Lavender, eggshells & heirloom pumpkins

4/30/2015 The strawberry & lettuce bed is doing great.  Only one berry so far but we’ve got more lettuce than we can eat!

LOTS of lettuce!
LOTS of lettuce!
Lavender and nasturtiums.
Lavender and nasturtiums.

The zinnia sprouts are ready to go in the ground… arp30v

Oregano by the kitchen door.
Oregano by the kitchen door.
Cherry tomato by the kitchen.
Cherry tomato by the kitchen.
Basil in the bale by the kitchen.
Basil in the bale by the kitchen.
Cucumbers (straight 8) in the bale by the kitchen.
Cucumbers (straight 8) in the bale by the kitchen.

apr30q

Butternut squash in the bale by the kitchen.
Butternut squash in the bale by the kitchen.

My sister-in-law is a botanist at Stanford.  One of her students gave her some heirloom seeds as a thank-you & she sent some to us.  Pipian from Tuxpan is a prolific round pumpkin that is blue/green and is known for it’s delicious seeds.  We are excited to see how they do here in Georgia! http://www.rareseeds.com/pipian-from-tuxpan-squash/

Pipian from Tuxpan!
Pipian from Tuxpan!

I was at Home Depot to get a pineapple sage plant & saw these.  I love echinacea.  The color here is more vibrant than what they actually are.  They’re beautiful muted rose and salmon in person.  I’ll take some photos soon with the Nikon…iPhone is great but not the same.

Beautiful coneflowers!
Beautiful coneflowers!
The main garden as seen from the berry hill...you can see the lilly bed along the back of the house & the new coneflowers I bought.
The main garden as seen from the berry hill…you can see the lilly bed along the back of the house & the new coneflowers I bought.

Last year we had a  handful of berries from our blueberry bush.  It looks like we are going to have a great crop this year, considering the size of the bush.

Our original blueberry bush.
Our original blueberry bush.

We chose a thornless blackberry when we placed both the blue and blackberries 2 years ago.  The blackberry is VERY leggy and has rooted one leg in a separate spot on the ground where it touched.  I snipped that one, so it will become a separate bush over time.  Additionally, I placed the ends of the other “legs” an inch or two into the dirt to encourage them to root as well.  When done, we will end the season with 4-5 blackberry bushes!

Blackberries!
Blackberries!
My existing echinacea (coneflower) is doing well!
My existing echinacea (coneflower) is doing well!
Peppermint in the pot to repel flea beetles from the tomatillos in the bales behind.  Sweet potatoes are waiting for the tilled bed and LEMONGRASS & a second BLUEBERRY!
Peppermint in the pot to repel flea beetles from the tomatillos in the bales behind. Sweet potatoes are waiting for the tilled bed.  I am thrilled to find lemongrass this year.  We are also looking forward to a second BLUEBERRY!

I added some eggshells around the tomatoes.  Although they have the most benefit when added at planting time, I find that adding them periodically throughout the season is fine.  Eggshells provide needed calcium to the plants, which in turn helps to prevent blossom end rot on the fruits.

Front L bed: I've added 2 Roma (Heinz) tomatoes & some yellow crookneck squash.  The basil is yellowing because of the prolific rain...it'll green up once it heats up outside.
Front L bed: I’ve added 2 Roma (Heinz) tomatoes & some yellow crookneck squash. The basil is yellowing because of the prolific rain…it’ll green up once it heats up outside.

Although my garden is small, I plant fairly densely within the square footage I have.  I loosely use the square foot gardening philosophy and do so successfully.  It is successful because I don’t overfill the garden beds & because I companion plant.  There are some things I plant more densely than suggested (ie.tomatoes & tomatillos) but from experience I know in this area, with the garden fence as additional support, it won’t be problematic for those particular plants. http://www.melbartholomew.com/the-very-first-sfg/

Rear L Bed: The kitchen sage is doing GREAT since being pruned.  The yellow zucchini plants (towards the rear) don't like wet feet & it's rained a lot lately.  The purple basil is in the garden!
Rear L Bed: The kitchen sage is doing GREAT since being pruned. The yellow zucchini plants (towards the rear) don’t like wet feet & it’s rained a lot lately. The purple basil is in the garden!
The tomatillos are doing well in the straw bales.
The tomatillos are doing well in the straw bales.
Zucchini blooms!
Zucchini blooms!
Center bed: The zucchini is doing well and the spinach are finally starting to grow.
Center bed: The zucchini is doing well and the spinach are finally starting to grow.
Rear R Bed: The zucchini are blooming!  I've also got the pineapple sage planted (lower L corner) & added the pumpkins I sprouted from seeds my sister-in-law sent us.
Rear R Bed: The zucchini are blooming! I’ve also got the pineapple sage planted (lower L corner) & added the pumpkins I sprouted from seeds my sister-in-law sent us.
Front R Bed: Chives are blooming (scapes!) & the scallop squash are in the ground and starting to take off...
Front R Bed: Chives are blooming (scapes!) & the scallop squash are in the ground and starting to take off…
Yarrow starting to bloom on the hill!
Yarrow starting to bloom on the hill!
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