Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cucumbers Today

Howdy. Well we are just thrilled about gardening. The cucumber plant keeps putting out cukes even though it had a rough spell with the heat wave. Picked these today. That makes about 52 this year from just one plant. The container bush cucumber plants died early, but this straight eight keeps on growing and flowering. Yay!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tomatoes Going Bananas

Just when we think we have seen it all, the day of 9/9/9 hits and our tomato harvest is exactly 100 in a single day!!!!! Wow. It took three bags to haul them in the house. We counted the batch here one time and it turned out to be exactly 100. Some of the tiny ones we do not count, but it is stunning to have so many in one day. We have been sharing, and tomorrow sounds like another good day to share. Happy Gardening from Our Suburban Garden.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tomato Tuesday

Today was a big tomato day. 36 picked and 300 year to date all together. Wow!! Mortgage lifters in front of the blogging machine. Japanese black trifle on top of the keyboard. Volunteer tomatoes on the right side in front of one sad looking cucumber. My opinion: mortgage lifters are huge, tasty and shaped weirdly. Black trifles are a little disappointing in the size and low output, but we'll happily take what we get. This is one of those days when the picking basket just isn't big enough. Happy Gardening!!!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Potato Ranch Update - 29 Plants

Here's the latest with the potato ranch. We have 3 rows. In front are the youngest plants. In the back are the oldest, and hopefully soonest to harvest. In the middle are the halfway grown plants. After taking the photo, we were motivated and planted 2 more containers of spuds. Happy Gardening!!! Stay Cool.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Onions Out, Potatoes Blooming, Ahhhh

Back at Our Suburban Garden it is onion picking day. The onions completely wilted so we thought we would clear the area. Wah Bam, now we have onions a plenty. For now anyway. In the background are our flowering potatoes. In all our months of potato gardening, these are the first flowers we have gotten. These days of plentiful fresh home grown veggies are so rewarding. Have a happy gardening day.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fantasy Garden

We had to travel to the Garden Island this week and today came upon a fantasy garden. A land of fertile soil, rain, sunshine and mild temperatures. More than 100 years ago, manual labor developed fields and irrigation systems. The gardens are still tended today. Another dream for us.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Another Tomato Cage Design

We started with those little wire cages from the store. But then the plants grew taller so we added the wide leaning wooden cage. Just recently we added the supports up high so the plant has something to lean on. This is our first Mortgage Lifter tomato. Looking forward to tasting these soon. Enjoy your garden!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tomato Thursday

Here is our second Mortgage lifter tomato which has climbed above the 6 foot fence. There's a sidewalk along the fence, so our suburban walkers will have easy pickins without stepping a foot on our land. Have not been posting much due to more out of state travel. It's a shame to be away from Our Suburban Garden when so many veggies are coming in. We'll get a look tomorrow at our harvest. Yay!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tomato Thursday

What a beautiful sight. Yum.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Potato Ranch Round 2

We have been pretty busy with the potato ranch for the past couple of months. We try to plant 1 potato every 3 days. The idea is to have the harvest to stretch out over a longer period of time. If we can harvest 1 container each week it would be awesome. There's another 40 seed potatoes so we'll run out of containers before long I hope.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tons of Tomatoes

Each of the 5 tomato plants in Our Suburban Garden is full sized and ready to bear fruit. Here is a photo from the Early Girl plant. I wonder what is going to happen in August. So far 98 percent of our tomatoes have come from the volunteer plant. The volunteer plant must have at least 80 more green tomatoes right now. Pretty soon the other plants will begin to produce. We already picked 80 tomatoes. Once August hits, how many tomatoes will we get? Can not imagine having so many tomatoes. Can anyone say tomato juice?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Watermelon Spotted

Today Lil Bro and Dad spotted the first watermelon. It is so tiny. We look forward to watching it grow "as big as a Magna Guard star fighter." Maybe it will grow as big as R2D2. Who knows?The vines have begun their sprawl. It is very exciting to see what happens to some little watermelon seeds when you add water, soil and sunshine. Pretty cool huh?

Happy Gardening from Our Suburban Garden.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Volunteer Tomato Covers Window

Back in May we put in the bigger better tomato cage. Turns out it was not big enough after all. The 7 foot tall tomato plant here is the same one shown on the top of the blog growing amongst the carrots. A photo from May is below. Wow!!! You can also see the rapid growth of the straight 8 cucumber plant to the right. Pretty soon we will get the first taste of those cukes!!!Below is the same plant from May 9th. Wow, it actually covered the window. And it is producing great tomatoes. Yum!!! And the cucumber plant is so tiny compared to now.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Failed Overheated Cucumbers

Imagine the excitement when returning from a trip. Each mile closer to home made us more eager to see Our Suburban Garden. Finally we surveyed the plants. Seems it was a bit hotter than expected and the irrigation system did not quite keep up with the heat. Our bush cucumbers were the hardest hit. Look at those brown leaves. Let's try to baby these guys back to life. It's good to be back in the garden!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Suburban Container Garden

The double decker green bean patch at the end is flanked by the bush cucumbers and the potato ranch is beginning to take shape again. We got the containers hooked up to the drip sprinkler system. Originally we put the sprinkler pipes in for flowers, but guess what? No flowers, just veggies. Pretty soon we'll plant more and expand the garden. Gardening is good!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Watermelon Sprouts

Lil Bro is thrilled that his watermelon plants have sprouted and are growing well. To quote Lil Bro he says, "It's epic. When it grows watermelons the watermelons might be as big as the Magna Guard star fighter." Dad thinks that is a Star Wars ship. We expect the vines to overrun that corner of the yard pretty soon. Happy Gardening!! The original watermelon post is here:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Green Bean Containers

Yay! We are back in the garden!!! The green beans are starting to grow a lot after some warm weather here. Still have not picked any beans yet, but soon we will get to. In the foreground are the bush cucumber plants. Sure enough they stopped growing at about exactly 2 feet tall. There is one big cuke in the bottom center of the photo. Just waiting for him to get a little bit bigger. Pretty soon the whole garden will be in full production mode. Happy Gardening!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Long Horn Steer Decoration

Finally heading home after a week in this land. Ran into 2 final giant fiberglass animals, a steer and a bear. Here's the steer staring at my granny-car. Had to get in this dangerous location for the best angle. Luckily now it is time to leave these animals behind and get back to gardening. Yay!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Elephant in the Garden

Ah ha. Tricked you. There's no garden here. But there are plenty of giant fiberglass animals. This is the big eared elephant in pink next to granny-mobile. Not sure why this elephant is here, but now that he's been here so long, everyone expects him to stick around. Hope your gardening is going as well as my hunting for giant fiberglass animals.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cow on Steroids

Well I am away from the garden this week, but can't seem to get away from the farm. I have discovered a land of giant fiberglass animals. I want to take a series of giant animal photos. Hey if I can't be there to take photos of the garden, I might as well have some fun taking giant animal pics. BTW the rental car people gave me the champagne Granny-car. What's up with that? And yes, you are right. The cow is wearing pink sunglasses. Happy Gardening!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

R2 Climbs the Bean Stalk

When the bean stalk stops growing, Jack the droid will climb to the world above the clouds. Today Garden Guy flew above the clouds. By the time R2 gets above the clouds, Garden Guy will be back on earth. We're away from the garden for 4 days. Boo hoo. So sad. Hope your gardens are blossoming!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today's Goodies From the Garden

What started as a quick peek in Our Suburban Garden soon became a pick-fest. We have been enjoying homemade strawberry lemonade this week. The zucchini, lettuce, spinach and kale are making great salad. The green peppers and onion are great in our home fried potatoes. Yum yum. Happy Gardening!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cukes in Containers

Our bush cucumbers are starting to really fill in. They are supposed to only get a couple feet tall. We'll see... If each flower makes a cucumber, then we are in for a truckload. Happy Gardening!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

First Zucchini of the Year

It seems like just last week we had so many zucchini's growing. But alas, it was last year. This photo shows the first ones for this year. Hopefully this is the start of another bumper crop and lots of tasty treats. These guys grow so fast we have to try to pick them before they become 2 feet long. Eventually we need to post another photo to show how the plant is working inside the tomato cage. The stems are very cramped right now inside the cage but we're hoping the cage idea works out so we avoid the overwhelming sprawl of the zucchini plant. Happy Gardening from Our Suburban Garden to yours!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Crowded Cucumber and Carrots

The cucumbers are growing like crazy. And the carrots have become too big for this small space so we had a carrot harvest. Yay! The Spring carrots turned out better than the Winter carrots. Probably due to the massive amount of rocks that were removed in the Spring. Lil Bro helped pull out the carrots. Now we have some space for the cukes to spread out a little bit. Keep your plants happy and they will be happy and tasty!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Green Bean Patch

We noticed that the sun has shifted and we have another south-facing wall to grow vertically against. We made this little stand from scrap wood. Below is an 8 port drip sprinkler head and each pot has its own tube for automatic irrigation. Takes the daily TLC out of the picture, but we will just have to hand water something else.

We have 3 older green bean containers, the larger plants. Then we planted 2 more containers (top row) about 2 weeks later to space out the harvest. Soon we'll have 5 more green bean containers here for a total of 10. Then we'll see how tall they get. The bottom row has 3 kale containers for right now, but soon we'll move those into a location away from the direct sunlight.

We're so thrilled. Yay!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cute Cucumber

Some teeny tiny cucumbers are forming under the flowers. My salad bowl is ready for these little guys to grow grow grow. This plant is a Straight 8 cucumber and is planted in the ground. We also have 2 Bush cucumber plants in containers, but the Straight 8 was planted about 2 months earlier and is approaching 24" in height. We're training the Straight 8 to grow vertically up a tomato cage. The training requires a little TLC, but if we don't go vertically, we will have a sprawling jungle.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Web Wetted by Weather

Wet drizzle has kept us from digging very much this weekend. Along the coast the low clouds have been parked right on top of us for 2 days. The moisture highlights the spider webs in the avocado and lemon tree. Hopefully the sun will return next week and the veggies will be happy and burst forth with new growth. Happy Gardening!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Potato Ranch Update

The tater ranch is in a state of renewal. It's soon going to be out with phase 1 and in with the new spuds. So far we have 5 containers started for phase 2 and looking forward to starting more soon. Our harvest now stands at 76 potatoes. And each and every one was yummy. If anyone has ideas on starting potatoes fast, please let me know. We've got 10 potatoes sitting out on the counter just waiting for their eyes to sprout. Wish they would sprout faster..... Happy Gardening from Our Suburban Garden to Yours.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Strawberry Patch Gets Ceramic Tile

Thanks to a suggestion from Ruth at we decided to tile our strawberry patch. So far it is so much neater to have the berries on the tiles rather than on the soil. We are so glad she made this suggestion. Thanks! Happy Gardening from Our Suburban Garden.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wate melin Seeds Today

Lil Bro went with Dad to get some irrigation supplies at the store. The seed display got his attention and we stared at the packets until he decided he wanted to grow parsley and watermelon. He had to choose just one, and Dad suggested that he would not enjoy parsley as much as he would enjoy watermelon. Meanwhile, Dad's thinking the garden is already full, what will we do?

We decided to try growing watermelon in a 15 gallon container in an empty corner next to the citrus & avocado trees. Lil Bro made a good choice with watermelon. When he asked how to spell watermelon, Dad said it is spelled just like it sounds. Now we have a cool sign for the wate melin patch.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

20 Yukon Gold Potatoes

While we're on this potato harvesting kick, here are the first Yukon gold potatoes grown in Our Suburban Garden. Seems like all the potato plants are dying off for the harvest even though we stretched the planting out over a 4 month period. Perhaps the Yukon golds have a longer growing season and the Reds have a shorter season so they all meet in the middle. The Dark red norlands made excellent mashed potatoes and home fries. We are looking forward to enjoying these new spuds soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

18 Potatoes

Yesterday and today we emptied out a potato container plant each day. The containers had 9 taters each. That brings our total to 44 potatoes. Home fries were a wonderful treat yesterday with salt, pepper, and chicken tikka masala sauce. Planning for some nice smooth mashed potatoes on Friday from these babies.. Happy Gardening!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Strawberry Nirvana

Today we all trekked over to the California Strawberry Festival held in Ventura County. The drive is spectacular when you get north of Malibu. PCH is carved between mountain bluffs and ancient rock formations and the ocean. Suddenly the mountains end and there are miles of strawberry fields. After the festival we took a wrong turn (I usually get lost) and stumbled upon a U-Pick farm. The kids' enthusiasm kicked in and we picked half a flat of super sweet strawberries. It's nice to visit this beautiful region, have some fun, and dream a little...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lil Bro Demonstrates Potato Harvest

Even a kid can do it. He harvested 4 taters today! Just click the play button to watch how he did it. Happy Gardening from Our Suburban Garden.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Strawberries on Steroids ?

The strawberries plants and leaves are huge!!! Not sure what has them so excited except the warm weather. The fruit is just starting to form and it looks very promising. Last year we had some weeks when we could harvest one collander of berries each day. Oh Yea!!! (That's the bottom of our dwarf Washington navel orange tree in the back of the photo)

Any advice for dealing with strawberries that touch the ground and rot or get eaten by insects? Would straw stop it? Please leave a comment if you know. Thanks!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Future Salad Ingredients

Oh my.. The veggies are growing so big and we planted so close together. The green ice lettuce has been wonderful and keeps growing back. The carrots are filling in. The cucumber is starting to spread out and we are training him to climb the wire cage. When the cucumber gets to the top of the cage, we'll fabricate a homemade trellis so it leaves the ground clear for some other veggies. The kale, onion and tomato are visible on the left. Eventually we will get an entire salad from this little section of Our Suburban Garden. Yum.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pretty Potted Pepper Plant

Here is a close up view of our first sweet green bell pepper. She's still smaller than an olive. Looks like we have a dozen flowers on each of the 2 potted pepper plants. At this rate, we'll have lots of peppers in June and July. Today we had a quick visit in the garden. Enough time to water the container garden, put a wire tomato cage around the baby Japanese black trifele plant, and then sow a new batch of Italian kale seeds in a five gallon container .

Also had fresh salad for lunch and dinner. And cooked up some home grown potato & onion home fries. Potatoes harvested yesterday. Umm Umm Good. Happy Gardening to Everyone!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lil Bro Makes Mothers Day Gift

While Big Bro and Dad were mowing in front, Lil Bro secretly picked up plant clippings that were destined for the mulching mower. Lil Bro decided to use potting soil and re-plant the clippings for Mom. What a nice kid!!!! Happy Mothers Day !!!!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bigger Better Tomato Cage

The tomatoes that grew by themselves this year are almost up to the top of the 3 stakes we've been tying them to. So what do we do next? Well we decided to go big. The bigger better tomato cage is obviously a quick creation. And we hope it is strong and holds up the tomatoes and allows easy access for the harvest. It's hard to believe these 2 plants grew by themselves. It's hard to believe the one on the left survived the move in March. Let's see if we can grow these plants all the way to the top of this big cage. The little wire cage next to this is guiding the cucumber plant up. Soon we'll need a bigger better cage there also. Happy Gardening from Our Suburban Garden.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Green Beans Beginning to Sprout

The green beans are beginning to grow in that small patch of the garden that we recently planted with onions, spinach, leaf lettuce, tomato, cantelope, and green beans. We are expecting Our Suburban Garden to become quite a jungle this summer when all the veggies grow up. For now though we have some room for these young plants. We are expecting a few hot days here and the green beans and tomatoes should love that.
Also, not pictured, the boys helped harvest one potato container this afternoon. It was exciting to hear all our glee when spotting the red potatoes one by one. The prize today was 8 potatoes from that one container. They were mostly the size of extra large eggs and some were like medium sized store bought potatoes. Everyone, keep digging in the dirt and have fun!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Potato Ranch Update

Here is the latest on the potato container ranch. The ones in the middle seem to be dying off and will be the next harvested once they loose all their green foliage. The remainder of them are doing pretty well. One of these days we will get around to planting the next set. The last time we planted potatoes was March 1st. Happy gardening from Our Suburban Garden to yours.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

4 Potatoes Today

Since the potatoes grow underground it is a mystery what we will get until the end. We thought that the plants were suffering from too much water when a few of the container plants wilted and died. So today we took the most dried up plant and dumped him out. What a joy to find some beautiful, we might say perfect potatoes. We knew that you harvest them after they dry out, but the containers were mixed up and we don't know which was which. Great surprise for our Thursday afternoon. Yay for a Suburban Garden success!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Celery Processing Factory - 4th Celery Plant

Since the celery has been doing so well, we developed a bagging factory of sorts. We clean and dice the stalks. The veggie drawer in the fridge has a fresh baggie of celery. And that gives us a constant supply of fresh celery to mix in salads or whatever we want. We have only 2 more celery plants to harvest, then we will replant that section of the Suburban Garden. BTW, the lettuce, spinach, and kale have been harvested every single day for the last week or more and we have been blessed with salads galore. Yay for gardening!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Playing and Planting in the Garden

That space that we began double digging a month ago after the broccoli was harvested is finally done. First we set up Gretsh and some warriors to fight over a lemon. Later we planted a Japanese black trifele tomato, and an Ambrosia muskmelon cantelope. To fill in the gaps, we also planted more onions, more spinach, and more leaf lettuce. All in that small area. No that's not all. We also put in a row of Blue lake bush beans. We are so glad that we got this section cleaned up and re-planted.We want to stay on top of the harvesting schedules and have as much of a continuous harverst as we can.
The next photo is further off to the right of the first area. It shows the attack on the Mortgage lifter tomato that we planted as a baby transplant in March. It is growing nicely. The Mortgage lifter is flanked by the celery farm on the left and the onion ranch on the right.