Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Slow Garden Progress

 (this was our garden two years ago)

Our homestead garden is coming along so slowly this year.  We have two areas where we plant in our yard; the gated area right off our front porch and then our larger plot to the side of the house.

In our front yard I have a majority of our perennials, herbs, our pear tree and blueberry bushes.  It's become a hodge podge of plants, but it works nicely as an herb garden when cooking and usually the kids pick the blueberries or the pears when they need a snack.  One day I hope to remove the grass and put in some more raised beds for flowers, more herbs and perhaps a kitchen garden.  Honey, when you read this, please don't roll your eyes, I know you love your precious lawn. .  it's just one smallish area.

Sunday, after church was spent planting 25 new strawberry plants, some of which went into the front garden.  When these strawberries are ripe, they don't stand a chance to five strawberry lovin' children's fingers .  The remainder went into a new bed in the main garden in hopes of having some left over for strawberry jam later this summer.

In our larger plot we have our actual garden vegetables; onions, carrots, lettuce, chard, kale, jalapeno peppers, broccoli, peas, beans, cabbage, garlic, cucumbers and of course pumpkins.  I have realized with this last winter being so wet, that I must put on patience.  Memorial Weekend has usually signified our "official" gardening season for our family, but the last weeks have been sunny and warm and my fingers are dying to get outside and plant. 

When we first got into gardening about 9 years ago, I bought this book.  This book was designed to help gardeners with small spaces make the most of planting and growing.  You've probably heard of it, Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.  We took our two 4 by 4 foot boxes and grew a couple of tomato plants, some lettuce, carrots and spinach and thought we were on top of the world.  While that meager beginning may not seem like much, it spurred a desire inside of the General Manager and I to grow more of our food.  By spacing out each of our crops systematically, it allowed us to actually grow more vegetables that first year in our new home in California.

Tomatoes are a work in progress in our coastal climate.  We had a greenhouse for the last several years, but a couple of windstorms and one 14 year old teenager not looking where the back of the lawn mower bagger was destroyed what was left of the rickety plastic house this winter.  We were going to try to erect a hoop house out of cattle panels this year.  BUT, do you ever have time and supplies become obstacles.  So, thank heavens for grow pots.  I found this amazing deal on Amazon the other day.  My only problem with this solution is the cost of the dirt to fill all of the pots.  I may as well have just bought organic tomatoes from Costco at this rate.  I keep reminding myself, "grow your own. . . it's healthier. . .it's teaching the kids to be more self- sufficient. . there's nothing like the taste of a fresh grown tomato."  Have I convinced you yet because I'm still trying to convince myself!

How is your garden growing this year?

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