Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Garden Update: Peas Gone Wild!

The aquaponics garden is finally doing great!  We seem to have the ants fairly well under control, and the fish are fertilizing the plants. We are on a regular schedule for adding chelated iron to the system, and we have the lights adjusted (mostly) to accommodate the various heights of the plants.  
This photo is standing in the NW corner of the room in front of the window.  We call this Bed 1.  It has broccoli, carrots, cabbage, onions, chard and zucchini planted in it.  This was the bed with the worst ant infestation.  We still see a few in there, but they are not building a super highway like they were. The weight on the board in the middle of the bed is to hold the media guard in place.  The growstones are VERY lightweight, and when the water fills the beds the stones float, causing the guard to lift from the bottom.  Several stones had migrated into the sump tank before we figured out a workable solution.  The weights were supposed to be a temporary fix while we came up with something a little prettier, but it appears they are permanent fixtures!

We planted more seeds (direct sow) of the same things in this bed on Sunday, and yesterday we already had some sprouts!

This is bed 3 containing lettuce, two tomato plants, three basil, marjoram, stevia, celery and more carrots. The minibell tomato plant has several blooms on it already. The other (gypsy) is pretty flimsy.  I am thinking we may need to put a fan on it to strengthen the stem.  Ornery put a stake in there for the basil and this tomato plant.  These photos were taken on Sunday, and already things are bigger and healthier looking.

These are my blue lake green beans on Sunday.  They are loaded with blooms and already several little beans are popping out!  How fun!!  In the foreground you can see the snow peas we planted first back in March.  We have trimmed them several times to get rid of the bleached out leaves which appear when the iron level drops too low.  They still don't have any blooms, but...

they have grown above the lights and are bumping the ceiling!  Crazy things!

These are garden peas, and there are some very cute little pea pods showing.  If you click on the photo you should be able to see some. :)

These next photos are of some of the outdoor beds.  We have lots of containers on the patio, including this cedar box filled with herbs.  Cilantro, Sage, Oregano, Thyme, Marjoram, Corsican and regular Basil.

In another of those cedar boxes which Ornery built legs for to keep the rabbits out of we planted all the strawberry plants I had in one pot last summer.  They didn't produce last year because of the aforementioned rabbits, but they are loaded with blooms and berries right now, so hopefully we have hit upon a solution!

This next one is a photo of part of the patio. We have hanging baskets and numerous pots, plus the two new raised flower beds along the edge.  It's mixed as to how well things are doing, some are great, some not so hot, but overall, I think once it warms up, we should have a pretty display of a wide variety of colors and textures.  I have mostly planted perennial plants, but there are some annuals mixed in because I just can't seem to pass them up!

This is our columbine from last year.  It did great all year last year, and is almost giddy this year producing even better than last.  It is very happy in this spot on the patio.

Against my better judgment, we piled straw all over the beds to help protect against weeds and keep the moisture in.  Unfortunately, the straw (wheat) has sprouted prodigiously (which happened last time and was the reason I didn't really want to use it for mulch) and has sort of hidden the various plants so I don't really know how they are doing.  It has also provided a haven for the blasted rabbits to hide in, and they have burrowed in two of my vegetable beds. :(  Not a happy gardener.  I have a renewed appreciation for Mr. McGregor of Peter Rabbit fame.  You can be assured we will be waging war on the little furry fiends. They aren't as destructive as some other critters, but it is hard enough to garden while battling the weather without added complications!


Andi Filante said...

Peas gone wild...giggle, snort. :) I'm so jealous of your wonderful little garden...we haven't even had a chance to plant grass seed yet!!


Families of the Nations said...

Lots of hard work paying off! Have you got harvest plans to avoid being overwhelmed with the yield coming soon? That is always a tough one for me.