It’s that time of year again. Are you thinking of having a Spring or Summer Vegetable Garden? This is not to say that you can’t last minute plant one as a weekend project if you feel like it in say, June. BUT it’s kind of fun to start thinking about it now. Last year was our first year attempting a vegetable garden.
Totally Novice. Totally Clueless. Totally Winging It.
But you know what, we did alright! And I’m pretty sure you can to if you’ve never grown one before. Last year, we (read = my Hubs and sweet Little Punks) built 2 raised beds. We grew red and green peppers, jalapenos, lettuce mixes, strawberries, tomatoes, corn, artichokes, beans, yellow squash, zuchini & loads of kitchen herbs. Outside of the beds we grew also pumpkins.
The most important thing we learned is that with watering and at least 6 hours of sun, even a black thumb (ME) can grow anything!
We also learned:
- That we need to keep squash (zuchini, crooked neck, and pumpkin) leaves away from excessive water.
- That peppers need to be able to see the sun and not be shadowed by the tomatoes.
- That corn is easy to grow with a few tricks of a paper bag .
- That snails and slug like lettuce. But they are easy to combat.
- But most importantly ~ that growing your on veggies is REALLY fun and REALLY tasty! It made us appreciate where we live to be able to say, “Salsa sounds really good right now. Can you go grab some tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapenos from the garden?”
I did not post as much as I should have on our garden last year which was a cumulation of lack of time and inexperience with the garden. BUT….
And this is a big BUT (no not mine, even if it is big too, I swear it’s shrinking….)
BUT the garden this year WILL be photographed and will be posted about regularly and that’s because my Dad has decided to join us in this task. And well, when Dad sets his mind to something you can be sure he is going to do it!!
This is the corner of our backyard that we are dedicating to a larger vegetable garden. Currently our raised beds are growing a few different lettuces, along with strawberries and artichokes that were planted last summer.
We are planning to remove the grass and fence off the entire area (which makes it easier for me to care for it, it keeps the plants away from the excessive sprinkler water, and gives everything room to grow.
Now remember, I’m not a gardening expert. Neither is my Dad. But we both love to get into a project and figure out the best way to tackle. This is the book that became my gardening bible last fall. I’ve mentioned it before.
It is LOADED with useful, easy to understand information.
It brakes down the western region by zones, making it easier for you to know what will grow best for you.
Then each vegetable/fruit has it’s own Encyclopedia description helping you understand (in layman’s terms) the necessities that plant needs.
See, here’s a page on Cabbage (not that I’m growing any, it just happened to be the page I landed on).
But we will grow Corn again now that I know the handy dandy paper bag trick which I’ll be sure to share with you when the time for corn comes!
We really loved the Peppers, so we’ll be doing these again too…how fun would it be to have purple ones?!
I can’t even imagine. All we have done is strawberries and there is really NOTHING like a fresh picked strawberry. I’m thinking we may attempt something else this year….just not sure what yet.
Oh man. Just remember this picture of the lemons. I’ll tell you why in a sec…
Then there is this section, the Garden Design section, of the book. It is not overflowing with tons of design but rather just enough to get your brain thinking.
OK, this picture. Remember the lemon photo above? It’s lemon trees that have been trained over a trellis!! I love this! So fun to pick lemons through a magical trellis. Although we have the space for this, we don’t have the time to grow it, plus it would give us too much shade. But certainly think about this design if you’re ever planning a shaded sitting area.
This little clean box design shows you can grow anywhere. You really just need sun.
The book even shows you how to make raised beds.
As well as shows you a few garden plans to consider.
You can plant from seed (which we are planning to try this year). Or of course buy starter plants like we did last year. Lowes and Home Depot offer great selections.
Training, staking, pruning…all important lessons to learn.
The Western Gardener Book of Edibles has been invaluable to me as Dad and I set out on this adventure. (Don’t let me kid you though..Hubs and my Mom will also be involved heavily in this!! Dad and I need all the help we can get!)
Are you planning a garden this year? Do you have any favorite things to grow, or favorite gardening tips?? Would love to hear them!