Grow100 2015 RESULTS!

Grow100 2015 RESULTS!

Unlike last year, we are not awarding prizes or winners, but just highlighting some cool photos and stories from participants’ growing seasons. With that, let’s proceed and check out some gardens!

Click here to read all Grow100 posts on this blog

Pam Hosimer, UME Master Gardener and the Montgomery County Public Library, Germantown Branch

Pam provided a detailed write-up, so I will quote her:

“This garden, in its second year, was a huge success! We expanded from 2 containers to 3 containers. I changed the soil mix. Last year it was 50% topsoil/50% leafgro in the whole container. This year it was 50% topsoil/50% Leafgro on the bottom 2/3 of the container with potting soil on the top 1/3 of the container. This worked much better.

Here is what I planted – Container #1 – PIZZA GARDEN (‘Patio’ Tomato, Italian Oregano, ‘Arp’ Rosemary, Prostrate Rosemary, ‘Spicy Bush’ Basil), Container #2 – SALSA GARDEN (‘Patio’ Tomato, Bush Cucumber, ‘Jimmy Nardello’ Sweet Pepper, ‘Jalafuego’ Jalapeno Hot Pepper), Container #3 – FRUIT SCENTED HERB GARDEN (Lemon Verbena, Lemon Balm, Pineapple Sage, Lemon Thyme, Lemon Basil, Cinnamon Basil). It all grew robustly and produced a wonderful crop of herbs and vegetables. 

“I used the garden as a successful teaching tool for the monthly kid’s garden program I ran at the library from June through October. The kids loved picking the vegetables, which we proudly donated to the Manna Food Center in Gaithersburg. The staff and the public responded positively to the garden by stopping to look at it as they walked by, asking questions whenever I was out watering it, and not vandalizing the plants.

“The biggest challenge was getting the library staff and volunteers to water the garden on a regular basis. With all the rain we had in the spring they didn’t do much watering. Then they didn’t have a regular watering schedule in place when we stopped getting rain. Next it was hot and dry and no one was watering the plants and the plants stopped thriving. That was frustrating.

Montgomery County Derwood Demo Garden

The folks from the Derwood Demo garden sent in quite a bit of information, so I’ll just quote them here:

“The Derwood Demonstration Garden’s 100 Square Foot Garden continued to demonstrate how to bring creativity to a small garden, incorporating many familiar and several unusual plants into the the international garden theme. In early summer, warm season crops typical of Asian, Latin American, French and Italian cuisine replaced the cool-season crops of the spring garden. Tomatoes, peppers, chilies, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatillos, beans, Mexican herbs and three types of basil highlighted the summer garden. Fall crops were planted in August, many of which were similar to those planted in the spring garden–Asian greens, carrots, chard, spinach, lettuces and other salad greens.

Cabbage worm damage led to heavy losses of our plantings of ‘Lacinato’ kale in the Italian garden. (We may have applied row cover too late, after cabbage moths had already laid eggs—lesson learned!) Flea beetles devastated our first planting of eggplant. Cucumber wilt, a bacterial infection carried by cucumber beetles, resulted in early removal of cucumber plants from the Asian bed. In late summer, harlequin bugs appeared in large numbers on turnips and other brassicas, and were partially controlled by hand-picking.

The wet and warm early summer gave rise to lots of fungal diseases. Basil downy mildew infected our Thai basil ‘Siam Queen,’ although the basil varieties ‘Purple Tetra’ and (alleged) partially-resistant Genovese variety ‘Eleonora’ both escaped infection. Early blight and Septoria leaf spot affected tomato plants. Constant removal of infected leaves helped keep the disease from advancing, and we had a successful tomato crop.

The biggest challenge was a rabbit or rabbits that took a particularly liking to the 100 Square Foot Garden, perhaps because of its location near an entry gate. The rabbit’s noshing made it difficult to grow bush beans until very late in the year and impossible to grow edamame, which was particularly disappointing in the Year of the Bean and Pea.

Tomatoes, peppers and chilies, carrots, and tomatillos were particularly successful crops for us this season.
We love this smiling Fava Bean plant plate from earlier in the season as well!

Paul DiCrispino – Baltimore County

Paul had a good crop of sugar snap peas and planted indeterminate tomatoes in the same space with success. He had success growing peppers in 5 gallon buckets, cucumbers in oak barrels, and broccoli in a box. 

Wow! Paul also grew potatoes in a cylinder.

David Marcovitz – Baltimore County

David faced a lot of challenges this year. The deer ate the leaves off 4 of his 6 zucchini plants just as they were starting to get some good zucchini. Something had been eating his cucumbers, and something got into the tomatoes even with deer protection. David even found some huge “parsley worms” (black swallowtail caterpillars) eating the parsley on his deck.

A caterpillar munching on parsley.
David had success with broccoli despite battling cabbage worms.

David tried some carrots and pole beans from seed this year, and both seemed to be growing nicely at the time of check-in.

Asparagus crowns which may yield some food next year.

So that’s it for 2015!  Thanks to everyone who participated and sent in info and photos about their gardening season this year! We plan to move a lot of the great photos, tips, and stories from the past two years into a new “small-scale” section on the GIEI website.

The Grow It Eat It Team (MGs, staff, and faculty from all parts of Maryland) will be discussing the future of Grow100 at our December meeting. We expect that we may drop the 100-square foot garden theme and pursue some other subject and manner of interacting with our readers.  Perhaps something related to tomatoes, as 2016 is the Year of the Tomato!  Let us know if you have any ideas for a fun way that readers can send in their gardening exploits for us to share with you! (Comment below.)

2 Comments on “Grow100 2015 RESULTS!

  1. I would love to know more about Paul DiCrispino's potatoes. How was the harvest compared with the pounds of potatoes planted?


  2. That cylinder was PVC pipe and it was strawberries not potatoes. I went away the last week of April and that week was very dry and the strawberries dried up and mostly died. The lesson learned is to delay planting until you can take care of them or get someone to water for you.


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