Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fun Things From Our Backyard: Family Garden!!

I hesitate to write this post because I've never been known to be really great at growing things, but I wanted to try a new adventure with LittleBear that might save a bit on our grocery budget, so I started a family garden. My goal is to get one edible veggie from this garden and if I can do that, then I will feel it was a success :)

Following Mel Bartholemew's Square Foot Gardening method, I built two 4' x 4' x 6" boxes and used one 2' x 2' x 6" free box that I had from a Home Depot Do-It-Herself class on gardening. I sectioned off my square feet with jute twine and filled them with organic raised bed mix bought at a local nursery. I bought my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

I chose what to plant based on what we buy most often at the grocery store, which would have been a good plan except that I found out last week that we have some new allergies in the family to peas, peppers, onions and tomatoes. I'm hoping to freeze a lot for later when the allergies might be less sensitive :)

I sat down and mapped out what we wanted to grow and when it should be planted according to the tutorial laid out over at Thy Hand Hath Provided. Then I came up with a visual plan of the garden (Garden Journal downloadable here):
Each of the dots represents one seed or plant in the appropriate squares. In Box #1, we currently have growing:
* 3 Tall Telephone Garden Peas
* 4 Wando Garden Peas
* 1 Lincoln Garden Peas
* 1 Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli
* 2 Romanesco Italia Broccoli
* 64 Stuttgarter Onions
* 64 Little Finger carrots

In Box #2, we currently have growing:
* 4 Emerald Giant Pepper
* 1 Ozark Giant Pepper
* 2 California Wonder Pepper
* 1 JuJuBe Cherry Tomato
* 64 Crimson Forest Bunch Onions

In Box #3, we currently have growing:
* 1 Black Beauty Zucchini
I'm also going to had one plant of bush beans, one honeydew and one cantaloupe to this box, but don't have those yet.

In my seed starter trays, I've got:
* More Wando Garden Peas
* More Tall Telephone Garden Peas
* More Ozark Giant Pepper
* Amish Paste Tomato
* More JuJuBe Cherry Tomato
* Riesentraube Tomato

So far pests haven't been a huge problem except for one neighborhood cat who thinks I just built him some very large litter boxes (GRRR) and a bit more wind than I expected. I've been very diligent about watering the boxes though and the cat seems to realize that walking around in moist/wet dirt isn't what he wants to do so thankfully I haven't had to deal with that issue in a few weeks. I noticed this weekend that we had some mushrooms growing in there too, but they definitely do not like the sunlight and have died off already. The wind took out my first pea trellis, so I'm on my second one, and this one seems to be holding up a little better. We're supposed to have severe thunderstorms tonight, so we'll see what it looks like tomorrow morning.

LittleBear loves helping me water the garden and has been pretty gentle with the plants so far on the whole. I tell him that "it's time to water the garden" and he goes running over to grab the watering can and then walks with me out to the garden. He's such a little helper!

Zucchini (taken last week when I started this post, see above for what it looks like now!):

Baby Broccoli Plant
Our Blueberry Bush
Our little helper:

1 comment:

Kim said...

That's impressive! You have a great variety...bounty you will surely enjoy later this summer. Have fun. What a wonderful activity to do with Ben!!