Thursday, August 4, 2011

Becoming A Gardener

(WARNING - this post contains A LOT of pictures!!)

So last Spring (2010) hubby and I decided that we wanted to start a vegetable garden. We both thought it would be so nice to just be able to go out in the backyard and get our own vegetables anytime we needed them, rather than having to figure out how much to buy at the grocery store. Hubby had the great idea of using the space behind our garage, which was pretty much wasted space anyway, and it would be less grass to have to cut. We decided to go with raised beds instead of planting straight in the ground, which would help with not having to pull weeds as much, which I don't really like to do at all.

Hubby removing some of the fence to make way for the beds

Starting on the beds. The design actually changed after this pic was taken.
After a few weekends, the beds were built, and then hubby had to level the ground out so the beds would sit well on the ground. When this was done we were all set to fill them in with dirt, but sweet pea had other plans. She decided to make her appearance into this world 9 days early, so with a newborn in the house, the garden got put on the back burner pretty much for the rest of the summer.

This spring we picked right back up where we left off. Once the beds were filled with dirt we purchased at a local nursery, we then had to decide what to plant. We decided on tomatoes, green beans, peppers, corn, okra, and of course I had to plant some cut flowers (since I vowed to keep fresh flowers in the house all summer long), so I decided on zinnias. So the time had finally come to plant, and off we went. I had helped my mom plant seeds in her garden when I was little, so I pretty much knew what I was doing.

When the planting was complete I was very excited to see what was going to happen. Hubby and I kept saying to each other that this was our "trial and error" year since this was our first time having a garden. Little did we know that we were going to be such good gardeners (not sure if any of you out there have ever planted okra, but no one told us it was going to be almost six feet tall, but I will save that for a later post). It literally took no time at all for our crop to start coming in and producing. The first thing we got to pick were green beans, which are my favorite, and one thing I look forward to in the summertime. I then got to cut some of my zinnias and bring them in the house. They are so pretty! Here are some pictures of one of our first picks.

Beans and Jalapeno Peppers

We quickly decided that it was going to be expensive and time consuming to keep the garden watered, so hubby built us a homemade rain barrel and watering system, which ironically hasn't gotten much use since we have had literally NO rain all summer long! He did a really good job and it only took him like 30 minutes.

All in all we have had fun watching the garden grow and enjoying the fruits of our labor. It has been challenging at times though caring for a garden and a one year old, but someone I have managed to make it work. I definitely have been making mental notes for next year, and there are a bunch of things that we will be doing differently.

For now I will leave you with some more pictures of our lovely garden. Enjoy!

Hubby watering the garden since we have had no rain for the rain barrel.
Beginnings of beans

This picture was only taken like 2 1/2 weeks after we planted everything!!

Haven't gotten any tomatoes yet, the squirrels keep eating them.

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