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Get the Dirt, Issue #001 Every Thing is Growing!
June 17, 2009

How's your vegetable garden coming this season?

Growing Peppers

Please send me a paragraph or short story about your gardening experience; the best of it, or the worst of it! I am creating a page on my website where readers can share their gardening stories. Photographs are welcome also.

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My container garden is doing really well.

The tomatoes are blooming, and my garbage can full of growing potatoes is quite exciting! I can't believe how quickly the foliage has grown to the top of the container. We have eaten some of the lettuce already; it needed to be thinned so we had a "baby lettuce" salad! The cucumbers are growing slowly, as are the carrots and green onions. I have the lettuce container in partial shade, and the rest of the containers in direct sunshine.

Growing Peppers

The "new" raised bed garden is growing like crazy.

We have harvested all of the lettuce, and most of the radish from the new raised bed garden, which my husband and grandson built about 5 weeks ago. I have transplanted more lettuce starts out of the container garden into the raised bed garden. It only takes two or three weeks for it to mature after being transplanted. The tomato plant is simply HUGE. It has lots of blooms ready to form little tomatoes. It is about time to trim some of the non-fruit-bearing branches back, so that the tomato plant can put more of it's energy into growing tomatoes! We also harvested the first zucchini a couple of days ago. It was perfect. The flowers on the zucchini are really lovely. I meant to plant a zucchini in the flower bed, to try it as an ornamental plant, but didn't manage to get it done. The pepper, onions, and carrots are coming along nicely. The cucumber plant is much larger than those that I planted in the container garden. It is growing quickly, while the container cucumber seems to be waiting to grow.

Uncle Jack's garden

Uncle Jack's garden was planted later than mine, so it is just getting started. One advantage to having a container or raised bed garden here in rainy Oregon, is being able to plant earlier than in a traditional garden in-ground garden. Uncle Jack couldn't get his rototilling done until the first part of June, as the ground was just too wet to till. (I planted mine about 4-5 weeks ago.) Next newsletter, I will send you "before" and "during" pictures of his simply amazing HUGE garden. He was 85 years old in January.

It's not too late to plant a garbage can of potatoes!

get the dirt

It's not too late to plant a garbage can of potatoes if that sounds like fun to you. We bought an inexpensive 33 gallon garbage can at Walmart for about $6. My husband drilled one inch holes in the bottom of the can, and also about 3 inches up from the bottom of the can. (It is important to have good drainage for all vegetable plants.) We then put 3 inches of potting soil in the bottom of the can, and laid small seed potatoes on top of this soil. Then we covered the seed potatoes with about 4 inches of soil. It took about 2 weeks for them to send green leaves up through the surface of the dirt. (Before the leave appeared, I was SO tempted to dig one of them up to see if they were sprouting, but held myself back!) After the leaves and stalks were about 6 inches tall, we added three more inches of potting soil. We have continued to let them grow 6 or 8 inches, and then add 3-4 inches of soil all the way to the top of the container! The foliage is taller than the can now. They have grown so quickly lately, that I think you could almost see them grow if you watched for a few minutes. This is a very fun project, and we are hoping to get 20 to 30 pounds of potatoes from this container of plants. Harvesting is a breeze, as you only have to empty the container onto the ground, and pick up your potatoes!

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