Garden Update-Have I Won the Battle?

I may not have won the war, but I may have won the battle, at least for now. It seems like my monsters have found other places to dig besides in and around my garden beds. I like to imagine them frustrated; “What are these boards and bricks and rocks doing in my buffet? Let’s go somewhere else...”

As for my plants, they seem to be doing well. I’ve been able to remove the caging off the eggplants and squash and the effect was amazing. The zucchini doubled in size overnight. I am not exaggerating. It doubled. It was almost as if it was singing, “Born free....” and stretching it’s arms toward the sky.
Yes, both the animals and plants talk in my garden.
The tomatoes seem to be happy and two of the plants have quite a few green tomatoes on them. I harvested my first vegetables of the summer on Sunday; 1 lb of yellow squash.

I have not had much luck with my plants started with seeds; my basil seedings have been chewed up by insects or snails (though I haven’t seen any evidence of said slugs), the leeks died as did the lemon cucumbers. Also, the peas I planted died. So this past weekend I bought more plants, some to replace the seedlings, some to extend the garden’s growing period.

Expense Update: What price the joy of a home grown vegetables?
Ongoing total for Summer 2010:

Purchased the weekend of 5/29/10:
2 6-packs of basil plants, green and purple mixed
1 Japanese Eggplant
1 yellow summer squash
1 tarragon
1 sage

To see the start of the accounting process and why I’m doing this, see When Does “Growing Your Own” Become Too Expensive?
*273 is for hay, alfalfa, compost and fertilizer to fill the garden beds and for this year’s building supplies, and $67 on plants.

1 # Yellow Squash


  • Chris

    I’ve been growing vegetable gardens for years, often idly wondering what it really cost me but never keeping track. It will be interesting to see how you do, and maybe next year I’ll track my expenditures.

    Congratulations on your squash! Mine are growing fast from seed, but I’d guess I’m three or four weeks away from having anything to harvest.

  • Myra

    I have a snail infestation. They’ve eaten my basil, cucumber, zucchini and most of a yellow bell pepper. Tried the “beer trap” with no results. Very frustrated.

    What’s growing next to the tomatoes with those huge leaves?

      • Tiffany

        Oh my gosh. I was wondering what that giant plant was too. It looked like a weed that would grow in the backyard as a kid. I’d use it like an umbrella, but eating it would have been much nicer. 🙂

  • Charles G Thompson

    Really enjoy reading these posts. I don’t have a garden but I do know about the travails of keeping the varmints at bay. My mother is constantly battling gophers in her garden. Glad to see you are triumphing!

  • Angela@spinachtiger

    We have a small garden, and the it’s the “water” bill that gets us. This will be our third year, but we have scaled down a bit. Not because we want to; it’s just gotten so expensive for us.

    • formerchef

      Angela-Yes, I’m not even factoring in the increase in expense from the extra water. I really should look at my bill. I use drip irrigation in the garden beds and right now, I’m only watering the vegetables once a week. The “no dig” method really works well for this. In the high heat of summer, I only water 2x a week.

  • Elvia

    So glad to see your summer squash looking good. Mine fell victim to the squash vine borer. Who even knew about this moth until last week? Not me! Did you do anything to avoid, or is that pest not prevalent in your area? Had to pull out my whole plant.

    From seed I’ve done cukes, small watermelon, basil, and all are doing nicely. I’ve been able to ingest a couple tomatos, and hope for more soon! Can’t wait to try out the homegrown tomato recipes I know you will be posting!!;)

    • formerchef

      Elvira- I had to look it up, but as far as I can tell, the squash vine borer is not prevelent here (not on the pacific coast). We have penty of other pests and diseases though, including tomato catapillers, tomato blight, japanese white beetles, grasshoppers, snails, and other various bugs.

      I have quite a few tomato recipes from last year and yes, I’m sure there will be more as soon as I can pick some. In the meantime, click on the “tomato” tag in the right sidebar to see some of the recipes.

  • nina

    These boxes are such a great idea….I thought it would keep insects at bay, but sadly not….I have never seen a lemon squash…will have to Google it!!

  • Jennifer S

    I’ve got 2 zucchini plants in a planter out in front of the house, and just this week I’ve got blossoms! I’m tempted to cut and cook the blossoms, and see if the plants create more.

    Keep up the good fight! Home grown stuff always tastes better, too. 🙂

    • formerchef

      If you don’t already know which blossoms to pick, read my post on pizza with zucchini blossoms. The plants will create more, but you have to make sure to pick the right ones!

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