Sunday, October 9, 2011

Our First Real Garden

Well, we tried with window boxes the first Spring we were married and living in a dark basement apartment.  I think we got two peas.

Hopefully this fall garden goes a little better, cuz we're jumping in all the way. We even built a little green house yesterday on a second patch closer to the house and I finally finished putting the compost tumbler together yesterday.  So now our first batch of future compost is cooking away.  I'm expecting bugs to get half of everything since it will be organic and my first time. And of course, the one vegetable I'm not as excited about is doing best: cabbage.

At least it's purple. And I don't hate cabbage, it just takes a week or two to get through one head of it. So cabbage recipes are welcome.  Hopefully we'll also get some leeks, broccoli, and

Colorful Carrots
Swiss Chard

Nero Kale

Next to the house I made a little green house since the teacher at a "Beginning Organic Gardening" class last week said it was simple. Pound 2 foot metal rods into the ground, bend pvc onto them and cover with thick, plastic painter's tarp.  I wimped out twice at home depot since everyone was telling me a different thing to do, but this weekend I finally braved up.  And hopefully the lettuce, onions, celery, kale, and chard have a happy warm place and their growing season will be extended.

Planted October 8th, we'll see what happens
I've learned a few things. Organic is more about nurturing the soil than the plant.  And adding instead of taking away.  So marigolds planted on the end of each row help attract pollinators and have a smell that pesky bugs don't like.  Smashed up egg shells to keep slugs away. Plant basil under tomatoes since it likes the shade. Plant legumes, peas, clover in the fall where heavy producers like tomatoes will be the next summer to naturally add nitrogen to soil.  And the only trick I've used so far, plant onions and garlic between the kale and lettuces, since their roots are high and are also stinky to bugs.  But that's only been going for a day, so we'll see how it works.

Cute little heirloom lettuces,
with purple onions between.


Grandma Corrales said...

Sounds pretty ambitious! I hope you enjoy your gardening as much as Frank and I are enjoying playing in ours! Companion gardening is really interesting as you can incorporate lots of different plants while keeping the critters - big and small - at bay. And best of all, you get bigger crops! Frank and I finally found something that keeps the deer from eating all our flowers and it isn't smelly, chemical-based, or otherwise nasty! We can't wait to see first-hand all that you've done.

Blackham Fam said...

Looks pretty fantastic to me! I can't believe how proactive you are. I wish I was more like you. I can hardly get my house work done. BTW we need to get together. I'll call you soon to set up a play date.