Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Garden: Year 1

One of the things we looked forward to, with the purchase of our first house, was the ability to start a garden. The current state of our landscaping doesn't give us much space for one, so we rented a plot in the community gardens. We had a busy and unusual summer on tap, with the birth of our baby, and decided to go into this with the mindset that it was a learning year and any veggies at all would be a good start. It has been my husband's project completely this summer. I hope that in future years we can all start to chip in.

He planted quite a variety of things so that we can get an idea of what we'd like more of in future years. (red and yellow potatoes, snap peas, Swiss chard, turnips, beets, summer squash, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes (4 types), green beans, romaine lettuce, lettuce mix, butternut squash, and a tomatillo plant.)

Photos from mid-May:

(our plot is 15x20 feet)

Photos from mid-July:

We have some tomatoes on the deck and some in the garden.
My husband raised them all from seeds, along with some of the other plants, and they are looking beautiful!

My father-in-law brought us some raspberry plants from his garden. They bore just tiny handful of fruit this summer, but they are thriving.

Mid August:
That was roughly our whole big tomato harvest.
The cherry tomatoes just keep going and going.
We have had a lot of rain recently and it put an end to the few crops that were still producing. Here at the end of the season we can look back at how things went:
  • The Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and carrots all had some early problems and didn't produce. We have some ideas about what to try next year!
  • We had a few meals of turnips, beets, lettuce, and tomatoes, but less then we had expected. We were disappointed that the beets didn't grow very big and that our tomato plants in the garden were blighted. We had tomato plants in the garden, in pots on the deck, and growing upside down in buckets. The plants in pots did the best and so we'll focus on those next year.
  • Greg harvested a good number of potatoes and winter squash. We tried our first of the butternut squash and it was amazingly good. It makes me happy that we have a whole shelf of them to eat this winter.
  • We were overwhelmed with summer squash and zucchini, even with just one hill of each.
  • Our biggest producers were the Swiss chard, green beans, cherry tomatoes on the deck, and tomatillos. We've been impressed that the chard just keeps growing and growing and have had homegrown beans at least a few times a week all summer. We have another big bowl of tomatillos and need to decide how to save them. Going out to the deck to grab a handful of cherry tomatoes is such a luxury, especially when my daughter can eats them like candy!
We ended up with a good amount of produce this summer. We have a lot of ideas for next year and hope to finish some landscaping so that the garden can be in our yard and get more attention.

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