We got a late start on this year’s garden, due to the harsh winter that ran into spring. However, this spring has been mostly nice and cool, and our garden is looking pretty good so far! My goal this year was to space things appropriately (everything was super cramped and overgrown by October in years past) and to stay ahead of the weeds, which overcame the garden in previous years. I’d get to point where I just gave up, and the weeds won.
This year, I laid much more leaf mulch, thanks to the nifty leaf compost bin that my husband made out of wooden pallets last year. It was packed full of leaves that we collected in the fall.
I’ve also been trying to get out there regularly to pull weeds and cultivate. It’s working so far, although I fell behind in a few rows… mainly the peas and the radishes/carrots. The weeds don’t seem to be bothering the peas, but I know I have to clean up the row with the carrots or they won’t grow. Does anyone know the best way to weed around carrots?
We started harvesting a couple of weeks ago. First out of the garden were lettuce, radishes, and spring onions. I love growing radishes and spring onions because they are so easy.
This year we had better luck with lettuce, too, partly because we started with plants. I think the last few years I sowed lettuce seeds too late, and I waited and waited for them to get big enough to pick, and then they bolted. It’s working out much better this year, from plants. We have big, full heads of lettuce. I’m sure the cooler spring is helping too.
Our most recent harvest from the garden has been peas. During our first year gardening, we had a great row of sugar snap peas that seemed to produce early, and just kept giving us peas. This year I sowed three rows of peas, one of Frosty Pea, one Sugar Bush, and one Sugar Snap. Not sure why I dedicated three rows to peas, but I did. They grew strong and big, but it seemed like the blossoms were never going to develop. I even considering pulling out the plants so that I could put something else there, because I was starting to think they wouldn’t produce for us. Then, after a recent weekend of heavy rain I walked out there and they were full of beautiful little pink and white blossoms! It’s been my favorite part of this year’s garden so far, particularly the pink pea blossoms. I went out there last night and snapped some photos before the blossoms were all gone.
Are you keeping a garden this year? How is it doing?
Posted in Gardening
Tagged blossoms, compost bin, DIY, flowers, garden, gardening, lettuce, onions, pallets, peas, plants, radishes, seeds, spring, vegetables
Look at these two beauties that I pulled from different parts of the garden on Saturday. The one on top was in my turnip patch… so that’s definitely a turnip. The bottom one showed up in my radish and carrot patch, but it looks more like a turnip than a radish. The leaves on the two are practically identical, but the radish-turnip was starting to flower. I pulled them both but I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with them. I am thinking of just roasting them with some carrots and potatoes. I’m hoping they both are actually turnips; I don’t think roasted radish would taste very good.
In other garden-related news, I started to lose faith in the tomato and pepper plants that I started from seed. Some are doing okay, but many of them are not looking great and I started to worry that this year’s tomato harvest would be as disappointing as last year’s. This past weekend I decided I would go to the garden store and buy some new pepper and tomato plants to at least supplement the plants I grew myself, in case mine were a bust. I also got a couple of large pottery planters. I didn’t pull out all of my tomato and pepper plants, but I pulled out the weakest-looking half of them and replaced them with the much-more-robust-looking nursery plants. I also put a few plants in the planters. I’d say a full 1/4 of my garden is dedicated to tomatoes and peppers, so I’m hoping for a good harvest. Last year was my first try at canning, so I hope to do a lot more of that this year, especially using tomatoes.
I was out watering the garden this evening and noticed some red peeking out of the corner of the children’s garden, where my son planted a bunch of radish seeds all in one little spot. They are a little crowded there, so I couldn’t see much under the dense clump of radish leaves without making it a point to look. But when I caught a glimpse of red, I suddenly remembered what a short time it takes for radishes to grow. I took a closer look and saw that there were a few that were probably big enough to pull. I knew my son would love this, so I let him know that he had some radishes in his garden that were ready. He was thrilled! We actually had to talk him into not pulling the rest of them because they weren’t ready. He held one up in the air to show his dad and yelled “Daddy! It’s the biggest radish I ever saw!”
The kids’ garden is so much fun! And they are taking great care of it. My son even mulched it the other day with shredded leaves; it was his own idea. He knows what he’s growing in there, too. The other day I was pointing out and identifying the different plants in their garden, but I wasn’t sure what the one little section of small seedlings were in the middle. He said “I know, Mommy! Those are rainbow carrots!” That’s absolutely what they were! I was so proud. 🙂
Here are our first radishes. I couldn’t get D to taste them, though. So I ate them, and they were delicious.