The Accidental Gardeners

Squash Plants Spaced too Closely
"Mom, I planted all of them," exclaimed my 3-year-old proudly! She was already crumpling the paper seed packets in her little hands, after dumping all of the pumpkin, onion and broccoli seeds in our flower bed at the edge of the driveway.  Some pumpkin seeds were all I could rescue, because the others were entirely too small to see.  I'm not even sure if they all got planted in the flower bed or just scattered on the concrete.  I had laid down the seed packets on a bench while I tried to decide where to plant things in the fenced vegetable beds.  After a few days, the pumpkin seeds from Sow True Seed have sprouted where I hurriedly planted them in early June.  I'm now reading the packet instructions that clearly say, "Need to space wide (8 ft+)."  Oops.  Maybe I can still transplant them before they get too big.    

Our Pole Snap Beans

Our Leaf Lettuce

We have eaten organically grown food from our own garden this season. We have had limited successes.  This spring, our family of four ate spinach from our garden a dozen times and lettuce a half-dozen times.  We've eaten fresh-picked green beans a couple of times in the past week.  This already recoups nearly all the cost of seeds.

Squash Leaf
Sometimes it seems things are growing in spite of our misguided efforts. Although it was fun to start several plants indoors from seed, we did not have a special light source for the fledgling plants.  So we think they suffered from a lack of light during the last couple of weeks before we could safely move them outdoors. The delicate squash plants seemed to have a rough transition outdoors, yet they've flourished in recent weeks.  Because I dumped the contents of some starter pots that I thought contained stunted plants, I ended up with too many growing closely together.  I tried to give some young plants away and probably should have moved more of them apart when they were smaller.  Some squash plants have now grown so the leaves are more than a foot across, and the bright yellow flowers are plentiful.  We're hopeful this will mean lots of squash production as the summer progresses.

Possibly Blighted Tomato Plant

Tomatoes seemed to be the hardest to transition outdoors from seed.  So, we purchased a couple of plants from an organic grower.  In the meantime, tiny plants that I thought I'd killed have been growing, as well.  Trouble is, we think we have a blight on even the tomato plants we purchased.  A couple of the plants that popped up unexpectedly seem to be free of the blight.

Volunteer Potato Plants

Then there were the mystery plants.  We'd been faithfully composting to produce nutrient-rich soil.  Apparently I'd been putting lots of potato peelings in that compost that hadn't completely broken down.  My husband and I started to weed the beds of these strange plants, when we discovered a perfect little red potato on one root.  So, the potato plants are staying put.

I decided an easy garden addition would be a little strawberry plant that I bought from a local farm store.  We watched with delight as the first couple of berries started to ripen.  Then we noticed a cute little chipmunk visiting our garden on the same day the berries disappeared...

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