Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spring Garden

I grew up in a family that gardened. We had a plot of land behind our home in Washington state where we grew all kinds of vegetables, and for a few years, a neighbor even allowed us use of their one-acre plot behind our garden to plant with even more veggies. We had corn, green beans, squash, tomatoes, carrots and many more kinds of vegetables. I remember hours spent with my sister weeding and tending the garden. Our parents would pay us a quarter and we'd ride our bikes to the corner store to buy popsicles.

Not only did my parents garden, but my mother also canned. We had a pantry room filled to the brim with canned jars of green beans, peaches, cherries, tomatoes, and other foods, as well as a freezer filled with frozen vegetables. So when my boys kept asking to plant a garden, at least it wasn't a foreign concept to me.

Finally this year I gave in, cleared a space by moving a bunch of perennials, and bought seeds and starter plants. We turned the dirt, sprinkled in some organic fertilizer, planted a few seeds and plants and sat back to see what would happen. We planted carrots, radishes, beets, green beans, and onions from seed, and broccoli, cauliflower, chard, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, arugula, eggplant, cucumbers, and squash starter plants.

All in all, we've had a pretty good garden sprout up. The root vegetables don't seem to fare too well. We got a few radishes, but the carrots aren't doing well, and we'll have to wait and see with the beets. The green beans were doing great until we were gone for the weekend and the rabbits ate all the leaves off the plants. The lettuce, arugula, and herbs (basil, cilantro, parsley) have done well, but by far our best growers are the chard, broccoli, tomato, pepper, and squash plants. They have grown huge almost overnight. We've been eating chard for a while now, and picked our first cucumber yesterday. After a battle with cabbage worms, the broccoli is doing great and the heads have appeared and are growing bigger every day.

It's been a great experience for the boys. Kieran helps water the garden almost every day, and they have enjoyed eating some of the veggies from the garden. We definitely have learned what works well in our garden, and what we will skip next year.

Here are photos from the garden, both from April when we started the garden, then May when the plants were starting to grow, and more recently, the beginning of June when things were really thriving. Of course it's now been three more weeks and the plants are even bigger, so I will post an update soon.

{the garden center, picking out lettuces}

{this was a romaine-like lettuce}

{supplies: tomato plants, seeds, herbs, broccoli, and raspberry bushes}

{the garden, early april}

{the garden, early May}

{the garden, early June}

{broccoli, early April}

{broccoli, early May}

{broccoli, early June}

{chard, early April}

{chard, early May}

{chard, early June}

{eggplant, on right, early May}

{eggplant, in middle, early June}

{peppers, in pots on right, early May}

{peppers, early June}

{squash, early May}

{squash, early June}

{tomato plot, early April}

{tomatoes and basil, early May}

{tomatoes and basil, early June}

{tomatoes in pots, early May}

{tomatoes in pots, early June}

{tomato pot, early May}

{tomato pot, early June}


{perennial area, early April}

{perennial area, early May}

{some of our early harvest: lettuce, chard, radishes, arugula}

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