Sunday, June 13, 2010

Introducing the Garden

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm pretty new to many of the things I want to try out in this blog. I'm perhaps the biggest novice at gardening. This is the first year I've attempted growing anything, and I decided to start with a vegetable garden.

We bought our house in September of last year, and inherited a nice little garden from the previous owners. They had tilled up and fenced in a 9 x 7 foot garden, and they were growing a bunch of tomato plants, some zucchini and squash, and lettuce.  The owners before them were novice wine makers and had established a large grape vine that had completely taken over a trellis built to sit against the side of the house and offer shade. Needless to say, I feel a little pressure to keep this long history of good garden juju going.

We don't have much land to speak of, and most of it is driveway. I've kept my garden small this year, only planting in the fenced in area the previous owner established. I planted some transplants from a local hardware store and seeds in the middle of April. Ideally in the future, when I am a genius at all of this gardening stuff, I will be planting heirloom varieties all from seeds that I have saved from the year before. I have a looooong way to go. ;)  A short list of things growing in this little plot of ground:

- Broccoli
- Onions (red and yellow)
- Carrots
- Green Beans (pole)
- Potatoes
- Tomatoes (roma)
- Dill
- Butterfly bush (Transplant from a friend's garden. Threw it there temporarily)

The grape vine is planted in the far corner of this garden, closest to the house.  It has been here for god knows how many years. We don't know anything about the grapes other than they were grown for wine making purposes. This makes me a little wary because I have heard wine grapes are not necessarily the best to snack on.

Regardless of how ignorant I am about caring for this thing, the grapes are growing in the thousands. I will have to research how to care for this, but for now - it seems healthy enough. I trimmed the longest overhanging vines about a week ago. That took a great deal of weight off of the trellis.

The Roma tomatoes (3 transplants from Home Depot) are very easy to take care of. They've been growing at a steady rate and are already sprouting little tomatelets! :)  I made a bit of a boo-boo in the beginning and planted my strawberry plants next to the tomatoes in the garden. After 1 plant withered up and died, and another sat stagnant for 6 weeks, I moved the remaining strawberry plant to a pot. I've now got a nice big empty spot that I'm dying to put 2 more tomato plants into!  I've learned how to make tomato sauce from scratch and it is addictive. We will go through these puppies in no time.

The pole beans are slowly climbing up the bamboo stakes, and are starting to flower. I would like to save some of these seeds for next year and start from my own instead of a seed packet. Check out the spider hanging out for the photo. I didn't even notice it!  I would have ran screaming if I did. I have yet to get used to the bug part of gardening.

Broccoli and carrots. I have heard that if you leave the carrot in the ground, next year it will flower and seed. I think I will leave 1 in, and see how it goes.  The broccoli is planted in the shadiest part of the garden. It doesn't get much direct sunlight, and it hasn't bolted yet. I read up on broccoli after planting. I think I planted it a little later than I should have, and I think the saving grace has been the shade from the grape trellis.

The aforementioned strawberry plant in its new residence. It seems to have perked up, though I don't know if I will get any berries off of it. It was in the ground for 6 weeks, and in this pot for about 1. I have yet to see a single flower. Maybe next year?

And that is a little introduction to MY introduction to gardening. It is entirely a learning experience this year.  I'm just astounded I made things grow...and they're still green!  Thank you, Gardening for Dummies!!!


Lin 'Seeds said...

You need to be careful trying to collect your seeds to replant the next year. You can end up with hybrids if there is anyone within a mile or so (depending on what the bees do) has something similar (i.e. grape tomatoes to your roma tomatoes). Heirlooms are great, but generally not blight resistent.

Monty Full said...

Yeah, I need a little bit of experience under my belt before dealing with heirlooms...but I'm curious. :D Lindsay, I'll be picking your brain for YEARS! :D :D :D