Thursday, March 24, 2011

2011 Garden - Pregame

 Remember This?
 And This?
And This?


That's right folks. Spring is here....sort of. We had tornadoes on Tuesday and will be having snow on Saturday. Lovely :/

Well regardless of the weather this week, a warmer season is upon us, and so is gardening time! Last year, as I blogged about somewhat irregularly, I grew my first ever fruit and vegetable garden. It was quite the undertaking considering we had to build it into the side of a hill, surround it with cement blocks, and fill it in with bagged topsoil because the walnut tree roots in the forest behind our house are not vegetable-friendly. It cost a lot of money and time but was so much fun, and will become more and more profitable each year. Growing plants from seeds is pretty cool when you harvest a zucchini the size of your leg in August :)

Some things I learned last year:

1) Plants need room to grow. Planting 6-inch vine plants a foot apart may seem like they have space, but I had no idea! Each leaf was like, the size of my face! So, I will not be cramming 9 squash and cucumber plants into a 4-foot radius. I'm pretty sure this issue is also the reason my tomato plants didn't produce fruit until like, September. They were dwarfed by the vine plants that were crowding their area.

2) Similar to the first one, carrots and onions also need room to grow. I thought, "Why thin these out? I'll just let them all grow and thin them as they get bigger!" Well, turns out they won't really grow UNLESS you thin them....so I had miniature carrots and green onions that were never edible. Doh.

3) Some plants will produce fruits throughout the growing season while others are a one-and-done kind of plant. This just takes research and experience to figure this out.

4) Sweet corn does not grow in a garden. I think I will try planting it outside the actual garden this year since hey, that's what the farmers do. I think their roots just need more room than my 8" soilbed can give them. I got corn - but again, they were miniature and inedible (I tried one. NOT good.)

5) Deer fencing is a hassle and is ugly, but it works.

6) I am not my grandmother....yet :) She knows everything about everything garden-related. While I operate under a more trial-and-error method, I think I'll use her expertise more this year - and hopefully she will be able to come down and help me plant this year!

Ok, so last year was the year of the miniature: my carrots, onions, sweet corn, watermelons, and cantaloupe were busts. They never grew to their full sizes. So what DID grow? Snap peas (need to plant more so I don't just have like, four to eat at a time!), summer squash, zucchini (oh the zucchini!), tomatoes (a few before it got too cold), rhubarb, and my potted herbs of peppermint, parsley, and basil.

I was a bit ambitious last year, but I wanted to learn as much as a could that first year. I'll probably scale back my variety this year, be more intentional about placement in the garden, and hopefully will reap the benefits in a few months! Stay tuned, I'll keep ya posted :)

0 comments:

Post a Comment

There was an error in this gadget