03 April 2011

Summer Vegetable Garden

Flowering Purple Majesty Potatoes
Our vegetable garden is coming along nicely these days.  I'm close to adding another bed, and adding a composting pile - also, I just added trellises that I really like.  Since my seed starting didn't go as planned this year, I needed to go out and buy a few plants.

I went to Lowe's this morning with the intention of buying squash, pepper and tomato plants and watermelon seeds, and came home with:

Crookneck Squash
Better Boy Tomatoes
Red Bell Peppers
Sweet Banana Peppers
Crimson Sweet Watermelons

To me, the cost can really add up when buying vegetable plants.  I try to find the best deal by looking at the price and the number of seedlings in the pack.  A number of 4-packs, for example, will have more than one per section.  It might not be the best idea to divide these plants, but it's worth trying.  There were nine tomato plants in the 4-pack that I bought this morning.  I divided the tomato plants and planted the three largest ones in the garden, stripping off lower branches and planting them deeper, to encourage a better root structure.  I also potted the other six and I'll either leave them in pots or plant them in the garden at a later date.  I put the plants next to one of my new trellises, hoping to use it to support the tomatoes as they grow.

I got 5 banana peppers, but I had a hard time finding bell peppers.  I looked for a long time and only found green ones - I finally found individual pots of red bell peppers instead of multi-packs.  I bought two pots of those which got me 4 plants.  I had planned to put the squash in the same bed, but after planting the peppers, there wasn't enough room - knowing how big the squash plants will get.  I had plans to devote a whole field to corn - when I say "field", I really mean a 4 x 8 bed  - but I needed more room to plant the squash.  I almost have a "3 Sisters" garden going on there.

Before I went to Lowe's, I planned to buy watermelon seeds - they were cheap and I have all summer, right?  So, when I was looking at all of the vegetable plants, I ran across watermelons.  There were a couple of different varieties - one would grow 20 pound fruit or the other, Crimson Sweet, would grow to about 10 pounds.  I chose the Crimson Sweet variety for a couple of reasons - I grew it last year and it is a recommended variety of the Clemson Extension, and I plan to trellis these plants.  I don't know how well this will work, but I thought I might have better luck with smaller fruit than trying to support 20 pound watermelons on a trellis.

Wish me luck and hopefully this season will be great!


Nicholai said...

I'm jealous. I want to grow food but I think I'll mess it all up...

Joan said...

I know I'll mess it all up!!!

Jenion said...

It usually starts out well, but I have a good feeling about this year.