Tag Archives: peppers


Harry - my Harvest Helper - with Letuce and Turnips I am finding it a little difficult to keep up with all of my chores these days…if only I could quit my job and become a full-time gardener. Regular maintenance is fine, but I have some major projects that keep getting sidelined (still working on those trellises!), and getting out the door by 7 and home again at 8 or 9 has cut my garden time down to a precious 15-30 minutes a day.

LettucesOur harvests, however, have been really great. With so much arugula, lettuce and kale, I haven’t had to buy any vegetables in a little over three weeks.

Strawberries and Cayenne Peppers
The strawberries have been – I admit – a little puny and tart. But I grew them, so they still make me proud. The cayenne peppers are nice to mix into my breakfast egg tacos. I pick some green and let the rest mature to red.

Japanese Turnips
My first crop of Japanese turnips.

Japanese Turnip Pickles
I made them into refrigerator pickles.

The arugula has started to bolt, so we’ve been gobbling it up before it becomes inedible. Salads every day this week…


Veggie Update

Ridgewood Queens Backyard Garden 2011 Ridgewood Queens Backyard Garden 2011 Ridgewood Queens Backyard Garden 2011 Ridgewood Queens Backyard Garden 2011 Tomatoes Ridgewood Queens Backyard Garden 2011
Ridgewood Queens Backyard Garden 2011 Ridgewood Queens Backyard Garden 2011 Ridgewood Queens Backyard Garden 2011 Ridgewood Queens Backyard Garden 2011 Japanese turnips, beets, cucumbers and string beans Kale and cabbage

Garden Update, a set on Flickr.

I am thrilled with how things are going so far…and extremely grateful to Mel’s Mix and the small fortune I spent on vermiculite.

First: The Tomatoes
The seedlings I started in March are now four feet tall. Since I had little faith in my ability to grow and nurture new plants from scratch, I sowed about three times as many seeds as I thought I needed. I guess my thumb is greener than I thought – I now have close to 20 plants! My full fledged tomato nursery includes four varieties: Ananas Noire, Pantano Romanesco, Black Elephant and Chadwick Cherry. I see a lot of little blossoms and am expecting tiny fruit any day now. Bees – get to work!

Next: The Peppers
I am also growing peppers – Traditional Cayenne and Pepperoncini. Like the tomatoes, I over planted.  Except I don’t think I transplanted these plants fast enough – they’ve started to produce big peppers already but the plants themselves are still pretty small. I have them in 2-3 gallon terra cotta pots.

Third: The Greens
My lettuce and kale are too beautiful to eat. I’ve been picking off a leaf or two to nibble here and there, but mostly I just want to stand back and admire.

The first variety (the largest in the picture) is Lettuce de Morges Braun, which I planted because of its bad-ass name. It’s supposed to develop a reddish, pinky hue, but mine is still green. I had some in a BLT for lunch today and it was delicious.

I also planted Oak Leaf Lettuce,  regular old Romaine and Lollo Rossa. (I see a lot of Caesar Salads in my future.) Next to that is a ton of arugula, which is my favorite green, and some spinach.

I am also growing Tuscan Black Kale, which I think is far tastier than Siberian, as well as a few cabbages. Not sure what to do with those cabbages…but they are definitely cute.

Last: In Development
The other two planters house chives, Danvers carrots and Cosmic Purple carrots, watermelon, Emerald Gem melon, cucumbers, string beans, beets and  Japanese turnips (which are spicy like radishes and delicious).

Things are really coming along! Last year I didn’t begin until the end of June, and I am really happy I got a head start this time around by sowing some seeds indoors. I can finally take a bit of a breather and sit back and watch things grow, though I do have to build my trellises for the cucumbers and melons as well as think about what other crops I want to plant for a fall harvest.

Welcome to my Garden Blog

Ridgewood, Queens   Ridgewood Row house    Last Year's Garden    Last Year's Garden    Peppers and Swiss Chard   Bell Peppers
Wild Purslane    Sad Pumpkins   Ridgewood, Queens   Ridgewood, Queens   Ridgewood, Queens  Ridgewood, Queens

Garden 2010, a set on Flickr.

Hello! I live in Ridgewood, Queens with my boyfriend and two affenpinschers. We moved into a 1908 brick row house down the street from the Linden Hill cemetery a little over a year ago. I started my first garden last summer, and this year I thought I would document Garden 2.0 with a blog – from start to finish, sow to harvest.

The thumbnails link to my garden from last year, which my boyfriend described as “Swiss Family Robinson.” Admittedly, I was kind of miserly when it came to investing in materials and supplies. I opted for unraised garden beds and created borders out of twine and sticks that I found in the yard. Then I threw some seeds around Johnny Appleseed-style and hoped for the best.

Things turned out pretty decent: We had lots of peppers, radishes, arugula and Swiss chard. The kale, carrots and beets did ok, but my zucchinis were decimated by ants. The parsnips never sprouted (maybe it was too hot?) and the pumpkins were a bust (I started them way too late).  My tomatoes were the surprise hit of the summer. When I thought I had lost them to blight, I cut the plants down to a few inches high, and they sprouted right back up and rallied from September to late October.

I’m the type of person who likes to dive right into things without planning, but if I learned anything from last summer it was that a little planing goes a long way when it comes to planting a garden. So this year I am taking it slow and steady, doing my best to follow tips and advice I find online and in books, and mapping things out well in advance. I look forward to sharing the results!