This year was our first real attempt at growing a garden. We've done a few patio potted plants before, but with the exception of our squash, we haven't been real successful.
I was especially excited about growing a garden.
I'm fascinated by the good old days when families grew their own fruits and veggies, hunted for meat, fished, gathered honey & berries, taught their kids from home, rode horses, raised cattle and sheep and chickens, made their own clothes...I'll stop with all that. My goal in life is to become as self sufficient as possible. I just don't like relying on others for my needs (or wants for that matter).
Plus a garden makes a yard look more lush and green. I'm very visual.
First we built some raised garden beds. We didn't have much in the ways of budget for our yard this year, so I was pleased to find Ana White's plan for making cheap cedar raised beds. We already had the cedar grape stakes we used for the trellis, but I think the entire box cost less then $12. Not too shabby!
We lined the bottom of the bed with weed mat. My dad owns an ag plastics company, so we have weed mat, mulch, and greenhouse film coming out of our yin-yang. For those of you not so lucky, I know Costco carries a decent sized roll for around $30.
We bought our plants (we got most of them at our local hardware/garden store, but resorted to Home Depot on a few of them). Filled our boxes full of dirt (unfortunately we had to buy it this year...hopefully our compost will do us justice next year), and planted our plants.
I strung up some wire for the tomatoes to follow. Unfortunately a couple days later someone (who refused to reveal himself, but of course I'm wiser then he knows) fell and broke my wires, so I had to buy more...this time I got heavier stuff...the stuff they use for pouring concrete. It's like $3 for a huge roll of it.
In the larger box we planted tomatoes (Early Girl, Cherry, Pear, Mr. Stripey, some Heirlooms, and a few more I can't remember), 1 lingering sweet pepper that didn't fit with the other peppers, and 1 zucchini plant.
My husband wanted an entire box full of peppers (he LOVES peppers...he's spicey!), so I built him a smaller box just for peppers. We have some sweet peppers, a bunch of jalapenos, a cayenne, a Hungarian kind, and a Bulgarian kind (I think both are supposed to be really hot).
Across the yard I built an even smaller bed for our melons. Little did we think about it until after we planted 4 plants (a honeydew, yellow watermelon, watermelon, and cantaloupe), that planting just 1 or 2 melons would have probably been sufficient for this box. Oh well, we'll see what happens!
I'm most excited about our Avocado tree! I know it won't fruit for a couple years, but none the less, I'm excited! We got a Zutano, which has a softer shell, but is supposed to taste richer. It is also supposed to survive frost better. We don't get much frost, so hopefully we won't have to worry about that anyway.
In our avocado bed, we planted some basil, pesto basil, rosemary, cilantro, and parsley. As the tree gets bigger, I think I might just stick with a bushy something on each side...the rosemary and maybe something else on the other side.
My other favorite is the dwarf mandorin tree. Mmm!
So there's our garden thus far. We'll see how it goes!
(Note: Although I'm a slacker and am posting this at the end of September, we actually planted our garden back in April.)