Fresh Veggies!

It has been almost six weeks ago that I posted pictures of my garden. I am happy to be able to report that today I picked my first mess of green beans! And they taste awesome!

I also have peppers and tomatoes forming, so I consider the Earthboxes to be a success!

On the left are two varieties of peppers (three plants total), in the middle box is the green beans, and on the right are two varieties of tomatoes (two plants total). The peppers have not fared as well as the other plants. We had some very strong winds two weeks ago and the peppers were practically tipped out of the Earthbox planter. We moved the planters against the west wall (mostly we have west winds here) and the other plants (green beans and tomatoes) recovered nicely, but the peppers still do not look all that great. They are still blossoming and have set peppers, so all is not lost. Lesson learned, though!

I wish I could say the rest of my gardening is going equally as well. My flowers look fine, as do the various mint plants (I have discovered the joys of adding fresh mint to my smoothies, so have acquired several different types of mints).

But my attempts at planting any vegetables, seeds or seedlings, directly into the ground have been an unmitigated disaster. The seeds never sprouted and the seedlings all die. At first I thought maybe the birds were eating the seeds and the subsequent seedlings we planted, so our second attempt at seedlings was accompanied by bird netting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear like birds are doing the damage. Here is a yellow squash plant four days after I put the seedling in the ground.

The first two days it looked fine, then over night it completely wilted and has not recovered. The zucchini planted at the same time did exactly the same. Two days later, we planted a cucumber and a winter squash seedling and those both did not look well within 24 hours after planting. I have pansies planted in the same area and they look fine, have been growing great for several weeks.

The squash are in the same area where I successfully grew squash, peas, lettuce and spinach two years ago. But yesterday Bill remembered a small piece of information that might be explaining the issues; last summer he sprayed Roundup on the weeds that grew up in those beds. He is not sure why it would last a full year or why it would affect only the veggies and not the flowers I planted, but it is the only thing we can think of that might explain what is going on.

In any event, I think I am going to get a couple more Earthboxes and use those for squash, spinach and lettuce. They (the Earthboxes) are quite a financial investment, but we should get many years of usage out of them and I think, if we have a mild enough winter here (like we did last winter) I could grow spinach and lettuce in them almost year round. It’s worth a try! Heaven knows we eat enough lettuce around here! Bill keeps saying he feels like he must be starving a rabbit or two, with the amount of greens he is eating!


  1. Cee Gee

    The plants look terrific! I’m envious. Congrats to you.

  2. Roberta

    The earthbox plants do look great.

    Too bad about the squash. It is possible that they are simply more susceptible than the pansies, but I seem to remember that plants that are actively growing might be more susceptible too?

    Another issue that can crop up here in the desert is the presence of soil fungi, such as Texas root rot, that can wipe out landscape plants in certain areas. That is most common in areas that once supported agriculture.

    • Karen

      I’ve wondered if there wasn’t more wrong with the soil there. I did add several bags of composted cow manure and plain soil to those beds this spring. I supposed it is possible there was something in them. I have planted some marigold plants there and we’ll see how they do. The marigold seeds that you sent me for my birthday never sprouted there … but it is possible the birds ate them. So many variables!

      Bill told me that cucumbers (& then squash) are THE most susceptible to many things, sort of like canaries in a coal mine.

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