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The Growing Challenge: How Is Your Garden Doing?

The Growing Challenge The Growing Challenge Advanced Edition:  From Seed To Seed

 

Check In

 

Welcome!  Come check in, and tell us all how your garden is growing!

 

Since it is a long holiday weekend here in the US, I will leave this post up for the rest of the weekend – please check in when you have time and need or want a bit of a break from the festivities.  My sister will be visiting, so we’ll have a lot of fun catching up this weekend.  And those of you not celebrating this weekend, please make sure to post a long, healthy garden update!  ; )


If you missed it, here was our last check-in (my apologies that it has been so long).  Since we are all over the world, some of us are saving seeds at the end of the season, while others are still planting their first seeds of the year.  We are quite an interesting group of gardeners.


Who Are We?


So far there are 152 participants signed up for The Growing Challenge: From Seed To Seed, and we’ve reached 200 participants in The Original Growing Challenge.

 

Together we’re an awesome support network for learning new things! Welcome, everyone who has recently joined. And if you haven’t already, please join us in taking a new step toward sustainability by growing your own food from seed to seed.  It’s not too late to join.


New participants of The Growing Challenge From Seed to Seed are in orange at the bottom of the following list, and participants of The Original Growing Challenge are listed here.  Let’s visit, support, and learn from one another – visit each others’ blogs and ask questions!  Rob wrote a great post about what he’s already learned this year, if you’re looking for a place to start.


  1. Jules, The Garden of Plenty, Melbourne, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  2. Jena, Married To The Farm, Caro, Michigan – zone 5
  3. Amanda, You Reap What You Sow, South Central Pennsylvania – zone 6-7
  4. Jen, Toward Arcadia, Michigan – zone 5-6
  5. Deb G, Bee Creative, Pacific Northwest – zone 7
  6. Greeen Sheeep, Wisconsin – zone 4
  7. Kory, Kicking And Screaming, Central New York – zone 5
  8. Abbie, Farmer’s Daughter, Connecticut – zone 6-7
  9. Margaret, Margaret’s Ramblings, Nottingham, England – zone 8
  10. SusanB, Southern New Jersey – zone 6b-7
  11. Karin, Fleecenik Farm, Central Maine – zone 4
  12. Kelsie, Hobbit’s Feat, Kentucky – zone 7
  13. Monica, Northern Ohio – zone 5-6
  14. Jen, Aaron-N-Jen: Living Life Simply, Iowa – zone 5
  15. Di, Path To Greendom & World of Yardcraft, Southern California – zone 10
  16. TomB, My Simple Home Garden, Central Massachusetts – zone 5b
  17. Judy, My Freezer Is Full, East Central Iowa – zone 5a
  18. Julie, Towards Sustainability, Newcastle, NSW, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  19. Dina, Hip Chick Chronicles, Portland, Oregon – zone 8-9
  20. Alana
  21. Milkweed, Milkweed Diaries, Swannanoa Valley, North Carolina – zone 6-7
  22. Melanie J, Ember’s Lighthouse, Jacksonville, Florida – zone 9a
  23. Risa B, Stony Run Farm, Western Oregon – zone 8
  24. Maureen, Fotos By Meg & Suburban Sharecroppers, Central Valley, California – zone 9
  25. Amy Crump, Crump Family Blog, Chapel Hill, North Carolina – zone 8
  26. Rob, Rob’s World, Burien, Washington – zone 8
  27. The Rachface, This Evolutionary Life, Virginia – zone 8
  28. Janice, Going Off Da Grid Janice, California – zone 8-9
  29. Green Bean, Green Phone Booth, Bay Area, California – zone 9
  30. Daphne, Daphne’s Dandelions, Winchester, Massachusetts – zone 6
  31. Briel
  32. Jimmy Cracked-Corn – zone 5
  33. Lisa, Domestic Accident, Southern Coastal Maine – zone 5-6
  34. Hannah, The Purloined Letter, Takoma Park, Maryland – zone 7
  35. Suzan, Scrub Oak, Rocky Mountain southern foothills (6,700 feet) – zone 4
  36. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener
  37. Onemotherslove, What’s He Up To Now?, North Central Texas – zone 8
  38. Red Icculus, Red-Icculus.com – zone 5
  39. Jocele, Knitting On Call, Idaho – zone 6-7
  40. Matt, Florida – zone 9
  41. Sara, Mama Craft, Canada – zone 3a
  42. Tyra, Tyra’s Garden & The Greenhouse In Tyra’s Garden, Vaxholm, Sweden – zone 6
  43. Inadvertentfarmer, The Inadvertent Farmer, Western Washington – zone 8
  44. Lauren
  45. Melody, Merrie Melody, Utah – zone 6
  46. Melinda, One Green Generation, Seattle, Washington – zone 8
  47. Michelle, Alpaca, Chook, Garden, Travel and…., Hobart, Tasmania, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  48. Laurel, Nefaeria, North Bay, Ontario, Canada – zone 4a
  49. Mary, Freedom Gardens Journal: Mecar, Crete, Illinois – zone 5
  50. Susan, How Green In My Garden, Southern California – zone 8b
  51. Mary, Cat’s Fiber Adventures, Oregon – zone 8-9
  52. WIlla, Plants And Animals & Yumminess Ensues, S. Central Pennsylvania – zone 6A
  53. Jenn, Attempted Simple Life, Osgoode, Ontario, Canada – zone 5a
  54. Shibaguyz, Here we go! Life with the Shibaguyz…, Seattle, WA – zone 8
  55. Tina, Bee Content Ranch, California
  56. Cassandra, The Urban Trowel, Southeastern BC, Canada – zone 5
  57. Nico, Self Sufficient Life, North Germany – zone 8
  58. Sadge, Firesign Farm, Carson City, Nevada – zone 6
  59. Leanne, At The Good Life, New Zealand – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  60. Jenny, Studio J
  61. Sarah S, Life At The Ranch, Northern California – zone 9
  62. Sarah Z, Ward Road Garden, Northern California – zone 9
  63. Christy O, Farm Dreams, Georgia – zone 7
  64. Jason L, Vegetable Garden Planner
  65. Annette, Ward House, Hot Springs, Virginia – zone 6
  66. Paige, Clausen In The Hausen & Out In The Garden, Saint Peters, Missouri – zone 5
  67. Rhonda, FarmHouse Style, North Georgia Mountains – zone 7b
  68. Kelly, Taurus Rising, Adelaide Hills, Australia- zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  69. Laura, Mas Du Diable, France – zone 9
  70. Christina, A Thinking Stomach, Altadena, California – zone 9b
  71. Latigoliz, Cowgirl Up, Enumclaw, Washington – zone 8
  72. Lisa, Natural Gardening, Upstate South Carolina – zone 8
  73. Chris, Chattagarden, Chattanooga, Tennessee – zone 7
  74. Mary B, Tampa, Florida – zone 10
  75. Kathy, Birmingham, Alabama – zone 7-8
  76. Kathy and Skippy, Skippy’s Vegetable Garden – zone 6
  77. Katrien, MamaStories, suburb of Boston, Massachusetts – zone 6-7
  78. Maggie, Mama What The
  79. Christa, Lazy Toad Farm, New Hampshire – zone 4-5
  80. Emma, The Berry Patch, Sydney, Australia – zone 10 (Aust. 4)
  81. Jenny, Seeded, Toledo, Ohio – zone 6
  82. Melissa, Rabbit Hill Farm, rural North Carolina – zone 7-8
  83. Jessie Earth Momma, Pacific Northwest – zone 7b
  84. Catherine, Love Living Simply, Texas – zone 8
  85. Ian, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada – zone 6b
  86. Christy, Growing Human, Coastal Virginia – zone 7b
  87. Amanda, A Homegrown Life, California – zone 9
  88. Robbie, Going Green Mama – zone 5
  89. Pamela, Suburbancrunch – zone 6-7
  90. Beth, Potager Gardening, Columbus, OH – zone 5
  91. Tammy (+ her 6 cherubs!), Simply Beck’s Bounty, SE Tennessee – zone 7
  92. Ottawa Gardener, The Veggie Patch Re-Imagined, Ottawa, Canada – zone 5a
  93. Laura Chandler
  94. Lisa Cohen, Life Is In The Details
  95. Darlene, Stover Lane, Kansas – zone 5-6
  96. Sherri M, Sherri’s Mad Blabber Blog, Erin, Ontario, Canada – zone 5a
  97. Chad M, Minnesota – zone 4
  98. Shelby, Eat Local Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM – zone 5-6
  99. Linda, Garden Girl, Chicago, Illinois – zone 5b
  100. Stacy, Canada – zone 5b
  101. Joan, Young Girl, Old Life, Northeastern Missouri – zone 5
  102. Kim & Victoria, Living And Gardening In Idaho, Boise, Idaho – zone 5-6
  103. Sinclair, Nature With Me, Oregon – zone 7
  104. Jenette, Sacramento, CA – zone 9b
  105. Jennifer, Jen & The Bean Stalk, North Idaho – zone 4-5
  106. Laurie and Tim, Golden Gaits Garden, Colorado – zone 5b-6
  107. Phoebe, Cents To Get Debt Free, Southern Missouri – zone 5-6
  108. Megan, Raised On Sunshine, Dallas, TX – zone 8a
  109. Crunchy Chicken, Seattle, WA – zone 8
  110. Jenn, Jenn’s Coop, central valley, CA – zone 10
  111. Veriance, Michigan – zone 5
  112. Sande, Sow This, Sew That, Southeastern Michigan – zone 5
  113. Jenn, Newlyweds!, Texas – zone 9
  114. Carri, Home Of The Petersonclan, South Central Kentucky – zone 6
  115. Amber, Cloud9 Design, Texas – zone 9
  116. Jo, Little House By The Railway Line, England – zone 8
  117. Andrea, Colorado – zone 5-6
  118. Kendra, A Sonoma Garden – zone 9
  119. Stuff, Proactive Bridesmaid – zone 7
  120. LiBBy BuTTons, US – zone 6
  121. Healing Green, Gaylordsville, Connecticut – zone 6
  122. Carpe Diem, British Columbia, Canada – zone 3
  123. Trish, The Promised Land – zone 8-9
  124. Diana, Backyard & Community Gardening, Northern Colorado – zone 4-5
  125. Tricia, Little Eco Footprints, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  126. Juliette, Abielle A Miel, Santa Cruz Mountains, CA – zone 8-9
  127. Ciera, Ciera’s Garden, Pittsburg, PA – zone 6a
  128. Kara, Garden of Eatin’, Canada – zone 4
  129. Vickie, In The Acorn, Winnetka, CA – zone 9
  130. Paula, Buckets Of Gardening Ideas, Idaho – zone 4-5
  131. Jennifer, Seeds In The City, Bay Area, CA – zone 9-10
  132. Anne-Marie, Cheeseslave, Los Angeles, CA – zone 10-11
  133. Shea, The Lion And The Little Red Birds, Australia – zone 4
  134. Vermontmommy, McKinney, Texas – zone 8
  135. Christina, Closer To Fine, Bay Area, CA – zone 9-10
  136. Transition Housewife, Suffolk, UK – zone 8
  137. Lori, Life In Webster Groves, St. Louis, MO – zone 6a
  138. Nature Deva, Colorado – zone 5-6
  139. Bettina, Unterm Walnussbaum, Alsheim, Germany – zone 7
  140. Kelly, Simply Dawson, Columbia, SC – zone 8
  141. Berryvine Farm, NE Georgia – zone 7b-8
  142. Plant Lady, Trillium Grove Farm, Southern Ontario, Canada – zone 5b
  143. Saara, Garden Journal, North Cascades, WA – zone 6b
  144. Melissa, Melissa’s Ramblings, Kansas – zone 6
  145. Cheap Like Me, Denver, CO – zone 6
  146. Maybelline, Maybelline’s Garden, Bakersfield, CA – zone 9
  147. Heather, Heather’s Homemaking, Massachusetts – zone 5-6
  148. Aimee, Project GROrganic, Ohio – zone 6a
  149. The Cottage Comtesse, River Rock Cottage, California mountains – zone 3
  150. Rodney, Rodney Harrington’s Blog, Warren, OH – zone 5
  151. Xan, Mahlzeit, Chicago, IL – zone 5
  152. Jude S, Greenhouse (Jude, where are you gardening, and in what zone?)


I’ve added everyone’s name, blog, location, and hardiness zone. Please check your info to make sure I have it right as I had to guess on some of them.  And if I’ve left you off, be sure to tell me.  And again, The Original Growing Challenge participants are all listed here.


Chat Away!

 

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24 comments to The Growing Challenge: How Is Your Garden Doing?

  • Lately there is a lull in planting. A few potatoes in gaps. We have peas, lettuce, bok choi, radishes, turnips, kale, cabbages (red and white), Jerusalem artichokes, 6 kinds of tomatoes, eggplants, zukes, delicatas, butternuts, punkins, garlic, elephant garlic, turnips, green beans, runner beans, favas, yellow corn, white corn, rhubarb, nasturtuims, white onions, red onions, Egyptian onions, leeks, red potatoes, golden potatoes, strawberries, white grapes, red seedless grapes, parsley, cilantro, basil mustard, broccoli, collards, rosemary, marjoram, spearmint, peppermint, chives. There will be apples on two of the six apple trees and a scattering of plums. Cherries did well this year, pears are ok; there will be a lot of blackberries judging by the blossoms. Most of the pears, cherries, nectarines, figs and quince are too young to bear yet.

    What we harvested last week: Elephant garlic, onions, peas, chard, mustard, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, basil, chives. One rooster. A lot of Japanese knotweed for beanpoles and compost.

    I chose one kale plant to go to seed, and oh, my, did it! It’s hanging up now in a maple tree to dry the pods, and there are THOUSANDS of them. I’ve selected some of the favas to save, and will save some peas, French beans, runner beans, potatoes and tomato seeds. All of these we have done before, except the kale, and the favas, which are a learning experience. We’re still working full time, so there is only so much we can try.

    Favas come in an eating size and a green-manure size and we have a lot of the latter as that was what we were given. They are good to eat but hard to harvest. What I have learned: cut them from the stem with scissors, close to the first bean. Rest the pods in a basket for a day so the pods will deflate a little. Steam to blanch. Rinse to cool. Now when you squeeze the other end (like a toothpaste tube) the beans should slide out of each pod easily, ready to freeze, steam, fry, or what have you.

    I’ve built a solar dryer and we have hundreds of canning jars but most of what we have put up so far this year has gone into the freezer — some choice greens, peas, and, umm — lots of chicken and chicken broth.

    We rely a lot on things that self-replicate or are perennial. The Egyptian onions, elephant garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, nasturtiums, chives, parsley, rhubarb and blackberries pretty much take care of themselves. And the orchard just gets better every year. Also, a lot of our flowers are bulbs and can be divided, or seed themselves readily: daffodils, tulips, irises, flags, English bluebells, forget-me-nots, digitalis, poppies, sweet williams, lupine, sweet peas. And then there are the lilacs, which are so big they shade the house.

    Ours is not the easiest site because rains are too heavy 3/4 of the year and entirely absent 1/4, nights are too cold, the season is short, there’s too much wind, plenty of pests, incredible weeds, we only have a limited water supply when it’s NEEDED, and we’re a bit north-aspected, so the ground seems like it has some kind of permafrost thingy going on.

    But we seem to do ok, as do many of our neighbors. The wind dies down a little after sunset, and we go sit with a glass of mint tea by the grape vines as the moon comes up, watching bats fluttering around the big oak tree.

    There are worse ways of growing old!

  • Picked our carrots and ate them (yum!). The peas are ready for their final pick. The plants are ready to be pulled and added to the compost pile. We had a spell of hot weather that caused some of our lettuce to bolt. :( Strawberries and plums continue to be plentiful, and the squash, tomatoes, and cucumbers all have tiny fruits growing.

    It also looks like a gopher or vole or mole has found our strawberries. Noticed some dirt kicked up a couple of weeks ago, thought they were gone, but the dirt was kicked up again this morning. blast!

    The bees are active, they’ve filled two honey supers, and hopefully we’ll be getting some honey soon!

  • Rob

    Welcome to the jungle! Everything is growing great here. Corn is knee high plus before the fourth of july!POatatoes seem to like the condo I built for ‘em. Squashes are growing like gang busters! Tomatoes are on the vines. Still awaiting that broccoili. So far this year I have dined on chinese cabbage(which I liked and will grow again this fall), home grown strawberries, a tomato, lots of greens.

  • The heat of July has hit in Bakersfield, California (Zone 8-9). Even though I hate the heat, the garden seems to love it – tomatoes, squash, melons, peppers, strawberries, herbs. They are all growing well. The only problem I am having is with potatoes. I’ll try again in the fall. All the fruit trees are too young to hold fruit although I do have apples and peaches. The citrus trees have fruit. I’m planning on planting broccoli, cauliflower, and spinich soon.

    Oh, hornworms have been enjoying my tomatoes. I try to find them and feed them to the birds; but some of them are illuding me.

  • I’ve finally gotten something to eat! We’ve enjoyed our first summer squash and lettuce, as well as a couple of cups of strawberries.

    Zucchini is close, tomatoes are still green, but we’ve had a wierd summer.

    No idea what to do with the seeds though…have never been successful at seed saving…is there a starter post somewhere?

  • Our garden is growing strong here near SF, California. Definitely some failures – ground too dense for the carrots, seems like not enough heat for the peppers, eggplants, melons – but I’m going to be able to build a pumpkin house by the end of fall :-) Automatic timer kept irrigation going during hundred-degree weather while we were away for nine days. Here’s a full update with pictures!

  • Ian

    your site is awesome!

    we finally got into our neighbor p-patch (waiting list) last year and have had a blast getting to know the local greenthumbs..Ive been lucky to have lots of success stories as far as growing goes- but my patch is victim to theft and vandalism often (we’re in mt baker/columbia city)…which is a real bummer.

    Anyways, im bookmarking this site for sure and will check out as many links as I can…maybe Ill get motivated to start a blog and join the challenge :)

  • The longer version is here: http://beecreative.typepad.com/photos/garden/img_5586.html

    The short and sweet: The garden is doing great, the chooks are growing like mad, I think I have spinach seed (over wintered from last fall) ready to harvest, and the shelling peas are just about ready (to store for winter eating and for seed).

  • Jo

    I’ve written a very long update on my garden’s progress: http://www.homesteadblogger.com/bytherailwayline/138564/

    It’s going pretty well, as far as I can tell. We’re really looking forward to eating some of the vegetables before too much longer.

  • My seed to seed challenge has sort of hit a hurdle. I recently discovered lead contamination in our backyard http://tinyurl.com/l4a9e4.

    So we are not even going into our backyard until we make some changes to make it safer. At least we have had heaps of rain so the garden has been looking after itself for the last few weeks. I’ll have to pull up all my garden beds and change to raised garden beds – so am not sure whether I’ll be able to wait until my current crops go to seed. Bummer!

    I WAS going to save field pea (green manure crop), broccoli, rocket, celery, mustard spinach, kale, silverbeet, brussel sprout, cauliflower, carrot, snow pea, lettuce and cabbage. All may have to be fed to the chooks as i’ll likely not take the risk eating it as vegetables can absorb lead from the soil. It will depend on how widespread the lead is. Such a waste!

  • The rain was nice in the beginning but I’m hoping for more sun for the garden & my poor bees. We’ve got 5 foot high dill (with no cucumbers even close for pickles), a few green tomatoes starting, raspberries, a few strawberries, & tons of lettuce.

  • Tricia, you are not alone, many people who have started new gardens are discovering contamination issues — even the White House! Bummer, though …

  • Roz

    I have been harvesting beans and cucumbers, and canned some for pickles today! Starting to see color on the tomatoes, and are just now pulling up the rest of the fennel (but they do look odd; nothing like the ones from the store. We ate them anyway!) The peaches already came and the fruit flies got most of them, but a few are left now in the fridge. The peppers are fruiting and next on the list for canning. Celeriac seems to be doing fine, I can’t wait to try it! The beets have been coming in since early spring and are delicious! All are new items to harvest this year except peppers, beans, and tomatoes.

  • We’ve been enjoying lettuce here since April. The first plants have bolted, but haven’t flowered. Won’t be long until I can collect some seeds!

    Thinned the carrots a few weeks ago, and so far carrots and parsnips seem to be doing well. The potato plants are huge! They’re doing better this year than ever before. In a few days I’ll dig one up and see what it’s produced. Our grape tomatoes are ripening, and our big tomatoes are starting to set fruit. Won’t be long! Little cucumbers are starting to show on the cucumber vines. So far have harvested six softneck and two hardneck garlics. They look great! They’re drying in the garage now. Radishes are through, and I’m saving seeds from them. Seeds aren’t quite ready to harvest. I’m trying the “three sisters” method, growing corn, squash and pole beans. Some rodent (probably a squirrel) is toppling our quite large corn plants. So we’ve put hardware cloth cages around some of them, and that seems to protect them. The squash looks good so far…has one to two sets of true leaves now. I’m sowing and resowing the pole beans, in hopes that some plants will result (not sure what it is…probably something eating the seeds). Always something happening in the garden!

  • We have had an ungodly amount of rain, the cucumbers have taken off, but the melons never germinated. Hopefully I can get the spuds out of the ground next week before the wave of late blight that has hit the northeast gets to my backyard.

    No bean flowers yet, but I suspect any day now. I’ve got tomato flowers a plenty though.

  • The word for this season is apparently “challenging”…thanks to my western exposure and possibly some squirrels, I have a big fat zero on plants currently doing the growing thing. It’s quite disappointing, so I’m regrouping…and took down the seed to seed thing on my blog for now, because I don’t deserve the sucker and know I won’t be able to manage it this year. After a wet end of May, Florida got only sporadic rain in June…my herbs dried up despite my efforts, the tomatoes never got going, and the flowers never even took. I purchased some beautiful basil about 2 weeks ago, which either blew off the porch by wind or was knocked off by squirrels, and when I went down to fetch the pot, it was completely empty, which I’m guessing I can attribute to the local ducks or a plant thief. So I’m thinking about my next course of action (not giving up on the herbs, or tomatoes or beans…this is Florida, heck with the seasons!), and putting down on paper what I’m looking for in a planting yard when we’re house hunting in NC this time next year.

  • We’ve harvested our peas (tasted great), and are eating the occasional strawberry. The corn is growing well, as are the beans, basil, eggplant, brussel sprouts and cucumber. Have a few green tomatoes. Afraid our fennel is getting chewed to bits.

  • I switched from Wonder Soil to my own organic mix of coco coir, compost, and perlite after my kitty ate my growing challenge. The water retention is way more conducive to my watering style and the plants thank me. I am doing pereskiopsis, miracle fruit, peppers, watermelon, and uh, a spider plant.

    Updates to come.

  • Xan

    Harvested my first successful broccoli in 6 years. I keep putting it in and not getting any heads– the definition of madness (to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.) So this year I finally decided to investigate what exactly the problem might be. Turned out it was my acid soil, and I was compounding the problem by mulching with peat. Scraped away the peat, amended the soil with wood ash, voila! Broccoli: http://myfolia.com/plantings/44816-broccoli-pinetree-mix-brassica-oleracea-italica-group. We’ve also been having fun with our first corn ever. We have silk on 8 proto-ears and it’s a blast hand pollinating and then watching it turn reddish brown. If the squirrels don’t get it, it will be ripe just in time for my daughter’s homecoming.

  • Stacy

    Things are going ok so far…except it took me three hours to weed after my vacation. Yikes!

    Spinach and lettuce are great, bok choi is almost done, carrots coming up, potato plants are crazy and the rest is right on schedule!

    No seeds to save yet, but I will!!

  • [...] you bring here.  Deb G, Risa B, and Katecontinued, I love the kindness you bring.  And all of your gardens!  Ian, and any of you – please feel free to start any challenge at any time.  You don’t [...]

  • Finally got a partial update up here – http://catmccall.blogspot.com/2009/07/view-from-here.html

    Most everything is doing well, but it has been cold, windy and rainy here on the Oregon coast so I don’t hold out much hope for tomatoes. I’ll be re-thinking my garden plan for next year, growing more cold weather crops. Of course that means we’ll have a record-breaking heat wave ;-)

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