One of the things I have been most excited about since buying a house in September is starting a garden. I don't know much about gardening, never having been the queen of my own garden before, but weeding and helping in the garden was always my favorite Saturday's chore.
When spring came around, I didn't feel like I was up to the task of doing a whole garden from nothing. Our focus has recently been on house projects, I'm expecting a baby in September, and my yard is mostly shady and I haven't yet figured out where to put the garden. Those are my excuses, take them or leave them.
But I couldn't let a growing season pass without trying something! So I bought a few basic seeds, found a bunch of pots in my shed, and bought a good pot soil. The extent of my reading on the subject, I'm embarrassed to say, is the back of the seed packet.
About a month ago, I planted the seeds. Because I'm an impatient gardener, I also bought some starts of the most important vegetables.
|After a month or so, this is what my garden looked like! I was pretty surprised that with a little water and sunlight every day, plants do just grow! (The three tallest were from starts.)|
I started noticing that many of the plants were stopping to thrive in the pots. They were growing out of their little homes, and I just didn't have enough big pots to keep repotting them. So on a whim, I decided to move them to the ground. Where? Just where they had been sitting in pots, because they seemed to be doing okay there!
|I removed the grass (and found tons of wasp larvae!).|
|I was right; some of the plants were just exploding out of their pots!|
|Then I plopped them in the ground, after adding a bunch more (potting) soil. I have sweet peppers, two kinds of tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, basil, peppers and a few carrots, all planted too close together.|
Things seemed to be going well, so I decided to start a few more plants.
|I did it the same way as before, because that seemed to work. Then when the starts are big enough, I'll clear out more grass!|
|I planted a few seeds in each pot: beans, zucchini and pumpkin. I put this little grate on top so the birds and squirrels (and little boys) don't get the seeds before they get a chance to sprout.|
|A week later, they look great!|
|Rather, everything but one pot of beans looks great. The beans in the small pot are doing well, though.|
So far, it has been very rewarding. I have been surprised and impressed at the daily growth I can see in my tiny garden. It has definitely given me the bug to keep going! I anticipate during all the cuddling with my newborn this winter I'll have time to read up on just how to do it right, what really should go into the soil, where (besides Home Depot) to get the seeds, and why one of my tomato plants just has one big beautiful tomato and why my my cucumber plant just has one big beautiful cucumber.
|For now, I couldn't be more proud of my cucumber and my tomato!|
|These little yellow pear tomatoes are popping up all over the place, so at least I'll have lots of those!|
|As a bonus, here's a butterfly (right) on another surprise flower!|
What suggestions do you have for a first-time gardener? What books should I read or websites should I look at?
Happy summer, and I hope you're all getting lots of outside time, in whatever form you can get it!