Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Winter Days: Garden Planning

It is hard to believe that spring is just around the corner! I've already begun our countdown (29 days, in case you were wondering). Spring is an enjoyable time for us. Our family loves to go outdoors and enjoy nature, especially while the weather is still cool enough to be comfortable. We also like to stay busy while we are outside. The children ride their bikes for a spell, but if they see me working, they're eager to join in. 


GARDEN REFLECTIONS


As our first spring came around at our new house, we were so excited to get started on a garden. We staked out the desired location of our garden and tilled it with a used tiller my husband had purchased. As he tilled the soil, we noticed a couple of problems areas. One section of our garden was turning out to be very thick clay. We decided to try planting root vegetables there, hoping that it would break up the clay. (It didn't work.)

The other section of our garden was loose soil, but quite sandy. We bought a few bags of manure to add to it and made our garden beds. We planted 4 rows of corn, beds of squash, cucumber, watermelon, okra, bell peppers, and tomatoes. In between, we also planted basil and marigolds. Some things did well, others didn't. Some did well at first, then stopped growing. There was also a mishap with my husbands truck as he was hauling supplies to the backyard for the children's playset, and then a little thing called a three-year old-happened. He picked all of our baby watermelons and put them in his tricycle as if they were his rock collection.


Overall, the experience was not the greatest. We did enjoy quite a bit of okra, tomatoes, and basil. We managed to get a couple of bell peppers as well. The boys enjoyed their time in the dirt and Bridget was a great help picking vegetables and helping to prepare them in the kitchen.


LESSONS LEARNED


We learned that our builder had removed and sold all of our precious top soil and imported sandy soil to replace it. Fortunately, when we were landscaping our yard, my husband had an entire truck full of top soil delivered and we had a bit leftover for a garden. He got it all in its place in the fall, ready for planting this spring. Unfortunately, our property slopes, and we've noticed that patches of top soil have washed off from the garden bed with the rainwater, and that the water tends to pool in certain areas.

With this in mind, we have decided that we're going to have to do a raised bed garden.


MOVING FORWARD


The children and I have begun planning the garden beds. We've looked at pictures of raised bed gardens on the computer and George insists that we must have paths, so we're working on a layout that is functional yet pleasing to the eye.

We've also discussed what vegetables they want to grow. 


Bridget, my 8 year old, loves just about every vegetable except for mushrooms (only she doesn't realize that she actually loves them and I have been sneaking them into her food). She wants to grow carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, and sunflowers.

George, my 6 year old, likes only a handful of vegetables, but really loves mushrooms, asparagus, and eggplant the most. He begged me to grow mushrooms but I told him I don't feel comfortable with that yet and that they're not grown like other garden vegetables. He then requested eggplant, tomatoes, squash, and asparagus.

Liam, my 3 year old mentioned above, wants to grow more watermelons. He also wants apples, strawberries, and blueberries. I told him that we could try again with the watermelons and plant strawberries, but that apples grow on trees and we don't have enough room for an orchard.

I have a lot of other vegetables I'd like to grow, because we do eat them a lot, such as broccoli, lettuce, peas, green beans, and many more. I'll have to see just how much room we end up having. The garden seems to be getting bigger and bigger the more we talk about it.

TIME TO GET STARTED


Planting season for early crops is already upon us. As soon as we're able to put our garden beds together, it'll be time to plant things like asparagus, peas, carrots, radishes, cabbage, and lettuce. It'll be nice to have some fresh and tasty vegetables grown in our own backyard! 

2 comments:

  1. Hooray for home gardening! David has really gotten into it as well. We have a gallon bag full of cut up hot peppers from his last minute attempt to grow stuff last year. Hope your raised beds go well for you!

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  2. Making additions to a home like adding a deck, a pool, or an outdoor storage area are usually the result of what the family needs, but could also be excellent selling points if the home goes up for sale some day. window maintenance

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