Monday, June 16, 2014

My First Garden

This year I planted my first ever garden!  Didn't the post title sorta give that away?

When we moved into our new house, it already had a garden area marked off in the corner of the back yard.  I've grown tomatoes for a couple of years, so I figured I'd try expanding to other vegetables.

My dad wanted to plant a vegetable garden this year too, so I have really enjoyed talking about it together and having his help as I muddle through this process.  In fact, he's probably the only person who will actually be interested in this blog post, but I'm posting it anyway. :)

I did most of my planting in May, but the soil temperature was too cold for cucumbers, so I had to replant those the day before we left for vacation.  I was super nervous to leave my garden for a whole week.  The day before we left, I spent FOUR HOURS out in my garden getting everything pristine.  I pulled every thing that even thought about being a weed.  I made sure every plant was sufficiently supported and anchored.  I asked our next door neighbors to water the garden for me, and I just assumed I could tackled the weeds myself when I got home.

When we returned home this past Saturday evening, I was anxious to go out back and see how my precious garden was doing.  I was quite surprised by what I found!

My city had received 4 inches of rain during our vacation!  My neighbor took a picture of the garden on his cell phone (and by cell phone, I mean his little flip phone with a tiny screen and no keyboard...it may actually be a Jitterbug).  The garden was completely flooded with water, to the point that only one corner of the wooden border was visible.  If I had been home, I would have PANICKED.  I probably would have run out with a bucket to try to bail out my garden!

The excessive rain had apparently kept the weeds at bay because there were very few.  All of the plants had grown so much just in one week's time.  My newly planted cucumbers were sprouting, but not all of them are coming up.  I don't think they like that much water.

I went out on Father's Day (our first full day back home) and took some pictures of the garden.  I'm that nerdy and excited about my garden that I've been documenting it by photos.  Laugh if you want; I'm gonna have homegrown veggies.  It's time to prove that I can keep something other than children alive.

So, here are pictures of my blossoming garden!

The whole garden in the corner of our back yard

I'll start at the back of the garden and work my way forward.

The back row is sugar snap peas.  They are growing up a couple of metal trellises.



They grow so quickly.  The top of each plant sort of unfolds a bundle of leaves and long grabby things (technical term, anyone?).


The little grabby things will wrap around anything they touch.  Often times the pea plants end up wrapping around each other.


What they are supposed to do is wrap around the trellis for support.


So far the peas just keep growing and climbing, and I haven't seen any signs of actual pea pods.  I did notice these little buds on one plant that I'm hoping may become pea pods?


In front of the peas, I planted three zucchini plants.  Only two came up, and one is gigantic while the other one seems to be lagging behind.  Also, I ordered zucchini seeds but the packet that arrived said Summer Squash.  I believe zucchini are a specific type of summer squash, but I may have that wrong.  In the meantime, I'm never quite sure if I should refer to these two plants as squash or zucchini.


The plant in the picture above is the giant squash plant.  The other one just looks like a smaller version, and it doesn't have any blossoms yet.

This one has one more mature blossom:


I didn't notice this when I was outside taking pictures, but when I looked at the pictures on my computer, I saw that under the blossom is an actual zucchini!  How exciting is that?!

There's also another newer blossom:


And several little buds:


The other side of the squash row contains two smaller rows of garlic.  This wasn't in my original plan (mostly because I didn't know you could plant garlic), but my dad gave me his leftover garlic after he was done planting.  I figured it could have a place in my garden, too.


Two of them are Elephant Garlic.  The size gives you a clue about the name.


The others are different varieties of regular garlic.


I'm trusting my dad to walk me through how to harvest and prepare the garlic because I have no clue.

I planted a row and a half of carrots.  Ah, my poor little carrots.  Not too many of them came up.  My garden is FULL of rocks, and I spent days trying to clean out all the rocks, paying special attention to the areas where the carrots would be planted.  Alas, we will not be Bugs Bunny's food supply any time soon.




The next row of the garden starts with two unidentified bean plants.  Griffin planted these seeds in his class at school, and we got to bring them home on the school open house night.  I was happy to make room for them in my garden but didn't have a clue what they were!


First they grew little flowers that reminded me of Snapdragons (which make me very happy).


After vacation we discovered...beans!


Do we all agree that they look like green beans?  Do we think they are ready to pick and eat?

Next to the beans I planted two jalapeno plants and two plants of Hungarian Wax Hot Peppers.

First, the jalapenos:


They're not doing much yet other than growing little buds and flowers.



The Hungarian Wax peppers, however, gave me quite a thrill because there was a whole pepper when we came home from vacation.  It was the first actual food I saw growing in my garden.


Now I have to figure out how long to let that pepper grow before I pick it.

The other Hungarian pepper plant has little buds and tiny peppers starting to grow.




At the front of the garden I have planted four tomato plants of various varieties.





Two of the tomato plants have little yellow flowers.



And finally, we have the new cucumber plants.  I planted four mounds of cucumbers, with 4 seeds in each mound.  One mound is showing nuttin'.  Here are the other three.




I'm hoping these little brand new plants will thrive so we can have fresh cucumbers and make our own pickles!



I can't wait to have actual vegetables!  This will end my life-long streak of killing all plants!

Jessica

P.S.  New garden + new camera = I'm one happy girl!

1 comment:

  1. I'm interested in this post!! Your garden looks amazing and it's immaculate in the weed department. Mine is a mess right now! Love all the photos. Super jealous of the snap peas, our baby deer and her mama ate our peas all gone and some of our peppers. My zucchini is huge, but I don't have any flowers on it yet. I cannot wait for zuchs and tomatoes!

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