Thursday, September 1, 2011

FRESH from the Garden

This summer has really been my first bonafide attempt at a garden.  A couple of different summers I have maybe planted a tomato plant, but this is the first summer that I have made an honest gardening effort.   There is a rather large garden plot (15ft x18ft)in our yard next to the tramp left over from the previous owners.  I thought it was a little too ambitious for my first garden, so I only used half of it.  I added soil, compost and peat moss before planting.  Once that last threat of frost was gone, all three boys helped me with the planting. I bought the tomato and strawberry plants but I planted everything else by seed: snap peas, carrots, cucumbers, spinach, green beans, peppers, cilantro, zucchini, yellow squash and pumpkins. 
 I am beyond pleased with my results as a first year gardener.  Did I have massive success? That depends on how you define success.  I put seeds in the ground and plants grew, so, yes I had a successful garden.  Are there areas where I could improve?  Most definitely.  I didn't really get any spinach, and I had devoted a huge area for that.  Not sure what went wrong there except that I had a ton of weeds germinate at the same time as everything else.   I might have accidentally weeded out my spinach???  I had so many snap peas and green beans that they have been going bad before we could eat them all.   They have tasted so good!  I had 1.5 tomato plants thrive.  One is fantastic with a ton of tomatoes.  The other one that survived is scrawny and only has 4 tomatoes.   It's right next to the trampoline, so I think it just didn't get enough sunshine.  I'm  baffled as to why the other plants didn't survive.  My cilantro are peppers each produced a small amount, just enough to cover the cost of the seed packets.  My cucumbers are just about ready to pick.  And I have been enjoying a tiny carrot here and there.  The ones I pulled yesterday were the size of the baby carrots at the store.   So far, I'm withholding judgement on my squash.  I have tons of flowers on the plants, but so far, I have only 1 zucchini growing.  No yellow squash and no pumpkins are growing.  But, the plants are large with lots of blossoms, so there is still hope right?    This experience has definitely got me hooked on trying again next year.  I think I will be a little more ambitious and plant the entire space.  I plan to add raspberries.  I am also going to put the tomatoes in a different area.    As far as my strawberries, I think I will plant a few more for next year.  I only made it inside with 3 this year not because I only had 3 fruit, but because Mr. Bean ate them as fast as he could pick them!

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