Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My $1000 Cucumber and Look What I did Yesterday with THE GARDENERD.

My husband makes fun of me all the time and says that  I grew a $1000 cucumber.  What he actually means is that I have attempted 4 times at a garden and the only thing that was edible was a cucumber. Kind of true - but the cherry tomatoes worked as well. My gorgeous next door neighbor called in an expert and I have been going over there every day and picking my own salad - yumm.  So I called  Christy Wilhelmi AKA The Gardenerd and I am so excited about what we did yesterday: Check out what we planted  in my back yard ($120 worth of plants fyi)

From back to front: 3 rows of Corn, 3 rows of lettuce, flowers that help,herbs, mint, basil , cilantro, sage,oregano, chive, parsley
3 different types of tomatoes, red and green pepper, and cucumber in the back
 4 watermelon plants and 3 strawberry
Do you think I will be living off the land?

How amazing is this follow up email from Christy on how to care for my garden.

Hi Suze,

I'm so excited about your new garden.  I think that you will have more success this time. Here are some things that we discussed:

Watering - water every day until you see some growth. Then you can probably cut back to every other day.  Use the 2-knuckle test to check if things are dry.  If stuff starts turning yellow, it's probably too much water.  If it wilts or turns brown, it's probably not enough water.  Water the arugula seeds every day - put a plant marker so you don't forget they are there.  Pots may need more frequent water - probably daily when the weather gets warmer.  Deep soaking also is a good idea for them, and then you most likely won't have to water as often.  

Tomatoes - tomatoes have special watering needs.  After this week, start cutting back to once every 5-7 days.  On the day you water, give them a deep soak.  Tomatoes like deep and infrequent watering.  Once they set fruit (form tomatoes) cut back to once every 10 days - deep soaking on the day of watering.  You'll see great results there.

Pruning -  pinch the tomato "suckers" after about 4 clusters of fruit set.  That will help keep them under control. Pinch off the Strawberry flowers on the new plants for a couple months.  I may mean no fruit this year, but next year you'll have tons.   With the watermelons, once fruit forms on each vine, count two leaf sets past the fruit (away from the roots) and cut the vine. That will encourage bigger fruit.  

Cucumbers - train the cucumbers up the trellises.  You can use the other unused trellises to add more cross pieces closer together if it looks like it needs more support horizontally. 

Harvesting - pick the outside leaves of the lettuces and arugula - when it comes up. 

Storing seeds - store your seeds in a jar in the fridge.  Put several desiccant packets in the bottom to absorb moisture.  Your seeds will last for years. 

Watering Can - here is a link to the Haws watering can.  It's the biggest one you can get, like the one we used today. 

Let me know when you want me to come by and check on things.  Good luck!

Christy Wilhelmi
Founder, Gardenerd
Board of Directors, Ocean View Farms since 1999
Columnist, Mar Vista's Bounty Hunter, Mar Vista Patch
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  1. jUST Here to say hello =)

    whereORwhat.blogspot:Ilustrations, design and creativity.


  2. best of luck, I think this is the year!!

  3. Ah! This is SO helpful! I tend to kill everything in the world, and I just planted a little garden myself. Spectacularly, it's growing...but I don't want to mess things up. Thanks for this! Good luck with yours. :)