Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Getting the garden in!

As I share this year's garden with you all, I remind you that this garden is different than in year's past.  Sometimes, I feel like I am harping on this but I really, truly want to show people that you can garden no matter what.  You just have to find the way that works for you.

In deciding how to do this, without having to spend a lot of money in building raised (off the ground) beds or giving up being able to grow enough to put some veggies up for Winter, I found that I have gone back to the beginning.

Sure, my family gardened but it was not at our house, more of a community garden for the family at my Uncle's place.  There were so many adults that we were usually relegated to playing with our cousins and such.  Oh, and shucking corn.  That was ALWAYS a job that was left to the kids.  A job that my kids now do.  

When I first tried my hand at gardening as an adult, it was an abysmal failure.  I had no idea about soil consistency and that it's extremely hard to grow things in clay.  Even the weeds wouldn't grow in the clay.  I was crushed.

When we moved to a different home, I had the luck of not only not dealing with clay soil but that there was already a garden spot at the home.  I thought if there was a very, well used garden spot that a garden must have been successful there.  

I still remember as I was working on that first garden, I had my first garden book out, carefully writing down what I planted in each row.  A neighbor stopped by and was so amused that I was writing things down in a book.  He'd never seen anyone make a book.  At the time, I had no idea what the plants looked like so I was going to improvise.  I looked things up in books and copied them and pasted them next to my notes in my book.  Hey, I didn't want to pull up the plants thinking I was weeding...LOL.  

I also planted the plants and the rows far enough apart that I could take my little roto-tiller to weed not just between the rows but also around the plants (I hadn't learned to work a hoe yet and had a habit of chopping down plants...LOL).  I would weave between the plants up one way and the opposite back down the other.  No weeding necessary.

Anyway, I decided that this year, I would go back to those basics.  I did so because if I can't get out there to weed, I can at least take the outside tines off the roto-tiller I have now and weed in the way I did in the beginning.

Also keep in mind that you don't have to plant the entire garden in one day.  As you saw in my previous blog about container gardening, I did a little at a time.  I started with the containers and even those I planted over two days.  

Here's how the big garden went in.

Day One

Tomatoes:  Big Boy, Early Girl, Super Fantastic (my son's choice), Yellow Jubilee (Hubby's choice), Grape (also son's choice) and a Beef Steak variety

Day Two

Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Sweet peppers, Jalapenos and Sweet Potatoes

Day Three

Although you can't really tell it, this is a row of cucumbers, a row of cantaloupe and the rest of this bed is green beans and corn.  This took all day for me to get it in.  Getting this many seeds in the ground is hard on the back.

Day Four

The rains came.  With hail.  Lots and lots of rain.  And hail.

I was convinced that I was going to have to replant the entire thing.  I was sure the seeds would be washed away and the newly planted plants ruined.  I was sure.

One week later

Corn, it's about 1 1/2 - 2 inches tall

Green beans, about 1 1/2" tall

On the left are onions and on the right are carrots (they need thinned...LOL)

One the left are radishes and spinach (hopefully) and on the right are the lettuces.  

So, everything survived the monsoon and hail we had.  I've left enough room between everything so that if (when) I get weeds, I can just run the tiller over them.

I'm looking forward to dinner tonight, I am going to cut some of that lettuce, pick a radish or two, I have carrots in the fridge and I grabbed some fresh tomatoes and cheese at the farmer's market this morning.  I'll grill a steak and dinner will be grilled flank steak salad.

So, how is your garden doing?  It's not too late to plant some things.

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