Earlier this year I set up my vertical garden. It was awesome and happy for about a week and basically everything after that went to shit. Haha. Not sure what's going on with this thing. There's time to replant but I'm not sure the best way to go about it. Discovered my porch is actually quite shady and I think that's why my lettuce got so leggy and bolted so early. Any ideas? #gardenfail #verticalgarden
YouTube is such an amazing source of knowledge so I'd like to share my favorite gardening channels that have been such a source of inspiration for me.
From what I understand this garden is located in the Chicagoland area. They're also Zone 5 which gives me so much hope for my own gardening possibilities. I can't believe how early they have stuff coming up, WOW! They have a small area to garden in and check out their amazing yield! Its awe inspiring. I've been watching these videos for about six months now and I learn something really interesting every time. Probably my number one favorite garden channel.
Garden Answer was one of the reasons I got into succulents. Her succulent arrangements are adorable! I also really love all of her DIY projects like making planters out of literally anything and I liked her recent video about making a rain gutter planter. She makes it all seems so easy. One thing I've noticed lately is that she is obviously an employee for Proven Winners which make me feel a little - meh - but hey, we all have to make the dollars so its totally cool. If you want to avoid those videos, they tend to be the ones where she's planting flowers into containers.
That theme song, amiright? Too funny. I am partial to this channel I think because they're located in Wisconsin so obviously it will work for my area. I loved her videos on vermicomposting and if you're interested in composting with worms I would watch those videos, they're a great starting off point. This one gets the award for sheer quantity. SO MANY videos to watch.
These are videos that don't necessarily count as gardening channels but I still have found useful in lots of different ways when it comes to the garden.
Ok, so April doesn't really do garden videos at all. I just think I want everyone to know about her because I think her videos are fantastic. I just think she's an amazing role model. If you have any interest in building anything watch and be inspired by April's carpentry skills!
These folks live off grid and their videos are really interesting. I appreciate how real/raw the videos are. They know its not an easy life but its the life they've chosen and I think thats really commendable.
I love this channel for so many reasons. Its basically all DIY videos (not too many plant related ones). I think what strikes me about the videos is that its very clean and white and tidy and so much about gardening is not that at all. So I like the idea of incorporating some clean lines and modernity with plants. He just put out a video on how to make a raised bed and he put chicken wire under the bed and for some reason it never occurred to me to do that and of course I have animals coming through the bottoms of my beds all the time and just never thought about the chicken wire. Of course! Next time.
Let me know what your favorite gardening YouTube channels are!
Can we just talk about ground cherries for a minute?
These little fruits are so amazing. They are prolific. They know how to party. The flavor, to me, is very similar to pineapples. And best of all, they are extremely easy to grow.
Sometimes they're tough to find at garden stores. The only place I've ever seen them in the area is Schönheit Gardens in Sun Prairie. If you know of other places, let me know! But once you have them, you'll have them forever.
They are a self sowing annual, meaning the plants die completely and don't come back in the spring, but they drop enough fruit to plant themselves. So when you see the word "volunteer" - thats what that means. They said to me "Hey, Daniella. We know how much you liked us last year. So we've decided to come back". This year I bought four plants plus had two volunteer. I decided to buy the plants because they were further along (meaning more ground cherries more sooner) and because I wanted to make sure I got some. Next year I might try putting a cold frame over the spot in the garden where I have them planted in case that helps bring them up sooner.
One thing I will say about them is that they are deceptively huge plants. So just make sure if you plant them you give them plenty of room. They're ready to harvest when the cherries fall off of the plant and they keep in a fridge for a really long time.
What you can make with ground cherries
I tried in vain to find a photo of the amazing ground cherry upside down cake I made last year but alas, I can't find it. However! I found the recipe! Trust me. Its amazing. You should make it.
I've also made ground cherry jam (with raspberries)
And you can make the classic ground cherry pie.
But I would say that at least 50% of the ground cherries we pick either just get eaten raw from our huge bowl in the fridge or Erik is a genius and throws them into pancakes. YUM!
Where to find ground cherries
Your best bet is a farmers market. I believe theses little guys cost similar to a raspberry pint at the farmers market. One thing thats good to know is that they are pretty labor intensive. Taking them out of the husk is a process. But I just throw on an audiobook or podcast and just hang out in my kitchen and removing the husks.
I hope this was helpful! Let me know if you try out ground cherries!
Things are in full swing at the community garden!
Sugar Snap Peas - for some reason didn't do very well this year. Got very dried out. Not sure why?
Two varieties of cucumbers this year. I actually planted directly sowed them, and I'm kind of surprised they came up. Two healthy plants. I've of course forgotten the name - but its a big climbing cucumber. And the other is the sour Mexican gherkin which I had last year and I loved.
Kentucky green beans. Doin' their thing.
SO MANY tomatoes this year. I made a big gardening no-no, which is that I didn't rotate. Meaning my tomatoes are planted in the same spot as they were last year. Hope that doesn't cause any problems but as you can tell from the rest of the plot - there's not a whole lot of wiggle room.
Not much to say on this one except (1) I'm sad that my rosemary died (2) I had an eggplant die via bugs (3) I moved my basil which also killed it (4) I am going to try to prevent plants from dying in the future. Kale has taken off this year. I'm very pleased. Strawberries were a little wet this year so I didn't get a very good crop - most were rotted on the plant. But as you saw in a previous post I did get a bunch at one point.
Two ground cherries volunteered where I had planted spinach. No spinach came up? I don't know why. Not sure what happened. Bad batch of seeds I guess. So, there's two ground cherries over here too. I also decided to add in some last minute Patty Pan since they are an underwhelming squash - not too big and not too out of control. Collards! This is my first year doing collards and I LOVE them. OMG.I want collards all the time. This is also my first year with peppers and there's a ton on each plant. Even the orange bell pepper has some on there. Yess. I planted Detroit Red Beets, obviously. Because beets are the best. I'm excited about the Edamame, also have never tried to grow those. In the past I've weeded out the Milkweed, but honestly - they're not in the way and monarch butterflies eat Milkweed exclusively so I thought it would be good to keep them around.
I'll update again in a few weeks! Still no tomatoes but soon! I've got plenty of flowers and baby tomatoes growing.
Everything has been planned and mostly planted! The top section is what I have planted in containers on my porch and the bottom is what my raised bed garden looks like. I'm SUPER excited about this upcoming year. I feel good about the variety of veggies I have this year!
Created at the Madison Greenhouse store on Williamson Street, I created a themed tiered terrarium based on different depths of the ocean with three varieties of Tillandsia (airplants).