Community Garden, Part V

We thought it definitely time to give another update on our community garden plot! We’ve suffered some losses to potentially rabbits and some kind of devastating tomato disease, but we’ve had a lot of success stories this time as well. The biggest winners of this update are definitely the potatoes and corn — they’ve been doing great and are a lot of fun! Close runner-ups are the strawberries and lettuce — already been eating our salad green mix, and can’t wait for the first strawberry!

The watermelons are finally starting to spread out a little:

The “free rose” is really looking beautiful now — we gave it some organic rose fertilizer, and now it’s just constantly covered in beautiful red flowers:

The strawberries are settling in nicely. They’re sending out runners and I heard from some that at this time the runners should be cut off… but I can’t do it!

Our first strawberry will probably be ripe tomorrow!

The back two plants in this picture are honeydews, and the front one is a new spaghetti squash we got (after 1 of the three honeydews finally gave up).

Sadly, one of the honeydews had a real problem with cucumber beetles. Finally about a week ago I picked them all off (about 30!!!) and threw them in a ziplock bag and killed them… yes, I felt bad about it, but look at the poor plant. Apparently cucumber beetles are really awful — they don’t just eat the plants, but their guts contain a bacteria that they release on the plant that continues to slowly kill the plant after the bugs eat it! The plant has since been beetle-free and we like to think it’s recovering…

Andrew’s prized onions are doing great! We lost two to gophers a little while ago (even though gophers aren’t supposed to eat onions!!) but there are still a lot to go around.

One of our happiest garden projects has been growing potatoes in a trash can — read how easy it is to do here! After we planted the green “eyes” they didn’t do much for about a week, but now the potatoes have burst into action — we even covered them with some fresh compost/dirt this weekend.

After one of our four zucchinis was devoured by gophers, we replaced it with a bell pepper plant (“Big Early” — such a creative name!). Hasn’t done a whole lot yet, but it hasn’t been eaten by anything yet either!

Speaking of being eaten… We think a rabbit somehow got into our entirely fenced-off garden a few weeks ago and enjoyed a snack of several of our zucchinis. The zucchinis are recovering but now have their own individual fences (you can still see the leaf damage, but they’re still producing fruits).

Our snow peas are also flourishing, although they too suffered some possible rabbit-related damage a few weeks ago, and some gopher-related disappearage a few days ago. But, there are so many of them they just keep going, growing up our impromptu trellises.. No flowers yet though.. hm..

One of the definite winners for this update — our corn is doing amazing! No deaths to gophers, and not even any deaths after I carefully transplanted some to fill in gaps in the rows (and unfortunately had to throw out some of the extras during thinning). But they certainly needed that thinning — they’re really filling in now!

The tomatoes are one of the saddest stories of this update. They all (all 5 plants) have some kind of disease — either Verticillium wilt or some kind of blight — and it made many/perhaps most of their leaves wilt, turn brown, become dry, and easily fall off… This is what they looked like after we spent much time removing nearly every branch/leaf that had any of the brown remnants. But, as you can see, there’s still a lot of it on some of the base stems of the plant, so they may not have much of a future… Apparently verticillium wilt is common on tomatoes here because it’s never too warm (it dies in heat) and it’s moist, and the only real way to get rid of it is to destroy the plant and use new soil… What’s strange is two of our tomatoes are Celebrities, which are supposed to be Verticillium-resistant! What’s also strange is these plants did great for so long, and then it suddenly struck them… we’ll see how it goes…

Here’s Andrew with our prized zucchini plant!!! We’re now getting about a zucchini almost every other day from it. I keep worrying we’ll come in one day and find it gone to gophers, but I’m enjoying it while I can! (We now put all our new plants into wire mesh gopher baskets, but this one was too big to transplant.) And you can see our corn’s already shoulder-high!

Another semi-sad story for this update — our pickling cucumbers got severely munched on by rabbits a few days ago. These were four plants we raised in the greenhouse from seed and gopher basketed — this is the best-looking of the bunch. They now also have gopher baskets on top of them to protect from plant-eating predators above-ground!

Again, here I am demonstrating how our corn has now reached shoulder-height!

Andrew recently added to his onion patch — now his baby garlic seedlings are sprouting between the large onion plants!

Lastly, the only cantaloupe that survived from seed (we really should have waited until warmer weather or used “walls of water”) also got chewed on a little, but amazingly it has a little flower! It just won’t give up!

Very lastly, I forgot to take an image of the salad mix pots, but they’re doing quite well! We have four big pots, keeping them away from ground-predators, and just harvested our first salad this weekend. We hardly made a dent in the plants, and have enough for salad dinners for two nights! The plants are very healthy, despite a couple slugs I found in the greens when washing them off at home! Mmm – extra protein!

Leave a Response (or trackback on your own site)

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Welcome to Paradoxdruid's Rants... a community based webblog. Feel free to snag an account and post.

Contributors Login


My first first-author paper!

Just wanted to share that my first first-author paper is now online! In the journal Stem Cells and Development, here’s my paper on “Roles of Integrins in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Growth on Matrigel and Vitronectin.”

The Future of Scientific Publishing

Just read a fascinating (if lengthy) essay on disruptive technology and the future of scientific publishing. Well worth the read!


Just wanted to share’s Visual Guide to Deflation, which is quite explanatory.

All Things Stem Cell

Hey all Paradoxdruid readers! I recently started up a blog on stem cells that I’d love you all to take a look at:

Barely Literate: The Fermata

I participated in another Barely literate book review podcast, this time on Nicholson Baker’s “The Fermata”. Give it a listen!

Time for Change

Obama has outlined a strategy for America, in great depth. Read all about!

Free Rice

Okay, I’ll admit that it’s entirely possible that I am the last person to learn about this website*, but it’s really addictive. 


Site best viewed in Mozilla Firefox. Site CSS template by Andrea Pitschmann. Banner photo by photocase.