Last year's gardening experiment was successful, easier than I thought, rewarding, and even fun. So naturally now that spring is here, I can't resist having another garden this year. In fact, I am so excited about it that I can barely sit still! I squee every time I see new seedlings pop up. I learned a lot last year, and expect that I will learn even more this year.
A few pics from last year's wee garden:
Most of the growth in this first image is the weeds that I neglected to do anything about. I've put mulch down in hopes of controlling it better, and I'm planning on having a lawn service for mowing, because we just do. not. mow. It's worth it to pay someone else.
This year's garden is already about 3 times bigger than last year's, and I am making plans for more beds because I've run out of room for the stuff I still want to plant. I may be biting off more than I can chew, literally, with too many plants, too many varieties, and just too much to maintain, but I'm looking forward to the challenge of it, and so far I've done pretty well.
Here are some photos of my progress so far:
Terraced slope under construction. There is now a prepared bed where the dirt and weeds are in the bottom of this picture. Most of the back yard is a hill, so I decided to put terraced planting beds with little stone paths between them.
These zones are reserved for future planting beds. I want to build frames for raised beds and see how I like them. There's plenty of wood in the garage that's been sitting there for years growing cobwebs...might as well put them to use.
Wee little chamomiles (front), swiss chards (middle) and turnips (back). I am going to have to move the turnips I think, because they probably need more room for root development, so when they all have their real leaves, I'll transplant them to a larger bed.
Onions. These are a mixture too - all sweet - red, yellow, and white. In the back you may be able to see a second bed of onions...they are planted really close together so I can thin them for spring onions.
These are peppers peeping out of my Earthbox. I've also got a couple of lemon cucumbers planted on the other side of this box, but they haven't sprouted yet. I'm thinking of getting another one of these boxes for my tomatoes. They aren't cheap, but I am impressed with the construction, and I like the easy to fill water reservoir. I discovered that what I thought was a disease of my tomatoes last year was actually tomato blossom end rot caused by inconsistent watering. I watered those 'maters every morning, and even kept drip bottles in the pots, but it wasn't enough.
In addition to the stuff I've pictured, I also have basil and cilantro waiting to be planted, sweet potatoes sprouting in water on my window sill, a broccoli and a couple of collards already in the ground, and oh, yeah! These 4 blueberry bushes:
The morning sun was a bit too bright when I took this, so it's kinda hard to see the blueberry bushes. I'm really excited about these guys! Each bush is a different type of blueberry. I don't expect to get anything from them this year, because I plucked off all the blooms to let the bushes focus on developing good strong roots. But next year....YUM!
I'm also going to grow beans. I'm not actually planning to eat the beans, as they are not part of my paleo diet (they kinda give me gases), but they make a lot of nitrogen, so they are good to grow for soil replenishment. I'll give the beans away to folks who eat them, and compost the plants for good soil next year.
I've been reading about companion planting and how some plants help others with nourishment, or protection from predators, bugs, diseases, etc., so I am growing some things that I might not have done otherwise...I'll probably write more about companion planting another day. Mostly I just wanted to get some photos up to document what I've done so far.
Now I need to get my butt into the sewing room! I've got a costume to make before our big Caribbean/Pirate themed party next weekend! Only 8 days left to get so much stuff done. Plus, my mom will be here next Wednesday, so I really only have 5 days! Gah!