Monday, June 8, 2015

How does your garden grow?




I've never had a green thumb and I've never met a house plant I couldn't kill off, but I am really enjoying my vegetable garden this year. Last year was our garden's rookie year and while we had some cucumbers and peppers and a few cherry tomatoes towards the end of the summer, that was about it. Squirrels got all our tomatoes, some things never grew, and I had no idea what I was doing.

In year 2 we've made significant improvements, including going with a Square Foot Garden approach. We also put a wire net around the bed to keep the rabbits and squirrels out, and so far it seems to be working. I did a little research into companion planting (which plants grow well next to each other and which don't) and focused on planting things we like to eat and that would be fun for the kids to watch grow. I did not start seeds indoors or anything like that, so some plants like carrots (Charlie's favorite!) are slow to grow and harvest. I planted many of the vegetables from seeds this year, something that really intimidated me last year, but saves a ton of money. Plant seeds are so inexpensive compared to buying starter plants. With the crazy amount of rain we've had over the last month, the garden is growing like mad!


In a square foot garden, each square (divided here by string) contains a different vegetable. It is amazing how much you can grow using this approach. The garden bed is 4' x 8'. 32 squares!


The swiss chard looks amazing, so pretty!


I started this lettuce from seeds and I'm pretty excited about how well it is growing.


The snap peas (above) have overgrown their trellis and I need to brace them up again. I had no idea they would grow taller than I am! These are really fun for the kids to just pick off the vine and eat.


Izzy helped me pull up a radish to see if they are ready to pick. Not yet!


Our first tiny tomato!


This weekend's harvest of swiss chard, lettuce and kale. I love growing my own greens. 

I'm learning more every week (last week I had to go after some bugs on my tomato plants with some soapy water) and am really enjoying the process. I'm still trying to figure out which vegetables need additional feeding and how often. I am using this really cool app called Plant It! to help me figure it all out. 

Now if June will just usher in more sunshine and less rain, my garden and I will be very happy.