... and I have some good news and some bad news. Let's start with the good news, shall we? How about a little before and after?
The pictures above are from the day my gardening assistant (my mom) and I planted. This is my zucchini (I see lots of gardeners call them zukes - who knew!?) There were two seedlings and I planted them in one of three large round tubs I purchased from the flea market. Did I mention I only paid FIVE DOLLARS for all three? I brought those babies home, drilled some drainage holes in the bottom, and voila! Containers for my veggies! Here's a garden-dummy moment for all you gurus to laugh about: when I bought the seedlings, I deliberately chose some with blooms. In all of my excitement to grow vegetables, I assumed having blooms meant the plants were in some way closer to bearing fruit. Of course, as it was pointed out to me by a friend's very garden-savvy father, that in summertime in Texas, if you're foolish enough to plant this late, you've got to at least make your plants THINK it's not late. That meant I needed to pinch off those blooms so the plants would focus their energy on growing rather than blooming, because as small as they were, they weren't really ready to put out any fruit. I've also put my container in a spot where it will only get partial sun and will be in the shade during the very hottest time of the day. This, again, is to try to fake more spring-like conditions.
And now, two weeks later, here are the 'after' pictures.
So, have I convinced my zukes to grow?? You betcha!! They have not bloomed again since about the fourth or fifth day after planting but instead have really filled out nicely with lots of new leaves.
On to the less-good news. Below you'll see planting day for yellow squash. My squash has had a tough go of it thanks to The Very Hungry Caterpillar I discovered last week (see this post.) Before I figured it out, the little critter completely stripped one of the two plants bare.
So, two weeks later:
Either because of, or despite this set-back (the caterpillar), these plants haven't had the growth that the zukes have. They're not in bad shape, just not growing at the same rate. I am encouraged though to see that the squash that was eaten has started to put out new leaves again, so maybe it didn't suffer too much shock. Time will tell if it makes it afterall.
And now the bad news. I planted in the third round tub two green bell pepper seedlings. My mom also donated her empty Topsy-Turvy planter for a third bell pepper seedling. Here they were two weeks ago on the day they were planted:
Here they are today.
I need to research about bell peppers to see if I can glean any clues as to why they've not done well. I can't see any detectable growth on the two in the round container, and have only just found one or two new leaves on the hanging planter in the past day or two. If anything, it seems like the hanging pepper plant has just kind of drawn itself up, which makes it look thicker, but really I don't think it is. There is clearly something amiss, but in the end this is all a big learning experience for me, so my objective is now to figure out what is wrong. By next year, I'll be a little more experienced and a lot more in-the-know.