How Did Your Garden Grow?

Something dawned on me recently. Unlike the past few years, I haven’t really written anything about my “vermi-gardening” (and gardening in general) efforts this season. As such, I thought it might be fun to put together a blog post with some of my pictures, and to invite others to send in some of their pics as well (the invitation to do so was included in a recent RWC newsletter). As it turns out, I only received a few responses, but that’s OK since this is looking like it’s going to be a monster of a post as it is!

If you’ve followed me over the past few years you may recall that I have a bit of an obsession with tomatoes. They are my favorite crop plant by far, and I always try to squeeze as many of them into my various beds as I can. This year I decided to take my tomato-growing even more seriously, making a real effort to:

1) Support them properly (with 8 foot wooden stakes)
2) Water them frequently (and consistently)
3) Meet all their nutrient requirements

Below are pictures (of two of my tomato beds) from earlier in the season. You can likely imagine why, in hindsight, I am SO glad I decided to use the 8 foot stakes this year! Many of the plants made it very close to the top of the stakes, and a couple of them even needed to be topped off (all upper growing branches cut back) so as to keep them under control

In previous years I’ve had no trouble growing BIG plants, but for all their glorious green foliage, many of those plants didn’t end up being super-productive in terms of an actual tomato crop. This year – although certainly not “perfect” (some plants have ended up diseased etc) – has been much more impressive in that department.

In case you’re curious, some of the varieties I grew this year (ones pictured below) were: “Giant”, “Black Cherry”, “Grape”, “Elfin”, “Snow White”, “Red Currant”, “Yellow Pear”, “Bing Cherry”, “Jaune Flamme”, “Tangerine” and “Isis Candy”

A few other interesting varieties tried were “Pineapple”, “Green Zebra”, “Black Zebra”, and “Chocolate Cherry”.

Yep…I’m hooked on heirlooms!

In case you’re wondering about my little wooden box gardens – previously used for ground cherries, “Vermi Tomato Gardening“, and “Worm Composting Potato Towers” – this year they were used for…

1) Sweet Potatoes (or at least my attempt to grow sweet potatoes)


2) A small veggie/flower garden for my (almost) 5 year old daughter

My good friend Cristy “No-Relation-to-Bentley” Christie (lol), from Slo County Worm Farm (link to my interview with her) sent me a couple of cool pics from her garden.

As you can see below, sunflowers and pumpkins seem to benefit a little bit (wink wink) from her “Black Diamond” castings. (Check out that gorgeous flow-through bed in the background as well! Nice!)

Andrew H. from “La Belle Province” (Quebec, that is) up here in Canada sent in some cool pics as well. Here are a couple of interesting blurbs from the emails he sent me:

I’m a first time gardener and couldn’t be happier with my results so happy to see my kidz go out every morning and pick blueberries,strawberries,raspberries and blackberries to add to there cereal .

I built a worm tower in the garden under a stepping stone added worm casting to the soil from my indoor flow through and brewed worm tea every two weeks.

Ps started in august 2011 (worm composting) first time gardener and competed with my dad and uncle( both experienced ) for the biggest tomato and hands down there was no competition!

WOW, Andrew! I’m impressed – especially considering the fact that you are a first time gardener! Those strawberry towers look really cool too.

My friend Damon, from “Greenhorn Gardening”, asked if videos would be ok instead of pictures. I thought that sounded like a cool idea, so here ya go:

~ How are your tomatoes? ~

~ Carrots, folks! The Greenhorn Gardening carrot harvest! ~

In case you missed it, you may also want to check out Damon’s cool vetch video

Thanks to Cristy, Andrew and Damon for sharing! If you somehow missed the notice and would still like to share some pictures from YOUR garden, feel free to drop me a line! If there is enough interest/participation I can put together another blog post with more images.

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    • Astrid Styles
    • August 29, 2012

    How do I post my garden pictures?

    • Bentley
    • August 29, 2012

    Hi Astrid – just send me an email (link at end of my post above) with images attached. Be sure to include some info about the pics as well.

    • Casey Wilder
    • January 14, 2013

    Wow!! This is incredible!! Beautiful gardening! How large is that flow through?!

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