Those of you who have faithfully followed me through the past couple of years know that this year will be our third attempt at gardening. We haven’t had very much luck in the garden so far, but we’ve learned a lot and have at least been able to harvest a handful of stuff, so that’s encouraging!!
This year I’ve decided to try a few new things, and I’ve been working on getting some perennials established for future harvests. With a little luck, most of what I’ve planted will come up and flourish.
I’ve left most of the garden space unplanted this year, and am mostly just filling the raised beds with veggies. Trying not to overwhelm myself seeing as I’ll have a new baby to care for soon. I would like to get some cover crops planted so that at least the soil could be getting some nutrients while it isn’t being used.
It’s not much yet, but here’s a glimpse into what my garden looks like so far this year…
On the right side of this first box you might be able to see the little onion tops coming out of the soil. These were the ones I started from seed indoors, and they are doing great! I should have done more though, gotta find something to fill the rest of the box with. Maybe some more onions from bulbs? In the meantime, I’ve been stealing the soil from this box to put elsewhere.
They are so small you can hardly see them, but this box is full of newly transplanted tomato seedlings. There are three different types in here; two slicing varieties and one paste tomato, though I got them all mixed up and can’t tell them apart as of yet. Oh well. Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe.
I crushed eggshells and sprinkled them around each plant, for calcium. I also added some rabbit droppings all around as well. I’ll mulch with straw eventually. Oh, and see the 2-liter bottles sticking out of the soil? I’m trying something new this year. Since I’ve had so many problems with blossom end rot and splitting tomatoes from uneven watering, I thought this year I’d try this watering method. I’ll give a tutorial on what exactly it is soon, but hopefully it’ll work well for me, I’m ready to have some tomatoes to can!
My broccoli is looking good! I transplanted this broccoli about 6 weeks ago. After putting each seedling into the soil, I added a generous heap of old chicken manure between each row. I’ve been mulching with hay I’ve scooped out of the goat’s pen. This is the first time I’ve tried growing broccoli. I’m wondering if I ought to get a floating row cover to protect my plants from bugs.
In this bed I’ve got a few more broccoli that were transplanted. I also direct sowed some from seeds. I didn’t add chicken manure to this bed, just to see what a difference it would make. So far, a very noticeable difference! I think I’ll add some manure soon. I also transplanted and direct sowed some cabbage, but it’s not doing so good. I might try sowing some more soon if I don’t see an improvement.
I planted a row of nasturtiums along the left side of this box, with the hopes that it will help the broccoli in the box beside it. You can’t see them yet, but I’ve also filled this box with green beans (the bush variety). Maybe they’ll poke through soon!
Here are my lettuce and carrots. Lookin good! I transplanted some lettuce seedlings I’d started indoors, but almost all of them died. The seeds I sowed directly though are doing great! This is Buttercrunch lettuce. The little carrots are coming up nicely as well.
Still tiny and hard to see in the photo, but this bed was recently planted with my pimento pepper seedlings. I figured I’d just grow a bunch of these to can this year, and I’ll do bell peppers next year.
And check out my strawberries!! Remember when I first got these guys in the mail and thought they were a total loss? Even after moving them a couple times, they’re still going strong. Strawberries have got to be my favorite thing to grow yet. No watering; they multiply on their own; they come back every year… what’s not to love?
I’ve totally lost track of which plants are the “mother” and which are new, but that’s okay. I’ll worry about thinning them out and transplanting them somewhere else later. It’s looking like we’re gonna have a lot more strawberries this year!
Oh yeah, I’ve also planted squash, cucumbers, and globe artichokes outside of the garden area.
In my front yard, along our fence, I’ve been working on getting some herbs established. So far I’ve planted…
- Wooly Lambs Ear
- Lemon Balm
- (x2) Elderberry bushes
My mother-in-law also brought me this beautiful mint (peppermint?) plant. It was a cutting from the mint her mother planted years and years ago. She told me how her mother used to have my husband pick leaves from it for her when he was a child, and made tea from them.Very cool.
I still have more herbs to go into the ground once they’ve hardened off. Right now, under the grow light, I’ve got…
- Lemon Balm
Plus, I’ve been trying to weed and water the fruit trees and bushes we’ve put in over the past year or two:
- 2 Apple Trees
- 2 Peach Trees
- 3 Scuppernong vines
- 2 Fig Trees
- And a blueberry bush
So, lots of stuff going into the ground this year, and lots to look after!! I’m praying that the perennial herbs and the fruit trees/bushes we’ve put in will really take off and be even bigger next year. It will be nice to have a few edibles established that I won’t have to worry about planting year after year, you know?
As you can see, I’ve been very busy just doing a little every day. There are still a few more things to put in, but I’m almost done. I’ll be so thankful if I’m able to harvest anything from all of my hard work, and put it up for the winter.
That’s it for now! Hopefully the next time I show you pictures from my garden it will have grown some!
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.