Green Thumbs

September 16, 2010 at 1:48 PM 4 comments

We’re not that good at gardening, but with all the chlorophyll that rubs off our tomato plants, gardening sure does give us green thumbs. As fall has arrived here in Germany, we are extremely overdue for a post of the garden we started at the end of March. (I just glanced out the window to confirm that the trees in our courtyard are indeed a good mix of green and yellow leaves.)

The first step in our project was to rip out three hideous and semi-dead rose bushes. We had no idea their root systems were about 5 feet long apiece. Yikes! Once we got those out, we did our best to weed the soil.

We then built and installed this raised bed, lining it with a cloth that prohibits weeds from growing up through but permits root systems to take hold down through and beneath the lining. We are six months in, and it has worked wonders on our weed-infested area. The next step was to spread grass seed over the soil up front.

We planted my favorite flower, hydrangea, in the pot up front and then planted a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers in the raised bed. Once everything was in the ground, we had strawberries (two varieties), pepinos, tomatoes (two varieties), artichokes, peppers (two varieties), chives, oregano, cilantro, dahlias and gladioli.

Note: Only one of the varieties of tomatoes was started from seed indoors. We started with more, but during the Icelandic volcano craziness and our trip home over the same time period, most all of the seedlings died. The plants in the back (dahlias and gladioli are bulb plants).

The tomatoes did incredibly well. We ended up not being able to use everything we harvested, because we never could find suitable canning jars. I’m determined to do better with that next go around (probably summer 2012 since we won’t be into a new place until late May or early June next year). What we didn’t account for were the nastiness known as earwigs. They ate the ever living daylights out of our dahlias. We were trying to keep the garden organic, but after trying numerous organic solutions and failing, we had to turn to just a little bit of bug spray. *sigh* Needless to say, although the dahlias were beautiful when they bloomed (about 16 blooms per plant), we were both eager to get them out of our garden.

The blooming dahlias and gladioli

John watering our blossoming garden

Our biggest disappointment was one of the varieties of strawberry plants. We seems to have a fruit-producing and non-fruit-producing variety. I don’t know what went wrong.

The non-fruit-producing strawberries are the ones in the center with all the runners. Any suggestions?

Now that fall is here, we have taken out all the plants except the chives, one pepper plant (still going strong), the pepino and artichoke. We have added a number of Brussels sprouts, but we’re now faced with a problem of caterpillars who love to eat the leaves off the Brussels sprouts. I’m not sure if John has managed to pick them all out, so I guess only time will tell.

Our Brussels sprouts just after planting (grown from seed)

To check out all of our garden photos from this year, click on the slide show below:

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Entry filed under: Our Goings On. Tags: .

Return of the PD Faint

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Angela  |  September 16, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    I’m impressed with your garden! I don’t have any useful tips to offer up, but I’m still impressed nonetheless. Your garden gives me hope for next year!

  • 2. deiala  |  September 16, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    Love the garden and I’m impressed that you stuck to it all summer long! I just moved into a new apartment and will hopefully start a garden next year…

  • 3. Sarah Johnson  |  September 16, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    I can’t believe you got grass to grow that fast! That looks awesome! Jim would love this!

  • 4. Satakieli  |  September 17, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    Your garden looks great! I happened to walk past it a couple of times as we have friends i the building next to yours. We had a big aphid and ant problem on ours, i used a garlic and cayenne pepper spray for them.

    I have to decide what to do with mine now, we probably wont be here to reap the benefits of it next year so I’m hesitant to plant anything new. I was really surprised at the huge amount of food we got from just the one plot!


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