How Does Your Garden Grow?

The rain has avoided us again.  I’m resigned to settling into a second drought pattern, and I’m resolved to fare this one better than the last.

This year, I’ve copied the design of the water trough planter and made a wicking bed planter.  It’s doing fairly well, although I believe it’s almost time to move it to a better location.  I planted the kale, lettuce, radish and onion here.  There was a pest attack, so I didn’t get much lettuce harvest.  The kale has been a bit reserved in its growth, but I’ve added a few leaves to salads.  The onion seeds were planted a month late, so I only expect to have green onions from them.  We did enjoy several radishes in salads before I allowed them to go to seed.  Next time, I’ll set that container right outside during the end of winter with a clear plastic cover.

onion peeking out from the kale and lettuce

The leaky bucket that I set outdoors during the cold has fared well.  The lettuce has now succumbed to some pesky pest, but the carrots are thriving.  This bucket has a water reservoir and overflow, but no fill tube.

carrots thriving past the lettuce

The first leaky bucket sat too long on the porch before being placed outdoors, plus it is full of soil mix with no water reservoir.  The radishes fared well, but the carrots and parsley are still as wimpy as ever.

still wimpy radish and parsley

The big win is the holdover from last year, the water trough planter.  Strawberries have done very well, and I’ve only filled the reservoir once this spring.  I did plant a few cucumbers into the bed and only one has survived, barely.

strawberries

The new stars of the show are the tomato planters with ollas.  I fill the ollas once a week, and the planters are set next to a north side patio that gets about eight hours of sun per day.  I put two ollas in each metal container, with a basil plant and marigolds to help shade the soil once things really heat up.  So far, these are doing extremely well.

tomato containers

tomato and marigold growth

ollas and grass clippings

We use our grass clippings as mulch, so I’ve topped the containers with clippings.  The next photo is the first tomato flower.  :)

flowering tomato

The primary water conservation technique is rain water collection.  We have six rain barrels set up to collect rain water for use on the gardens.

full rain barrels

It’s been quite easy to fill a pail with water from the barrels to use for the olla and wicking bed refills each week.  Here’s what happened when I took a short break after my watering duties:

butterfly landing

A sweet little ol’ butterfly made me its landing pad!  I was trying to take some stealth photos, but this creature could care less what I did – it was settled in for a thorough inspection.

butterfly inspection

Ah, I almost forgot to show Hubby’s pick of the day:

Hubby’s garden delight

We like to give credit when it’s due, so here it is.  This little Weber grill has outdone any charcoal grill we’ve ever used (said lightly, since I haven’t used it yet).  Hubby is the grill king, and he says it’s a winner!

How does your garden grow?

Dreamin’ Girl

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