Garden Update: 01 June 2009

054According to my last Garden Update, it’s been about a month since I direct-sowed a whole lotta seeds in pots out on the deck.  I have what seems like a million pots on the deck, and then a bunch more down against the rock wall in the driveway, what my friend Nadine calls “Little Tuscany.” 

We’ve had cool and rainy weather for the last month.  Some gorgeous sun this weekend and my plants definitely responded, but I think they are little behind where they would be if we’d had more sun. Let’s see how they’re doing, shall we?

The spearmint (left) and lemon balm (right) are growing like gangbusters.


The German butterball potatoes (left) are coming along, but I may have planted too many for this pot.  The purple Peruvian potatoes (right) have spent more time down in the driveway, soaking up the sun, so they are nearly ready for earthing up.2009-06-011

Pole beans, from transplant (left and lower) and direct-seed (upper right). The lower leaves are turning yellow and then dropping off; not sure what is causing that, but the vines are growing rapidly (about to the top of a 4-foot stake) and the new leaves are all green.  I think I will apply more compost this week and see if that helps.2009-06-012

They say that herbs are the easiest plants to grow. I beg to differ. One of my herb pots (containing chives, cilantro, cumin and a couple of other plants that I can’t remember) is doing well, the others well.. not so much.  The lemon basil and lemon verbena look pretty sad, I’ve decimated the rosemary to the point where it will likely not recover and the mint never germinated (although a volunteer mushroom decided to move in).2009-06-013

The LI cheese squash (left) and cucumbers look healthy enough but they are growing really, really slowly. I just noticed today another cheese squash seed just about to break through the soil (you can just see it in the lower left of the picture); that means it’s taken over 4 weeks to germinate!  Granted, we’ve had some quite cold and rainy weather but… my cucumber plants grew much faster than this last year, when I germinated them indoors and transplanted.2009-06-014

The Matt’s Wild Cherry plants are looking quite robust, one in a hanging planter on the deck and the other in “Tuscany.”2009-06-015

And for those of you who are wondering if Earth Boxes are as good as everyone says they are – a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Tomatoes (Stupice) in the Earth Boxes are in the back, the teeny, spindly little plants are tomatoes (Stupice, Silvery Fir and Thessaloniki)  in regular plastic pots in front.  They were transplanted at the same time (2-3 weeks ago) and were about the same size then.  I only wish they weren’t so expensive. tomatoes

Lest I neglect the pepper plants, the cayenne and jalapeno peppers (left) are coming along fine. The window box on the right contains borage, cumin, chives, lemon balm, and those teeny, tiny little plants right at the bottom of the picture are red bell peppers.  Red bell peppers that were started indoors on April 13. At this rate, they are growing about 1/4-inch a month…043

Want more garden updates? Read about my garden here.


  1. Kim

    Oh, it does look lovely! I have several fingertip sized sprouts of thai peppers that are about the size of your red bells and at the rate they seem to be growing I may be able to make some homemade chili paste sometime next year…

  2. Cheryl

    I love your blog! I’m trying out container gardening for the first time ever this year. Started indoor seedlings rather late (April 30) for cherry and roma tomatoes, zucchini, carnival peppers and some herbs. All seem to be thriving except for the peppers. They took 3 weeks to germinate and just now have 2 sets of leaves. How have your peppers fared to date? Any tips?

    Also curious as to what happened with your tomato plants whose leaves turned yellow. I noticed the leaves on some of mine are curled rather inward and are not the healthy green color they once were…

  3. localkitchen

    Hi Cheryl,

    I started my seeds late last year as well (my 1st year growing anything) and I still harvested everything before the frost, so never fear!

    Peppers *do* take a long time to germinate, and then seem to grow quite slowly. I think mine are particularly slow this year because it has been so rainy here; too wet and not enough sun. However, I did just notice yesterday some actual peppers on two of the cayenne plants – nothing yet on the jalapenos, and the red bell pepper plants are still tiny. I don’t know that they will produce anything in time.

    As for the tomatoes, last year I had a similar problem with the older (lower) leaves turning yellow and eventually dying. I’m not really sure what causes it – if you Google around, you’ll see it could be over-watering, under-watering, too much fertilizer, not enough fertilizer, etc. Two of my cherry tomato plants in the driveway have yellowed leaves, but the rest of the ones on the deck seem fine, and since the driveway gets much more sun/heat, I suspect it may be not enough water, or just periods of drying out that does it, at least in this case. I did have it happen last year, and a couple of plants got really mangy looking, but they still produced fruit, so fingers crossed. Strangely enough, the tomatoes on the deck are not yellowing, but the leaves are being pretty thoroughly attacked by some type of bug (I think a flea beetle?) and are riddled with shotgun holes. I can’t keep any soap on the leaves as deterrent, since it won’t stop raining… again, fingers crossed!

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