back it started to grow again. Not only did it start to grow, but it is also putting out new artichokes. Looks like we we will have another round of artichokes before this summer is over. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that this plot is doing very well on its own accord with greens, peppers, squash and zucchini.
I am also experimenting with growing some seasonal vegetables just in pots, these are doing very well also. This is so that I can find out how to grow things when you don’t have allot of space or a yard to put a plot in. The soil mixture in the pots is 50/50 compost and soil from the yard.
Then finally we have our aquaponics garden (garden pond) . So far the peppers and herbs are doing great in this garden yet I am still finding out if I can grow tomatoes and other vegetables in this set up, or if they need to be in soil. The Tilapia that we are raising seam to be growing fast, along with the gold fish and Koi.