A Garden Update

by Elizabeth on July 7, 2011 · 9 comments

in gardening, Growing Food

Remember my garden?  The one I planted in June?  Well, it’s flourishing now!

Here’s what it looked like before…

And here’s what it looks like now!

Picture courtesy of www.christinestanely.blogspot.com

Look at how tall my basil is getting!! Sersiously, both plants are huge and I’ll never use all this basil.  I see lots of pesto and gifts of basil in my future.

And my Vinca has really blossomed.  All the plants have flowers now and they are nice and tall without being leggy.  I’m very pleased at how hardy this plant has turned out to be.  An excellent investment.

A close up at the lovely Vinca

Of course, it being my garden, I’ve had some problems.  Remember my beautiful sunflowers that were so open and pretty when I bought them?

Yeah, they’re dead now. 🙁  I have no idea what happened? Too much water?  Not enough?  Too hot?  I’ve never grown sunflowers and I’ve heard they can be tricky, so maybe I’m just not cut out for growing them.

Some of my tomatoes are doing really well…

But some of the others are getting big, but showing no signs of turning red.  A couple are also looking a little damaged.  Any clues as to what is going on and how long it takes for them to turn red?

I also have one plant that is considerably shorter than the others.  Four out of the five plants are at least two feet tall and producing lots of flowers, but this one hasn’t grown much at all.  Part of the top are dying, and although it has three tomatoes growing on it, I’m concerned because it’s so short and shows little signs of new growth.

So that’s how my garden is doing so far!  I’m definitely getting excellent results from the basil and the flowers are gorgeous, but I’m a little concerned about my tomatoes.  Any tomato growers out there who can help?

How is your garden growing so far?

All pictures (except for two) taken by Christine

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cate July 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm

It’s so frustrating when your plants die and you have no clue why! That happened to us this year with all of our herbs. Well, only the cilantro outright died, but the rest of them just aren’t flourishing. I’m thinking maybe not enough sun? Who knows. I’m going to plant them somewhere different next year.

Our tomatoes are enormous but still green, too. Yesterday one of our Romas turned red so we’re hopeful that the rest will follow soon.

I’d never seen Vincas before, they’re gorgeous!


2 Laura July 7, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Elizabeth, be patient with your first garden! 🙂
I have a few tips…
Sunflowers often don’t transplant well, so try starting them from seed instead. In general, plants that are already blooming are especially sensitive – it’s best to transplant short, sturdy plants (prefer buds instead of blooms). I make exceptions for good buys, though!
Tomatoes need 8+ hours of sun, consistent watering, and proper calcium (to avoid blossom end rot). Prune damaged leaves and fruit; better to divert energy to healthy parts. Also trim non-productive stems of indeterminate tomatoes to keep them from wasting energy on stems instead of flowers/fruit.
Vinca are very prolific, even weedy. They’ll probably engulf your raised bed within a year!
Have fun gardening! It’s pleasantly addictive 🙂


3 Elizabeth July 8, 2011 at 7:56 am

Thanks for the great advice Laura! I worried that when I bought such awesome sunflowers they wouldn’t do well when I planted them in my garden. I would love to try to grow them from seeds next year because I love them so much.

I’ll be sure to prune the damaged parts off the short plant. They are getting lots of sun and water, but I’m a little worried because some of the tomatoes are growing well under the leaves, basically in the shade. I’m wondering if that’s why they aren’t ripening.

Again, thanks for the advice!!


4 Jess July 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm

My tomatoes are still green, and I think they probably went in later than yours. It’s so frustrating to wait for them! Thankfully my cucumbers have been producing a couple a week.


5 Elizabeth July 8, 2011 at 7:56 am

I would love to grow cucumbers! Do they require a lot of space?


6 Jess July 9, 2011 at 7:04 am

I have two that are growing out of a 12 inch container. I put some plastic mesh fence stuff along the deck railings and let them grow up that. I also have one in the ground. They do spread out and will grab on to other plants nearby. But if you give them something to grab on to they will grow up rather than out.


7 Annabelle July 8, 2011 at 12:39 am

Wow, gorgeous! Congrats. My “garden” is growing slowly but surely… indoors. Hopefully your tomatoes just need a bit more time and some TLC!


8 Amber July 8, 2011 at 7:48 am

yay garden!! I wish Rob and I had room to plant a garden. We tried to plant a little patio garden-ish thing, consisting of tomatoes, parsley, and some other herb that I can’t think of right now and, well, they died. I think it was a combination of not getting enough sunlight (as our apartment is on the back side of the apartment complex and is facing a pretty heavily wooded area. Keeps the apt cool, but doesn’t work so well for plant growth) and not being watered enough ((oops)).

On another note, my dear blog-gurista, can you give me some blogging tips? I would really like to get more into blogging and attract at least a few readers.


9 Elizabeth July 8, 2011 at 8:00 am

Yeah, plants need sunlight and water. 🙂

My top three tips:
1. Blog consistently; it doesn’t have to be everyday, but it does need to happen more than once a week.
2. Leave comments on many different blogs and leave them often. I aim to comment on at least three different blogs a day.
3. Keep your blog posts concise and to the point. I don’t believe in niche blogging (obviously) but your posts should have a point and give readers reason to comment.


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