Monday, September 12, 2011

about the garden

i attempted my first ever garden this year.  what an awesome feeling when it is planted and there is all this hope and anticipation for what might come.  i loved it! :) 

i wanted to make some notes on how it went so i can improve next year.
(WARNING - probably really boring post but it's my blog so i can do that, right?)

before i begin, for your viewing pleasure, a little before and after:

the before
the after (from a slightly dif angle)
yay for a yard with grass rather than a big sand pit that has random spots of weeds  (i didn't find a "real" before picture that showed the loveliness that was our back yard for over a year, so you will have to trust me that it is much improved)

anyhoo, on to the garden notes.

what i planted:  (well actually my mom-in-law planted while i stood there and pretended to be useful)

cucumbers (3 of them from starters):  they grew like crazy and sort of took over the section, inter-twining with other plants.  i did cover them with milk jugs (bottoms cut off) at first to protect them.
--> next year maybe just one plant since i don't want to make pickles and only 2 of the 6 of us will eat them. 
onions (yellow bulb thingys): they didn't make it.  they started off great (as in the first thing to come up) and i cut some of the tops and added to my salads in june when my lettuce was growing.  later they were covered up by other plants and died off.  there were a few small onions that tasted fine, they were just teeny tiny.
--> next year put them all together in one square somewhere "safer"  (maybe next to the lettuce)

carrots (from seed):  they are doing okay.  i didn't thin them well enough so some are weird looking. i'm okay with weird looking though. :)
--> next year just thin better (do it earlier so it doesn't seem so sad to pull out the cutie-patootie little carrots that are growing, ha ha)

beans (pole kind, from seed): they seemed kind of slow to come up but once they did they grew like crazy crazy.  however, in july when everyone was harvesting massive amounts of beans i had NONE.  no sign of a bloom, nothing.  fast forward to september (as in two days ago: sept 10) i harvested my first beans and in another week or so i will have tons.
my late bloomin' beans
--> next year... i don't know what i could have done differently.  maybe i didn't water consistently enough?
(i was kind of a lazy waterer)

lettuce (a "salad mix" from seed): filled a whole half of one of the beds = waaaay too much all at once.  but it came up great and grew like crazy. 
--> next year only plant a quarter of a bed with lettuce and stagger planting times by a couple weeks maybe so it's not all ready and then done at the same time

zinnias (for pretty-ness and having cut flowers in the house and to give away) - these did awesome but kind of took over in some areas (they were partly to blame for my lost onions)  i was kind of lazy and didn't cut use them as often as i could have.
--> next year expand the flower options to a few different kinds.  if chad builds me another bed i could use one for just flowers

tomatoes (two different types, 8 starter plants around two large cages.  i covered them with milk jugs and they grew like crazy at first due to the greenhouse effect from being covered.  once they started growing out of the tops of the jugs i uncovered them and used blood meal to keep the bunnies away. their growth slowed way down and i lost one plant to the bunnies i am guessing.  in just the last couple weeks i have finally started getting ripe tomatoes.  there is a ton on there and i hope that i will be able to can some.
--> next year maybe try to find a sunnier spot for them, maybe they will ripen faster.
 peppers (two different types, 1starter plant each):  these were too big to put milk jugs on.  they never really "took off" according to my wise vast knowledge of pepper plants.  (not)  i have not gotten any peppers yet, there are a couple growing though. 
--> next year, try a different location maybe?  maybe a different kind as well.

other notes:  the grapevine (already here when we moved) didn't do as well this year. very few grapes compared to the last couple years.  need to prune it good this fall and see what happens next year.  anyone know anything about pruning grapes?  (we maaay have knicked it with some "round up" which maaaay be part of the problem)
planted a hydrangea (to remind me of home... i miss those big blue blooms so much!) but i don't know if it will make it.  it was clearanced out and i didn't plant it very quickly and then i think i planted it too shallow and the roots were really hard to loosen up.  i plan to mulch it with leaves and maybe put a bucket over it for the winter? 

so overall a really good experience for my first official garden.  i may just become a gardener yet.  my brown thumb has sort of a greenish tint to it.

and for grandma d's sake... a couple pics of some "helpers" who "helped" me pick some things this past week


  1. I am so very much impressed about your garden.
    Also with the little helpers. Gr.D

  2. You did a great job. Just the thrill of seeing things come up and grow was exciting.
    Cute garden helpers!!!


I {heart} your nice comments