Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In the Garden

Lots of people have been asking what's in our garden. Well, in our actual "garden", until yesterday, NOTHING! John and I cleaned it out (it was so overgrown after some neglect last year, ahem) and got it ready, but ran out of time to put anything IN. Besides, I raked and shoveled so much I developed a blister that's taken two weeks to heal! I was so traumatized, I had to take some time off from gardening.

We actually have two other "dedicated beds" for the things we love so much that we need MORE than we have room for in the garden. One is an approximately 50 square foot asparagus bed. Start your asparagus now and in three years you'll thank me! This is the first year we've harvested our asparagus and it's gone gangbusters! We eat asparagus every couple of nights with dinner. It grows SO FAST.

Our other bed is a dedicated strawberry bed. We started out with three little strawberry plants in our garden three years ago. Those multiplied and became 21 that year, then more than 50 after that! They are now in a 25 square foot bed on the south side of the house and, after a little trauma from transplanting them, recovering nicely. I walked by the other day and there were two little strawberries getting nice and ripe. I didn't share them. They were SWEET!

So, back to the actual "garden". Yesterday we put in 16 tomato plants - some Better Boys, some Early Girls, some cherry tomatoes, and something else (can't remember just now) and some "unknown" variety that my aunt dropped off (extras they couldn't plant in their HUGE garden). We also planted four bell pepper plants and two jalapeno plants. Those (the jalapenos) are solely for others, as I don't care for them. Leave a comment if you want some and I will save them for you when they start producing.

My "jack-of-all-trades" husband put a drip system in our garden last year, and it's sooooo very nice. Now if we could just keep the critters out. And I don't mean the kids. I mean, I do, but also the kind of critters that live down in the creek and come up to munch when we're not around.

Also, my uncle gave us some blackberry shoots when we were out at his farm last spring. We planted them on the fence behind our garden. One is doing GREAT and is blooming right now. The other, well, it kinda got mowed over sometime last summer because it wasn't well-marked. But, it seems to have recovered and is thriving! We probably won't get any fruit from it this summer, but next year we should! Also, plant #1 has sent up a shoot nearby, so we'll dig it up and put it on the fence as well.

There are lots of little seedlings in our garden right now. They look like they are either watermelons, cucumbers, yellow squash, or zucchini. That's what we had out there last year that may have re-seeded itself (which in itself seems miraculous to me). I tried to leave as many of them as I could and we'll see what we end up with!

I love gardening this time of year. It's so pleasant outside. Ask me again in July ... maybe not so much at that point. I hate going out there so much that our okra ends up 6-8 inches long and much too tough to eat by the time I go out to check on it.


Christina said...

Oh I so wish to have a garden one day! You make me jealous talking about all of the yummy things in yours. I wish my grandad were still alive to help me start one - he used to have a fabulous huge one in his backyard and we always ate out of it. Okra peas new potatoes squash cucumbers green beans okra watermelon and the list goes on forever! I'll take jalepenos from you! Then when I am ready to start my garden I will share with you!

Esther said...

What do you do with the asparagus bed for the first two years? Does it grow at all? I need to try this, they are my absolute favorite! I love gardening, but it gets SOOOO hot here, that I usually give up by July.

Alicia said...

I'm so motivated to get going right now, too, but I know, come July I'm going to be exhausted with the gardening.
We tilled a 14x14 square in the corner of our yard, and we're in the process of putting in a (very rudimentary) fence to surround it. I'm debating right now whether or not to do raised beds or just plant right in the ground. I had planned all along to go with the raised beds and already built one for my strawberries, but I'm so eager to get going that I'm thinking about saving the raised beds until next year.
So I have a few questions for you. Where do you get your plants? Do you start them from seeds or buy them already started? Also, with the asparagus, did you let the ferns grow the first two years and then cut them back, or do you just leave them alone until year 3?
Thanks for the suggestions, fellow gardener. =) (Oh, and thanks for the eperm laughs!)

Joshua Jacob Nicholas said...

OK- I've got to start an asparagus bed this year. You've convinced me.

I just went out this morning and our corn is popping up! This is our first year to try corn- so, we'll see.

You should try a fig tree. There was one here when we moved in- I'd never even had a fresh fig before. The whole family loved them so much we planted 3 more this year! Not sure what we'll do with that many figs.

I do the same thing with the okra. :) Happy gardening!