Saturday, June 22

Summer Garden Progress!

My whole garden!
It's tough to get a garden up to speed with wishy-washy weather and frost lasting through the first week of June, but, at last, summer is here and my garden is thriving!

My meager beginnings indoors with grow lamps and seed pods have led to healthy seedlings and, now, healthy vegetable plants and flowers. This is my favorite time because I get to care for the plants until they burst into color with fruit and flowers.

Last year I didn't really know what I was doing. I bought some seeds and dirt and hoped for the best. The funniest thing that happened was that my labels washed away... I didn't know what any of my seedlings were! I called it my secret garden because I really didn't know what was what...

Makeshift set up
I've come a long way this year. In February I took a short course with a local non-profit, Grow Pittsburgh, to learn some gardening basics. I was more excited than ever to have a garden after that class. Spring couldn't come soon enough!

I planted my original seedlings in April. I didn't have much success, unfortunately. I think the location in my house was too dry and that I used poor soil. So I started a second batch later on. These were much more successful.

Meager beginnings
I've still had attrition, even while hardening off the seedlings... which was sad because so many of them were doing well! But it happens. Not all seedlings are strong enough. It's a really brutal version of evolution's favorite game, Survival of the Fittest.

I know I didn't do everything perfectly. I definitely fried a few seedlings accidentally. :( I also got carried away with potting things as an in-between stage before planting them because the frost here didn't stop until early June. So some plants probably died just from the trauma of moving them too much. My fault. Ah, living and learning, again.

Nevertheless, I have some really beautiful plants right now. The garden itself looks marvelous. The individual plants are making me really excited about what produce I'll get this summer. Here are some more photos...
Itty bitty cucumber plants 
Broccoli... maybe. If it doesn't bolt. Again.
A forest of heirloom tomato plants!
Spinach! Popeye would be proud.

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