The GRO Enterprises crew arrived this morning and removed the pear tree near the compost bin and the two Silver Maples at the West end of the garden. Finally there should be enough sunlight to grow decent peppers and tomatoes.

The pear tree was a nuisance since Yellow Jackets and HOrnets attacked the pears as soon as they ripened and you couldn’t even walk near the tree as all fruit that hit the ground was covered with stinging insects. The squirrels ate the ones that hadn’t fallen. I topped one of the maples a few years ago but it had significantly grown back and the other had been too big to remove safely at the time. These trees limited the full sunlight on the garden to 3 or 4 hours.

Below are before and after pictures.













The last plants to go in were the Cucumbers. I stapled chicken wire to the back of the compost enclosure and planted 4 hills of Goebbert’s Slicing Cucumbers and 2 hills of Goebbert’s Burpless Cucumbers.

Pepper Planting

Pepper planting.

Pepper planting.

At Countryside Nursery in Crystal Lake I purchased and planted the  following peppers, grown by them, in 3 inch pots:

1 – Baron Red Beauty
2 – Bell Boy
1 – Spanish Spice
1 – Golden Marconi

The rest of the peppers were purchased in 4-Paks at both Countryside and Goebbert’s:


4 – Bell Red (Countryside)
4 – Wizard (Countryside)
4 – Chocolate Beauty (Goebbert’s)
4 – Early Sensation (Goebbert’s)
8 – Melrose (Goebbert’s)
7 – Sweet Banana (Goebbert’s)

And in the bed along the back fence:

4 – Jalapeno (Countryside)
4 – Hot Hungarian (Countryside)

Eggplant and Zucchini Planting

I haven’t had good luck with eggplant in the past. The fruits were small and the yield was poor, just not worth the space. But Countryside had some nice White Star Eggplants in 3″ pots, these bear white egg-like fruits, so I bought 3 of those.

I also planted 3 pots of Spineless Beauty zucchini from Goebbert’s.

Tomato Planting

Large Roma tomato plants from Goebbert's.

Large Roma tomato plants from Goebbert’s.

I  went to Goebbert’s for Tomatoes and they had a 2 for 1 sale on all of their 4″ potted tomatoes. These plants were at least 18″ tall and almost all of them were bearing tomatoes. I am hoping the plants won’t get stunted since they have already set fruit. Here’s what I bought and planted:


15 – La Roma (planted 3 across instead of 2 since that worked well in the past)
1 – Beefsteak
1 – Husky Red
2 – Early Girl
1 – Celebrity
1 – Primo Red
1 – Brandywine
1 – Yellow Non-Acid

I also took a trip to Countryside Nursery in Crystal Lake. They have a wide variety of heirloom tomatoes, probably at least 20 varieties, which are grown in their own nurseries. I bought and planted the following, from 3 inch pots:

1 – Black Krim
1 – Cherokee Purple
1 – Aker’s West Virginia
1 – Mortgage Lifter
1 – Mr. Stripey
1 – Oxheart
1 – German Johnson

I also purchased and planted 1 Pineapple Tomatillo which they grew and 2 regular Tomatillos.

Spring Greens

Spring greens. Red Lettuce, Romaine lettuce, collards and kale.

Spring greens. Red Lettuce, Romaine lettuce, collards and kale.

We’ve been eating garden greens for the past month. The lettuce and romaine plants from Goebberts have produced well and I will probably plant those again nest year instead of seed. The romaine and lettuce have held up pretty well but are near the end of productivity.The collards and kale are ready, also. The rabbits or other critters have done a little trimming, but kindly left enough for us.