Monday, June 13, 2011

First fruit

Well, here it is, my first heirloom cucumber (and my first veggie out of this year's garden). This is a Spacemaster from seed I bought from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Though I am excited, I have to admit that this is going to be a somewhat disappointing season. Out of everything I planted, I will most likely only get a fraction of the produce. With the lack of rain, no bees, and unamended soil, it comes as no surprise. I do water as best as I can to compensate.

In an effort to go as organic as possible, I tried to avoid any chemicals, only using some Black Cow and my own compost to amend the soil. My budget being what it is, I could only get so much BC, and had to spread it quite thinly, and the compost wasn't quite ready. Another mistake I made was not tilling the plot from last season, which made for some hard, compact soil. I also tried to co-plant some vegetables, but did it too close together (and I later read that it isn't really necessary or that beneficial). I will admit that I caved and use some MG garden soil and liquid fertilizer on an irregular basis to help the poor soil. I hope to be able to save a bit more money to get some organic amendments in the future.

After removing my first planting of squash for lack of growth, I really amended that row with compost, leaf mold, bone meal, potting soil, and Black Cow. Everything I planted in this row, except for the corn, is doing really good (duh!).

I am quite surprised at how good the watermelons are doing. I have about 10 - 12 growing, some that are about softball size. I should have some good tomatoes, a few peppers, some squash, and of course purple hull peas (those never fail me!!).

My goal at this point is to get at least one of everything to get seeds for next year.

It may sound like I am complaining, but I am really not, as I have gained so much knowledge during the past months. Hopefully my Fall garden will be much better.


Wicked Gardener said...

Awesome! Being an organic gardener in FL is no easy task and actually producing something edible is quite the accomplishment. Hope it is the best cucumber ever!

Tom Barrett said...

thanks, WG!

No easy task indeed, and having a small budget doesn't help. Thankfully seeds are relatively cheap. And growing heirloom veggies and fruits has the added benefit of "free*" seeds.

*"Free" not including the constant weeding, watering, bug removal, etc, etc. that goes in to producing said seeds.