Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Yes, I do have a garden...

But have been too embarrassed to show pictures of it. :) Deer and sandy soil have been the bane of my gardening career at this house but finally last fall I had a load of black dirt delivered. When we started our pet sitting business, we bought a kennel, but haven't used it much for the dogs. I thought it would make a great starter-size garden for me.

As the ground thawed, I came out and raked the black dirt a little at a time. When it finally was spread to a reasonable depth, I covered it with the black plastic and had the guys move the kennel on top. I had hopes for nice neat planter boxes or something, but my men are busy and I couldn't do it.

All my visions for gardening come from children's math games. Neat, single rows of plants. So, I planted onions, spinach, snow peas and squash in that manner. I started some squash and spinach in the house with dismal results. Out of 20 squash seeds, I have four or five plants. The spinach did fine and I had some great salads. The snow peas have been excellent and the onions are okay. I keep pulling them when they are little and adding them to salads.

Enter baby #6 and all gardening ground mostly to a halt. My neighbor shared a great gardening book, Garden Way's Joy of Gardening, and I was dying to stick more stuff in my garden. By this time I thought it was too late to put more stuff in the ground.

When my computer died and was in the shop for over a week, I had time to read the entire book. Wow! I learned a ton! I finally ventured out with all the girls to the garden shop. You know the great thing about garden shops in July? Everything is half price and the tomato plants come fully loaded!

I had put the black plastic down to avoid weeds and I hate walking on black dirt, but I ended up tearing it all up so I could cram more stuff into the garden. I dug in the spinach once it had gone to seed. I planted kale and beans. I soaked the bean seeds over night. I also started a homemade seed tape of carrots in the house. The beans and kale sprouted within four days and the carrots began to sprout in the wet paper towels which I then rolled out and covered with dirt. After two weeks I still haven't seen much from the carrots, but I know they take a long time. It's so fun to have more stuff growing in the garden.

I knew buying the fully, loaded, greenhouse-loving tomato plants was going to be either brilliant or a disaster. It's been both. I have picked enough tomatoes to cover the cost, but they've had a pretty rough go. This is the healthier looking of the two plants. It's mostly red tomatoes but there are some yellow ones in there.

I underestimated just how often hanging tomatoes would need to be watered. And this plant shows it. It has and keeps giving me delicious little yellow tomatoes, despite its sad appearance.

The snow peas should be done soon and then I will train the squash to grow up the sides of the kennel. In theory, I could wrap the kennel with clear poly and make hot house to extend the season a bit but we'll see if that happens. :)

I do love my garden. Going out there makes me happy! And I can't wait to do more next year.

1 comment:

Ahava & Amara Life Foundation said...

This is our family's first garden! Gardening is so relaxing. I love watering and tending the garden, the children do too. You have a good and tall fence to keep the animals from nibbling away at your hard work. Keep up the good work, gardening definitely has its benefits. ;0)