The New Gardener: Surprises galore and several unexpected growths

Posted on: July 10, 2019 | Written By: Jess Levo | Comments

Note: Everybody Gardens videographer Jess Levo will be chronicling her adventures as a first-time gardener under the guidance of Doug Oster this year.

My summertime garden has been full of surprises. I honestly don’t know where to start.

The mishaps:

My Easter lilies were getting ready to bloom with huge buds, when I came home one day and discovered they were all gone, except for one. They were eaten clean off! I assumed it was deer, but I’ve seen a couple basketball-sized rabbits running around my yard, so now I think they might have had something to do with it.

The good news is, I had Bobbex (available here) on hand and managed to save the one lily left.

lilies

My beans, cucumbers and zucchini are absolutely out of control. I knew I planted everything too close together in the spring, and I’m finally seeing the consequences. My zucchini leaves are way too big and are shadowing the strawberries. Guess those are done for the year.

wide

My cucumbers are more vine-y than I expected. They are taking over the beans. Check out this cool picture of how the cucumber is wrapping itself around the beanstalk.

cucumber vine

Unfortunately, my beans are getting too tall and are collapsing. I guess I need some stakes and string?

collapsing beans

Let’s talk about one more mishap, then onto the good surprises.

My radicchio is one of the first things I planted. One afternoon, I looked out to find it absolutely wilted. Disappointed, I stuck it in the shade and gave it some water. Mere hours later I found it completely recovered. Yay!

raddicchio surprises

Some other cool surprises:

My very first post about gardening was about feeding the birds. Turns out, a few of the sunflower seeds from my feeder planted themselves in the ground and they’re actually growing. Look how beautiful!

sunflowers

Another fun surprise:

I also feed the squirrels corn off of a cob. Could this seriously be corn growing in my garden?

cornstalk surprises

Did you ever hear that farmer saying, “Knee-high by July”?

It appears my unintentional cornstalk is right on schedule.

Earlier New Gardener stories

1: Birdfeeders Attracting Birds That Will Benefit The Garden

2: Continuing A Family Legacy Of Gardening

3: Starting The Garden And Buying Too Many Plants

4: Repurposed Grill Given New Life And Lilies In Bloom

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Doug Oster is manager and editor of Everybody Gardens with a passion for gardening and a love of sharing is experiences with other gardeners. You will also find Doug’s gardening contributions in the Tribune-Review each week. He’s an Emmy Award winning producer, television host and writer. Oster is co-host of The Organic Gardeners Radio show every Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh. Oster’s Outstanding Documentary Emmy was awarded for Gardens of Pennsylvania, a one hour special he conceived and produced for the PBS affiliate WQED. Doug appears every Thursday morning on KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today live at 9 a.m. “Gardening is fun, he says, enjoy every day spent outside tending vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees.”