As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted a vegetable garden. And as long as I can remember, I’ve been scared to death to start one. I envisioned putting in all of the time and work a garden takes, only to have everything die. I’ve had trouble keeping herbs in containers alive, my flowers never thrive, houseplants hate me, and overall I consider myself a brown thumb. Even a black thumb, if that’s a thing.
This year, however, I had a few pushes that helped me decide to just do it. First, the CSA I’d been a part of for years stopped service. No more locally grown, organic vegetables delivered to my door once a week. (Boo!) Then one of my best friends gave me a self-watering seed starter kit for my birthday in March. I knew that was the final sign that this needed to be the year I have a real garden.
This post is not intended to teach you anything; I have nothing to teach when it comes to gardening. I just thought I’d share my adventures in novice gardening. I knew I needed to keep a journal so I could remember what went well and what didn’t work this year, so why not use my blog for that purpose? If anything, feel free to chime in and teach me a thing or two!
I know I’m making my share of mistakes this year, but guess what? I’m growing food! It’s really working!
I decided to use the sunny side of our house that had a bed ready but nothing but mulch in it. I had a few plants that I grew from seed from the kit I got for my birthday. So I transplanted lettuce, basil, and cucumbers that I started from seed inside. The rest of the plants I bought and transplanted.
The lettuce was very quickly eaten by rabbits. I guess that’s all the rabbits like because they left everything else alone. Can you spot the rabbit in this picture?
Here’s a look at everything as it looks now. From left to right we have zucchini, brussels sprouts, cucumbers, kale, mixed variety of beans, more cucumbers (the ones from seed are over here–I couldn’t remember what they were when I transplanted them), bell peppers (back row), basil, and cantaloupe.
You can barely see the brussels sprouts because they are being overtaken by the cucumbers.
I think I planted those too close together. I have harvested some beans, kale, and basil so far and the kale is ready for another harvesting for sure.
The cantaloupe are growing well. I probably need to add something for it to grow up on, but it seems to be doing okay without it. I can’t believe so much has come from one plant! I can see a whole bunch of baby cantaloupes growing.
Someone warned me that cucumbers go crazy, but I didn’t understand the extent of it. It wants to curl around everything around it, doesn’t it? I have to admit, though, it’s thrilling to check the garden and see what’s grown!
Basil has been my favorite part of the garden. I love fresh basil so much! I should have grown more herbs. I can’t believe how much easier basil is to grow in the ground than a container. Next year, more herbs.
We have two little peppers so far. I want them to turn red, so I hope I can keep them on long enough for that to happen. I’m not sure if the black part on the stem is a bad sign. Can you tell I’m winging this?
Some of the brussels sprouts and kale look like something has been eating them a little, but other than that I haven’t noticed any pests. After the rabbits ate the lettuce early on, they haven’t been back. I guess I’m lucky so far because we do have deer, squirrels, and chipmunks in our yard often. Let’s knock on wood because I feel like as soon as I type that my little garden is going to be attacked.
When I was talking to the kids about the garden, they said they wanted a butterfly garden. So on the far end, we planted some wildflowers for them. For the longest time, it just looked like weeds, but it’s starting to grow some flowers.
This has been a fun adventure and I may have gotten bit by the gardening bug, just a little bit. I will keep you updated at least one more time on how my garden grows. I’d love to hear how your garden is growing; please share in the comments!