The vegetable garden is finally in! We got it in a bit later than we wanted, but better late than never. This garden is huge.
I ended up doing the majority of the tilling of this garden myself since Ryan was busy with the chicken coop project. Let’s just say I’m not a skilled tiller! Maybe it’s something you get better at with practice? I thought I was doing a good job at the time but when I went to plant the seeds I could see there were patches that didn’t get tilled properly.
It’s about 3,500 square feet. We pounded T posts into the ground and attached 4 foot chicken wire to them all around the garden to keep out our poultry. It seems to be doing the job just fine.
We decided to plant the following: sweet corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, pumpkins, lettuce, carrots, kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, winter squash, zucchini, radishes, watermelon, cilantro, onions, dill, basil, bush beans, sugar snap peas, beets, chives, leeks and spinach.
We’d like to purchase a pressure canner this year and learn to can any excess from the garden. I brought home 17 heirloom tomato plants, both Roma and Beefsteak. If all goes well we’ll be swimming in tomatoes and we could can our own sauces.
I spent some time weeding the garden yesterday and many of our plants are beginning to come up! It’s so rewarding to see things beginning to grow after all the work required to get a garden planted. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I’ve worked in a garden. As I was weeding yesterday, I realized how much I’ve missed spending peaceful moments, connecting with creation, in my garden.
The next step with the garden is to mulch all the soil to keep it covered. We learned that little trick after watching an excellent video called “Back to Eden.” Covering the soil greatly minimizes the amount of weeds growing in the garden, keeps moisture in the soil for the plants and fertilizes the soil as it breaks down. Nothing kills the joy of gardening like getting overrun with weeds. We tried this last year with our little garden at our previous home. Every time Ryan mowed he’d put the grass clippings over the soil. It made a noticeable difference with the amount of weeds that came up. This year we are going to use the hay/manure mixture that we’ve been cleaning out of our winter barnyard and animal stalls.
Do you garden? Even just a pot of tomatoes on a patio can be such a rewarding and fun experience. Happy gardening to you and here’s hoping our gardens are fruitful this year!