Mary Mary, Quite Contrary…

Well folks, we’ve finally done it: we’ve started a garden! It’s been a couple of months, so I thought I would share a few things we’ve learned so far.

We started this garden to save money for the most part. We like to eat pesticide/crappy additive free which can be expensive, and with our recent reduction of income, we continue to find ways to be most efficient with our money.

The garden started with my husband building a planter box in our backyard. It’s about 7 feet by 2ish feet, and about a foot deep. Then we lined the bottom to prevent burrowing animals from popping up in it and filled it with organic potting soil, organic compost, and organic vegetable plant food. Next it was time to choose what to plant.

I knew we should grow tomatoes for sure, but I didn’t know anything about what other veggies would grow well in our climate and in full sun. So I asked around to some local gardeners, and we decided to attempt cucumbers, peppers, and a couple of herbs.

Right away our tomatoes and cucumbers sprang up! In just a few weeks, we had some tiny little cukes starting to grow, and little green tomatoes. In just a few more weeks, our cucumber and tomato plants pretty much took over the planter box. Now a lady at one of the shops I bought some of the supplies at suggested square foot gardening, which is where you devide the box into square feet and put one plant per square. The would be great for plants that don’t try to take over the world. This being our first time, we had no idea. So the green peppers we tried to grow aren’t doing so well. We did plant some banana peppers, and those seem ok. Our chives are ok too, but our parsley is being chomped away by caterpillars. So we will be looking up natural ways to repel those guys tonight.

One of the things that surprised me was how many stinkin cucumbers we would have. Our first harvest we picked 12! And they were gigantic! We were able to harvest several more a few days later, and we get about 3 or 4 now about every 3 days. We ended up having to give some away because I’m not the biggest fan and my husband and youngest daughter can only eat so many each day.

Another not so pleasant surprise for me was that the tomatoes were grape tomatoes. Not a huge fan, but my husband and daughter can stay on top of those because we only get about 1 ripe a day. Not counting the ones animals eat. 🙂

We’ve used some of the parsley a few times and will hopefully use some again. I plan on using some chives very soon. My husband cannot wait for the banana peppers to be ready. All in all we are pleased with how everything has been turning out. We’re already starting to plan next year’s garden and my husband is planning on building a few more planter boxes, maybe even a greenhouse! So exciting.

So what kinds of things do you grow in your garden?

Thanks for reading today folks!

Jenn