Oh Will My Garden Grow?

It really is welcome to summer now! I can always tell when it is full fledged gardening time. Yup, Mrs. No Green Thumb (or is working on it) keeps a garden. This is my third year, and I am hoping it is my most successful. The main reason that I am into gardening is that I moved into a house that has an awesome garden space. I also love planting and growing your own food. I tell you, nothing, nothing tastes better than food picked from your own garden while still warm from the sun. So a few weeks ago (although a little late for starting) this is what the garden looked like.

Ahhhh! Don’t judge. This is just what happens after winter. There were a few hidden gems leftover from last year though.

Wild strawberries. Pretty, but not too useful. They really have no taste and are just kind of a vine that likes to overtake your other plants. Cool though!

The mystery melon plant. I have no idea what will grow from it. No one seems to know. I did plant some sort of melon (can’t remember what kind) in this area last year. I will keep you posted on what happens!

Onions that grew from the seeds from last year. We have already eaten a few and they aren’t bad!

This is definitely the wild card…the asparagus. I hear that you aren’t supposed to eat asparagus until the second or third year. This is year two of these guys. Not sure what is going to happen…

I couldn’t help but put up a picture of these roses because they are beautiful and in full bloom.

So the next step was to till up the soil to get it all soft and ready (meaning no weeds!) for planting. Fortunately, my father-in-law grew up on a farm and knows allllll about gardening. While they are living with us he is definitely helping me out a lot with the garden. This is my learning year as he teachers me as we go along. Oh right, did I mention years one and two weren’t the best? It was really hit and miss on what came up. So I thought with a master gardener around I would be able to soak up all of his knowledge, and let’s be real, his help! So we he got out there will the tiller, avoiding the few plants that we wanted to keep (all those pictured above and a few tomato plants that just seem to come up everywhere in the garden!).

The result:

All ready to plant. So it was time to get some seeds and plants!

Some types of veggies are better to start with plants and some are easy from seeds. You can start your own plants in the basement in the winter so they are ready to go come planting time. I just go with the plants someone else started. The plants I got were red, yellow, and green peppers; eggplant; cucumbers; and yellow squash.The seeds were beans, cantaloupe, and watermelon. After you have your seeds, you want to lay out your garden strategically.

This is mine all ready to start planting. Melons need to have room to really spread out. We put the melons in an “L” shape near the fence so they could grow up around there. Squash also tend to really spread, so they were also put in corners. Then, the peppers, eggplant, and cucumbers were just spaced a few feet away from each other. The beans can pretty much fit anywhere, so you just make lines of them wherever there is free space.

Then it is just hoe and go time! Here is an action shot!

Now, the garden is all planted!

Not too much to show at first. Although to keep things growing there are a few essential things.

  1.  Water (obviously): Keep an eye on the rain. If it doesn’t rain all that frequently, water 2-3 times a week. Keep an eye on the soil and how hot it is outside. The best time to water is in the evening. If you give it a good soaking after the heat of the day, the soil and plants will soak up the water all night long. If you water at high noon, the water will evaporate quickly and will not saturate the soil as much.
  2. Fertilizer: You definitely need to do this at the beginning and then every couple weeks. This is the type that I use.

3. Bug killer: There are pretty intense bugs that eat my plants. So far I have used two types of bug killer. A dust and a spray, that pinpoint the different types of bugs that we have in this area.

So let’s get to a flash forward moment. Let me show you one week after planting. Not too much activity and just a few weeds. We just took a hoe and cut those out pretty quickly.

A little melon!

Beans, beans, beans! The rest of the plants that started as plants are doing pretty well. A little bigger but not much to report. Which is quite the opposite of week two…

 The beans are really coming up as well as the other plants. There were a few beans that did not come up in the rows so we just replanted them. We also lost a pepper plant so another one was purchased  and planted to replace them. Quite a few melons were coming up but some mounds were healthier than others. So more seeds were also put in those.

That week we also fertilized again and did the bug spray. They were definitely going to town eating my lovely little plants so it was time to say goodbye to them!

So that catches you up to current times in terms of my garden! I have learned a lot so far and will continue to give updates and pass along the planting advice that I learn. I can’t wait to share the fruits of my labor!

Have you ever planted a garden? How about a smaller scale garden in pots? Anything come of it? I would love to hear any tips as I am by far the master of the garden space!