An East Nashville Edible Garden

creating an edible garden in the heart of Tennessee

Tag: vert grimpant

2017 – so far.

How are we nearly halfway through the year already!!! The strawberry season has come and gone, along with the spring salad greens and peas. The blackberries and raspberries are in full swing and the summer squash, tomatoes and peppers are just coming into their own. The beets and beans will survive a little longer, but it’s already time to be thinking about ordering seeds for the next round of sowing in the fall.

 

Blog June 2017

 

There are a few new additions to the garden this year. This is my first year growing zucchini. I’m not a huge fan of summer squash but had the space so wanted to try it.

 

zucchini 2017

 

I also grew some cape gooseberries from seed and they are doing well. Here’s hoping they will pollinate and I’ll get some fruit in the fall. And the flying dragon fruit planted last winter, that will eventually grow into my front edible fence are also growing well.

 

Flying dragon fruit 2017 (a)

 

Another first was celery. I planted some seeds in February and put out three plants in a morning sun spot to see if they would survive throughout the hot TN summer, to give me celery in the fall. So far, they are doing well too. And my biggest success of the year had been parnsips! I planted them last fall, with the carrots, and they were ready to harvest this Spring.

And I’ve  got a few experiments going on too. The Vert Grimpant melons that I grew on the ground last year, are growing up trellises this year to see how they fair. I’ve also got my tomatoes growing up a trellis wall as well, and am growing them single or double stem because of it.

 

Blog June 20172

 

There is nothing quite like figuring out how to grow a new food. You can read all the garden books in the world, but there’s nothing that will teach you like trying. You don’t need a green thumb to be a gardener – you just need to pay attention.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Lessons from 2016, for 2017 – the winners.

It’s that time of year again when seeds are being ordered, and I look back on previous years. What has done well, and what should I try differently? Here were the big winners of 2016…

LEMON SQUASH (summer squash). These were AMAZING. Firstly, they grow upright which is a huge space saver. (I grew 6 plants in a 8′ x 6′ area). I used conduit pipe 5ft out of the ground but by the end of the season the plants were growing far above that and toppling over a little. From my six plants I got 204 squash!! They are supposed to be the most disease resistant of the summer squash plants but that doesn’t mean you won’t get squash bugs and vine borers. You just have to check the plant every day or two. Funnily enough, I discovered I don’t really like summer squash but it does make a fantastic soup with onions and tarragon which I’ve been enjoying all winter, so I’ll be growing it again.

 

Lemon Squash 2016 round up

 

BUTTERNUT SQUASH (winter squash). These are fantastic keepers over the winter months. I harvested mine early September and they are still holding up well. From three plants I got about a dozen squash and really had to keep on top of the squash bugs, but it was totally worth it. I’ll be planting more this year, simply because they keep so well.

 

Butternut Squash 2016 round up

 

VERT GRIMPANT MELON. My first year growing melon and I chose this variety because the fruits are small (I live alone so perfect for one), and because I’m a sucker for anything old and European. They were grown on the ground but are really perfect for trellising so I might try that this year. From 6 plants I got about a dozen melons.

 

Melon 2016 round up

 

RHUBARB. After failing spectacularly with the rhubarb last year, I bought two more plants and placed them in morning sun, afternoon shade. They loved it! I had enough for jam all year and the plants should get bigger in year two.

 

Rhubarb 2016 round up

 

GINGER. I use a lot of ginger, especially in the winter and had success growing it on a rooftop in Brooklyn, so I wanted to try it here in TN. I bought two plants (not the roots) from Baker Creek, planted it in April and harvested on Dec 1st. I’ll have to wait until the Spring to see if the roots I left in the ground have survived. If not, I still have some I bought inside in pots which I’ll plant out when the weather gets warmer. The rest of the ginger was peeled, cut up and stored in Brandy. The plan is to keep more and more back each year as the harvest gets bigger and bigger.

 

Ginger 2016 round up

 

BUSH BEANS. – So easy to grow!! Got two great harvests but still have to figure out how to freeze them well. Mine went very tough when cooked from the freezer.

 

Bush Beans 2016 round up

 

SUGAR SNAP & SNOW PEAS. – I built an A-Frame trellis and pea hedge trellises for the peas this year and had huge crops! While the regular garden peas freeze very well, like the beans, the sugar snaps and snow peas didn’t. They just got too sickly sweet once defrosted. Amazing straight from the garden though!

 

Peas 2016 round up

 

 ELDERFLOWERS. While I planted the elderberry bushes last year, this was the first year to get elderflowers, and that meant finally having a go at elderflower sparkling wine. Another great addition to the garden.

 

Elderflower 2016 round up

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save