See how her garden grows {08.10.12 update}

One month after my first garden update, my plants have grown beyond recognition.

Instead of neat little rows, they’ve begun climbing where they will, spreading out and producing a beautiful bounty.

I left a volunteer tomato plant in the middle of my garden. It sat beautifully between my cucumber trellis and the cabbage plants and dill. Except now it’s overtaking the all.

organic gardening

Among my broccoli (which got huge by the way) and trellised cucumbers and tomatoes are a few basil plants, though it takes some doing just to find them.

organic gardening

Speaking of trellised cucumbers, I very much like growing them up our garden fence. It’s much easier to find and harvest the cukes when I can easily see them from both sides. next year I plan on doing much more of this instead of using the trellis we built. (above picture) The fence is sturdy enough when tied to the stakes, and the ‘weave’ of the fence is also large enough to allow me to pull them out from either side.

Thinking about it, we should have used this fencing instead of chicken wire for our foldable trellis.

growing cucumbers on a trellis

We also have a few melons coming along quite nicely, though only one small pumpkin showed up. I’m quite bummed that powdery mildew took out all but one pumpkin plant and has hit my my squash as well. The zucchini plants were sacrificed since they are so close to the cucumbers and well…..we like pickles more than we like zucchini. The mildew is  making a move on my cucumbers, but so far I’m keeping it at bay by pulling diseased leaves and spraying with milk every few days. I’m pretty sure it came from my one nursery purchased pumpkin, as that one got it first and it took off like wildfire. Next year I also need to make sure I plant my vine plants a bit further apart to keep this from happening.

organci gardening

We also started to battle the Japanese beetles, they were destroying my green bean plants even with my go-to natural bug repellant on them. Once I finally found an adult bug on them and figured out what was going on, we purchased those bug bags right away!

I’ll bet we caught a few hundred just in the first day. The chomping of the green bean leaves has greatly diminished and hopefully we get a decent harvest out of the plants we do have. (many seedlings were scorched by the sun)

organic gardening japenese beetles

My other garden nemesis showed up in full force as well a couple of weeks ago – the tomato hornworm. Within a week I had quite a few plants that had areas stripped bare and I couldn’t find the worms! Finally, I noticed that if I went out right away in the morning, they’d still be out eating. (they must head to the inside of the plant during the day…..?) So each morning for a few days my chickens got a breakfast of two to three very large and very gross looking tomato hornworms.

organic gardening tomato worms

All in all, I’m very hopeful for a good harvest this year, though I am worried that if we get too much rain, after having so little, that my tomatoes will start bursting as they ripen…….

How are your gardens coming along? Any major setbacks or accomplishments?

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About donielle

Donielle is a natural momma of two, lover of real foods, and owner and editor of Grand Rapids Natural Living and Naturally Knocked Up. You can usually find her in the kitchen whipping up some nourishing foods, cuddled on the couch reading books to the littles, avoiding the laundry and Mt. Saint Dishes, or tapping away on the laptop. Her husband puts up with her sometimes crazy "hippie" ways, but loves her regardless. Welcome to my home away from home.


  1. Looks like your garden is doing well, all things considering!

    We have a lot of different plants this year – we got an additional plot so we decided to experiment this year!

    Green beans: not doing very well. Besides the Japanese beetles, something else is making the leaves die. We’re still getting some though.

    Tomatoes: fairly well (just put up 7 quarts!). We had some problems with blossom end rot because we watered too much during the hot spell. Once we backed off on the watering they have stopped doing that.

    Peppers (jalepeno, banana, and a few others): it’s been a great year for them!

    Cucumbers: Doing pretty well. We noticed that the one we have at home is doing so much better. I’ve read they like a lot of compost, and the area we have the one planted is where all our kitchens scraps went last year. The ones at the garden are doing well, but not as well as the one at home.

    Our other things we’re growing: corn, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, cauliflower, peanuts, popcorn, sunflowers, and watermelon, and onions.

  2. I’m bummed my green beans aren’t doing fantastic! I was hoping to get at least a few extra to freeze, but I don’t think we’ll get many at all. 🙁 And my cauliflower hasn’t done anything at all except grow to a giant plant! Still waiting……..

  3. Oh, yeah. Our cauliflowers aren’t doing well either. Probably won’t do those again. We have 4 plants, only two with any thing to eat, and one of them is a dark brown? I don’t know if we inadvertently got a color variety of cauliflower (mislabled) or if it isn’t good.