How is your garden doing?


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Staff member
Joined Oct 5, 2001
So even though a number of you said not to do earthboxes I did and so far I am happy with them. They really work well with the small space I have. Hear are a few shots of my garden:

Note the environmentally friendly rain barrel I have installed....

You can view the full album here:

Would LOVE to see pictures of everyone else's garden. Please use your photo galleries to upload your photos. Thanks!
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Good looking garden, Nicko. Any of those tomatoes ripe yet?

Maybe I misrecollect, but as I recall the only objections voiced about the Earth Boxes was their cost. Did somebody recommend not using them for other reasons?
Joined Mar 21, 2008
No Pictures because it is more weeds than garden but I have harvested beans several times, radishes and lettuce have bolted and never did produce much this year. Tomatoes are loaded with lots of green unripe fruit, cucumbers fizzled again this year and barely grew, and my squash is threatening to take over the entire garden /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif Weeds got ahead of me this year, in between back problems and carpal tunnel pulling them was really low on my list.
Joined Jul 20, 2010
Stunning.  Simply stunning.

What kind of camera do you use?  I'm in the market for a new one.

Lovely garden! 
Joined Mar 3, 2008
My garden is awesome this year.  It's like a jungle.  We went away for 2 weeks right after planting, so I mulched everything heavily with old alfalfa.  So I have had virtually no problems with weeds.  Because of so much rain and cool the first few weeks, I did have to pull the mulch back from the peppers, they looked bad when we go home.  They are 3 ft tall know and I picked a 5 gallon bucket full twice in the past 10 days off of 8 plants.  The tomatoes are caged and I can barely get through the patch.  I am 5'10 and they tower over me.  I have had to trim a lot to get light in, but they are loaded and I have 30 plants.  My pole beans have went over the 8 ft fence and I am picking every other day.  The early crops were great.  The average cauliflower was 10 inches across.  Do I sound like I am bragging .  I guess I am.  However there was one crop I would call almost a failure.  We had so much rain and wind that the onion tops were flattened too early so they did not get near as big as usual. I have cut my basil three times this year already for pesto and the plants are 3 ft tall now.  If I can figure out how to do the picture thing I will put some on later.  I am not very electronic savy.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
I've been neglecting it mostly this year.

Tomatoes are doing OK, various berries are doing well. My rosemary has struggled a bit the last few years, have had some thyme die back. Chives are invincible and mock my neglect.

So I have some improvements to make in my care.
Joined Jul 16, 2010
my garden usually plants some the 's beautiful this year..and i made some necklake using it..
Joined May 5, 2010
I help keep a one acre garden with every vegetable you can think of (and then some)

Tomatoes are a disappointment this year. Many of the plants have no fruit on them and many of them are wilted already as if it was late September.

Lots of broccoli, the cabbages are doing great. Carrots, beets, beans Kohlrabi, squash, cukes....all doing great, but slow. We have a very short growing season and a lot of tree shade issues to deal with. Sun doesn't come up over the garden until 10:30 in the morning, and only gives 4-5 hours of partly sunny.

The guys who plant and care for the garden are so busy with other responsibilities the garden is always an after thought.

I am looking forward to my first homegrown tomato of the season.
Joined Jun 27, 2006
We did a small raised bed this year measuring 3ft X 6ft. In it we were able to squeeze a Roma Vine, Yellow squash a couple onion trees (actual heirlooms from Thomas Jefferson's garden in Monticello) and Pablano and Melrose peppers we started in the window. We did a red cabbage and a cauliflower too but they were toast because of insects very early. Good thing because everything else has overwhelmed the small space.

The tomato is thriving and seems to be well contained with the basket trellis. Tons of tomatoes and that's great for marinara this summer. The Squash has taken over a portion of our drive and is slow to yield anything but that's good since the DW and DD are really the only ones that like it. I prefer zucchini or eggplant.

The onion trees have suffered because of everything but have yielded some bulbs. I will probably just replant those for next year. We will set up a second bed for the smaller stuff.

The pepper have done well but not much has come off lately. I think it was just too hot here the last couple weeks so it slowed things down. Of the peppers I have harvested....they have been surprisingly hot. I mean very hot for the variety of pepper. Not a bad thing as I made vinegar peppers out of them for sandwiches and pizza.

The herbs have been hit hard by the heat, insects, moles, voles and other rodent pests like chipmunks and squirrels. They are in the ground since that's the space we had left over. Basil is holding on, cilantro went right to seed and I did get about a 1/2 cup of fresh coriander out of them. Rosemary is struggling but coming around and lavender is surprisingly doing very well so far. We tried this 4 years ago and it was eaten at the roots. Sage and oregano are in a pot and they are out of control. Can't keep up with it so I'm drying whatever I can. Have 2 quart jars filled so far this year.

Next year, we may try more and if Mother nature does some tree trimming for us later this year......we'll go all out. Saw the rain barrels. Actually thinking of two scenarios for us. Our ground water is high in this area so we were actually thinking of dropping a well for irrigation purposes. The other alternative is a cisternfor the same purpose. We have a ton of run off during rains and have diverted most of it to 5 areas. Only one spills out into the street and that can be eliminated or at least most of it with that beong the area for the cistern. I will say that our reasons are mostly selfish with this. Saving money is the driving force but we are in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed so it does help....not that one person is going to make a difference but....what the heck. 

If I can....I'll try and share a pic or 3 tomorrow.
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
not that one person is going to make a difference but....what the heck. 

I have to disagree with you on this, OldSchool. Whenever anything of substance is accomplished it stems from individuals doing what's right. So keep doing what you're doing.

Two things about your peppers. First off, whenever they are stressed, capsaicin production increases. Given our crazy weather this year, that's probably whey they are hotter than usual.

Second: During periods of high heat, peppers either do not set blossoms, or, if they do, they abort. That's why your production has been low. But as the nights start to cool those same plants will suddenly go crazy, and you'll be covered up in September.

I'm not familiar with onion trees. Could you describe them a bit?
Joined Jun 27, 2006

Wasn't fishing but thanks for the boost. Big thing for us regarding water too is adding rain barrels to our gutters. We have 13 down spouts so that is going slowly especially since we want actual barrels and not the plastic looking things.

Onion Trees? Well.....I think they are actually called an Egyptian walking onion. They are like a pearl onion but they are purple or red and not white. Definitely not a shallot though.

Our plants weathered the winter in a planter box and we transplanted them in May. They will do better next year in their own bed I'm sure. To explain the onion though......The  sprout has a very long, thick, green onion like base and then gets the onion bulbs at the top of that. Then those do the same until you have a tree like plant. The small bulbs are pickled and the bases are kept growing for the small bulbs. The Tops can be transplanted to create more onion trees. I have a picture I fond on-line of what the bulbs look like below.

As far as peppers go........The Melrose were to have been sweet. That's what took me completely by surprise. The Pablano's I expected the heat. Thought stress and heat had something to do with things but just couldn't remember. Thanks for the verification. I have had 2 plants go wild on me. They developed some berries instead of flowers. Never seen that before. They have really exploded in size and with blossoms this last week. We did water frequently prior and during the drought we had but now we have had rain and cooler.....(not a great deal but better than the 105's we've had. Anyhow I guess that may have helped them rebound.  Actually counted 40 blossoms on one plant and it's close 2 18" tall with the same diameter.

I'm gonna try for some better pics. Took some earlier but they are not very good.

Joined Feb 1, 2007
Thanks for the explanation, OldSchool.

I'm familiar with top-setting onions, but not by that name. There are two common types of walking onions; the Egyption Walking and the Catawissa. Superficially they are the same, but there are differences. For instance, the Egyption Walking onion does set an underground bulb, whereas the Catawissa doesn't.

The term "walking" refers to the fact that if left alone the weight of the bulbils causes the leaves to bend down to ground level, where the bulbils sprout and a new plant grows. Thus, the plant "walks." And if you're not careful it can be very invasive and take over the place. I tore out a bed for that reason. I'd started with something like 11 bulbils, and before I knew it they covered an area about 7 foot square.

Pickling the bulbils goes back to colonial days.

With one exception, walking onions are the first garden plants to green up in the spring, and are often prized for that reason alone. Another allium, the multiplier called "potato onion" (aka, hill onion, Kentucky hill onion, and a couple of others) greens up slightly earlier.

If you like the walking onions you might want to start a bed of Rakkyo; a Japanese perennial allium. Most of the bottled pearl onions you see are actually Rakkyo. One of the things that makes them fun is that, after a short summer dormancy, they start growing again in August. The set flowers in October, then go through a winter dormancy, and the process starts over. Bulbs are harvested in July.

Another fun allium is perlschwieble. With this multiplier the tiny bulbs (ranging from the size of pearl onions to pinheads) grow underground in a vertical bunch---sort of the way Brussels sprouts perform. Another possibly invasive one, because, try as you might, you never get all the pearls. But these, at least, can be contained to one area.
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Joined Aug 15, 2010
Absolutely terrible.  First I had a groundhog problem, it kept eating everything.  Next, my heirloom tomatoes have been impossible to grow; they have been plagued with some sort of disease and have stunted growth.  They hardly fruit.  I've only gotten about 8 tomatoes this whole season.  My melons are doing awful as well.  All 3 plants have been terribly afflicted with a powdery mildew infection.  
Joined Jun 27, 2006
it was explained to us on our last visit there that during the years after the bankruptcy and debt he left behind was settled and the issue of the long vacancy on the property, the vegetable garden had gone wild. But when things were re-established and Admiral Levy took ownership, they started to preserve and restore the grounds. It was also explained to us that all of the produce grown on the grounds is a direct descendant of the plants established by Thomas Jefferson.  That's the single most important thing about why I like the particular plants I have. Yeah....I guess that's something to brag a little about. Now if I can just get them to produce more bulbs. I pickle them in ginger syrup and they are like eating candy. I may just make an area to plant these so they do kind of do their walking thing.

A;so told the bulb in the ground doesn't seem as palatable but it can be made more so if cooked properly. I haven't tried it yet since they are just starting out.

We did have caterpillars invade things this week. Just hit everything with Seven dust. I couldn't believe the size of one f them. The dang thing had to be 4 inch's long and at least 1/2" in diameter. There were also a couple smaller ones with little white things hanging off the back. Not sure what they were as I've never seen anything like this before. 
Joined Feb 1, 2007
The white things are the eggs of a tiny predatory wasp---which you want. So don't kill that worm.

Initially the caterpiller remains alive, but once the eggs are laid it stops eating within a couple of hours. When the eggs hatch the larvae burrow in and feed from the inside.

It was also explained to us that all of the produce grown on the grounds is a direct descendant of the plants established by Thomas Jefferson.  

How absolutely wonderful.

I have a number of varieties that Jefferson grew, but only one that might actually be decended from his. It's the Little  White Cuke.

The family I got them from were part of that Virginia/North Carolina/Philadelphia group of landed gentry that exchanged seeds and horticulatural materials. So it's likely this one did come from Monticello originally.

What else are you growing with a Jefferson connection? Maybe we can set up some sort of a swap?
Joined Jun 27, 2006
We have some pepper seeds (I think), a couple of beans....a purple and a white and a pole and a poppy of some sort but they have not been started. Not sure if we can grow the poppy legally anyway. I am trying to get space in the yard to grow them. It really sucks living on almost an acre of land and I can only grow veggies in a 3X6 raised planter. It's the trouble we are faced with having the type of tree growth we have. There are no less than 7 oaks of the Red and white variety on the property and all are over 125ft tall. I kid you not. Our tree guy has a 90ft bucket trruck and has to climb anything above that. The bucket only reaches into the centers of the Crowns of the trees. Our canopy's are at the 30-70 ft mark so we have a good amount of air and light but just not enough for growing a veg garden.

We love and hate these trees. Love the shade and protection as well as the reduced electric bill they provide in the summer. Hate the Acorns and the squirrels they support, the endless stream of ants and spiders that seem to land on youon a breezy day, stringers in Spring, the sap, the shade that keeps us from having a Bermuda lawn as well as a garden and the leaves of fall that we have to pick up from November to March.

Last Fall, we had a leaf pile for pick-up that was 110ft long, 7ft wide and 4ft tall and they were all mulched already. Plus that was in reality only about a third of the leaves we sucked up with the tractor. The remainder were thrown about the ground in the woods behind our property. UGGGHHHH!
Joined Jun 4, 2010
That's perfectly healthy garden.Session data Unfortunately, I'm away most of the time this August with the family. But the good thing is, I got my thyme, basil, dill, and coriander growing in my window sill which I planted early this September. Photos will be uploaded in a few days.

I'm thinking September would be great to start growing Italian Herbs as well. Just for my pasta and salad.

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