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THE GROWING CHALLENGE: It’s Back And Better Than Ever!!

The Growing Challenge

Many, Many Apologies

Well, here’s my first glitch in the new blog: Most of you saw the fabulous post that used to be here. Full of great information about growing things! I um… wrote over the whole thing by mistake. Can you believe it??!! Yeah, I can’t either. I loved that post.

What you don’t see here anymore are all the wonderful reasons to grow your own food, all the amazingly enticing things people have written, and how much we would love to have you join in the fun!!

So don’t let this little mistake stop you from joining us! There are currently 155 people who are excited to be a part of this challenge – please join us! Just head on over to The Growing Challenge Page and check out what it’s all about!  (And in the meantime I will find someone who can help me find the backup of the post, so that I can reinstate it… I hope!)

Will You Do It?

Who’s in? Sign up, Check In! What are you veterans up to? New participants, please introduce yourselves!

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23 comments to THE GROWING CHALLENGE: It’s Back And Better Than Ever!!

  • I, too, have had life get in the way of sharing my gardening trials and tribulations. Pictures have been taken with the intent of posting, but that still hasn’t quite happened.

    Nevertheless, I’m beginning to harvest tomatoes, peppers, and radishes. Did you know that rabbits like jalapenos? Crazy little critters.

  • Hi Melinda,

    You were on my mind when I wrote about my garden last week. Here’s a link to my posts with The Growing Challenge/Victory Garden tags:

    I’ve had so much fun cooking and baking with our few garden harvests and local produce. Glad to hear about others’ successes, as well!

  • Glad to have the Growing Challenge back! How wonderful to see what everyone is up to!

  • I would love to join! This is my first year in our house, after moving off my parents’ farm. I planted a whole bunch from seed, and now I’m working on planning my fall and (maybe?) winter gardens. I’d love to share the insights of others!!! Cause I’ve never done this winter garden thing before…

  • I actually grew quite a few new things from seed this year that I hadn’t done before. Tonight I am making coleslaw from a big head of cabbage and some carrots that I grew successfully from seeds…both are new to me this year.

  • Thanks for the feed back! Thinking about something new to grow for fall/winter garden. I’m actually planning on digging up and re-doing a lot of different areas in the garden this fall.

  • I just harvested my very first set of green beans! 16 to be exact. I had to ensure that my husband got his fair share of them after we blanched them and sauteed them in butter, basil, salt and pepper.

    I’ve missed your round-ups! I have, however, been diligently tracking my progress. Now I must go and make the link updates. Um. Except I don’t know if I know how to do a trackback thingy. (*blush*)

  • Hi Melinda :-)

    Well, I’ve been on an ordering frenzy after receiving the spring seed catalogues and I now have um, a *lot* of seed packets in my hot little hands, so I have no choice but officially join up, do I? LOL. Count me in! Although it’s still *cold* here Down Under, so it might be a few more weeks before I start sowing my summer seeds (and planting my spuds ;-)

  • I brought in the first part of my potatoes and while the yukons were disappointing in yield, the caribes came in decent numbers. The only problem with the caribes is their very delicate skin, its going to be hard to find some for storage since every one I have been picking gets a nick here or there. Given that I live in NY the first harvest of course went to make salt potatoes. But I would like to put some away to at least thanksgiving.

    I have a very good bush bean that started to flower after only a couple weeks and seems to be making a lot of pods right now. Its called “provider” and I highly recommend it. I grow kentucky wonder also, so that tall stalk is a familiar sight.

    My cool season crops were constantly harassed by slugs, anyone have any slug tips?

  • Pitiful, but a start – We grew carrots and green beans from seed this year in containers. Harvested beans already, thinned carrots and now in holding pattern. I would love to join and learn a little more about fall planting. I am hoping someone in the cold weather regions will have some tips for me! Sign me up!

  • TEACHER A, My sister says rabbits like her peppers, too! Wow. Did you ever see my post about how to keep rabbits out of your garden? Maybe it will help…

    DANIELLE, Good to hear from you!! Your own new site looks beautiful, too. ; ) Thanks for the link.

    HANNAH, Isn’t it awesome to see all the different shapes and types of gardens? Love it!

    ABBIE, Welcome!! You’re definitely not alone in being new to winter gardening. I’ll try to share whatever insights I have about it, plus there are some really experienced four-season gardeners here to learn from. I’m looking forward to following your garden!

    JIMMY CC, Congratulations on the cole slaw! Hey, maybe you could share your insights about carrots – doing my rounds here, I’ve noticed an awful lot of people are having trouble growing them…

    DEB G, Oooh, can’t wait to hear about the changes and the new crops!

  • HATCHET, Hey there, I’m so glad to hear from you. You’ve been AWESOME about tracking your progress – thank you.

    Trackbacks… easy: just link to The Growing Challenge Page and it will do the rest. Basically, whenever you create a link to The Growing Challenge Page, a link to your post will show up on The Growing Challenge Page. That way anyone who is subscribed to The Growing Challenge Page will receive your update!! But again, all you have to do is link to it and WordPress does the rest. ; )

    JULIE, No choice, definitely zero choice but to sign up. Ha! I’m looking forward to seeing your bounty as we hit the dead of winter in a few months… Probably about how you feel now, watching our gardens! And what a great article you just posted about turmeric! It’s beautiful.

    KORY, Salt potatoes? What are those?? Ah, I’ve heard of provider – amazing that it is so quick to produce – good to know! I know Lisa has been battling slugs – you should ask her about them, as I believe she has found a good solution (she’s tried several).

    ECO ‘BURBAN MOM, Fabulous! Doing a little dance now – glad you’re joining us! There are several people here in colder regions (have I mentioned you should move out west?), so I’m sure there will be tips!

  • I’ve been gardening and posting. So far, not lots of harvesting, just lots of growing …

  • CHEAP LIKE ME, I’ve been following your garden – it looks great!! Aren’t the butternuts amazingly cute when they’re small? For a while last year we though we may have planted the wrong kind of squash – they’re not the right color until they get really ripe!

  • Tom

    I’m still at it with the hydroponic thing. I also planted watermelon and pumpkins outside. The watermelons never came up, but I can see a female pumpkin out there.

    I only have 1 plant left of the seeds I planted for the challenge. The plant is a watermelon plant, and no matter how hard I try to self pollinate it, I can’t get fruit to set.

    The total outcome of my first year of gardening is 2 or 3 cucumbers, 2 zucchini, and a handfull of beans.

    I haven’t given up though. Since I’m doing a lot of hydroponics, I can plant any time I want, and I have been planting almost continually. The latest thing I planted was a bunch of carrots in a bucket. I’m going to try really hard to some vegetable to the point where I can have a perpetual harvest. Carrots seem like they would take up the least amount of space.

    Thanks for this contest. It is really fun participating.


  • TOM, I’m so glad you’re still at your hydroponic thing! Watermelon… is that in your hydroponic garden? I’m totally impressed that you’re trying it – I think you’re going into uncharted territory, so I don’t really know what the problem might be. You’re taking the male flowers and rubbing them into the female flowers? (Sorry, that sounded dirty, didn’t it?) Melons and squash are pretty heavy feeders, so maybe it needs more nutrients? I’m sort of at a loss – that is all I can think of. But I can’t wait to hear more – hydroponics are totally new to me!!

  • If anyone else is as fascinated as I am by Tom’s hydroponic experiments, here are all of his Growing Challenge posts, which he has diligently posted every week:

  • Tom

    Watermelon has been done in hydroponics before, usually by commercial growers. When others try it they tend to stick to the smaller watermelons. I think my problem has to do with either the container being too small for the roots, blossom end rot, or some kind of fungal disease. I started a few more seeds in a much larger container as a backup in case this plant finally dies.

    I don’t know if I posted this yet as part of my growing challenge updates, but my second cucumber plant now has female flowers so I should be enjoying hydroponic cucumbers in a week or two.

  • I am new here… following a link from Towards Sustainability I am the thick of planning for our spring/summer garden and ordering seeds so this is very timely!

    I am going to go read through the original post and sign up to join in… this is just the motivation I need!

  • TOM, I’m in awe. Please feel free to share anything you like about your garden!

    KATE, Welcome and I look forward to reading about your garden.

  • I’m so glad The Growing Challenge is back! I’ve been so busy gardening that I haven’t had much time to blog about it, but I can give a quick recap now and a more detailed on later this weekend on (you might remember me blogging about gardening on GreenArtz. Well, time constraints have lead me to recombine the two blogs, so now I blog about parenting, green living, politics AND gardening on my original blog,

    This year we planted our first garden at the new house. We’ve got more space, but it’s broken up into several beds instead of one big set of raised beds at the bottom of the garden like I had at the old house. I got a little overzealous in my planting, including planting the following stuff for the first time:
    * Radishes (spicy & oh, so delicious!)
    * Pickling cucumbers (OK, not the first time, but the first time I’ve actually gotten to harvest anything!)
    * Corn (I know, an Indiana native whose never grown corn?!?!)
    * Butternut squash
    * Cantaloupe (see comment on cucumbers, above)
    * Kale
    * Potatoes

    Happy gardening!!!
    :) Julie

  • [...] this is my first year gardening at our new home in Lyons. But I’ve also taken “the growing challenge” to try to grow some new types of veggies, [...]

  • JULIE, Got it – changed the link. I think all those things work well together on one blog anyway. ; ) And hurray for overzealous gardening!! From the sounds of your recent post, you’re going to be harvesting a lot of cucumbers & melons, plus plenty of everything else – hurray!

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