Let’s Get It Started
Why is it so satisfying to garden?
Garden love. Maybe it is being a part of a transformation; taking an empty, ugly space and nurturing something beautiful and productive. My garden is simple, not elaborate, and full of imperfections. Each year, as the winter doldrums are almost over, and garden season is just around the corner, I get ants in my pants about getting a garden started. Garden love kicks in and I can’t help myself and often rush the process. In the beginning of spring, this is what my yard looks like. Empty and Ugly.
As I so look forward to the upcoming transformation. I get over ambitious and want to pretend like a serious gardener and start my own seeds indoors while it is still too cold to plant outside. All in the name of Garden Love.
Then I get so nerdy about it. I love watching for the first set of real leaves to emerge.
April 2, 2016 – Look! Isn’t it cute?
Ending the Pallet Garden to Free the Strawberries
While my seeds were cooking, Campbell and I started getting the garden spots ready. The strawberry patch was in great need of some TLC. I originally started it using a pallet, an idea I followed from Pinterest. Although it worked just fine, it eventually limited the potential for the plants to spread. This year, I decided I was ready to pull out the dilapidated remnants of the pallet and till around the edges to give the patch room to grow. (Read more about Why I Would Not Pallet Garden Again)
The strawberry plants loved me for it and thrived more than ever before. These were the first of many I picked this season.
Added to some of my favorite Vanilla Yogurt.
This season even produced enough for us to indulge in (multiple times) strawberries over buttered toasted biscuit halves, a deeply loved family tradition.
Preparing the Soil
To get the other garden spots ready, Campbell tilled the lower garden, and we added some fresh garden soil in the upper beds.
As I said, I tend to rush things. So, I prematurely planted my seedlings along with a few plants from a garden store. The seedlings were fairly itty bitty.
Campbell created an obstacle course to discourage the dog from tramping though and smashing the little plants. It was surprisingly effective.
My itty bitty garden love helper trudging up the steep hill.
It is grossly obvious which plants I grew from seed and which came from the garden center. In these two areas, there are several varieties of tomato: Early Girl, Better Boy, Heirloom Purple, Roma, and Grape. Also, there is a Jalapeno Pepper, Yellow and Zucchini Squash, Bush Beans, Sweet Peppers, and Cucumber.
We used most of the lower garden for okra (mine and Jessica’s favorite!) and are trying a little corn for the first time.
Ahhh! It’s always so fun to find the first fruit!
Although my squash plants remain the smallest, they had the first beautiful blooms (almost bigger than the plant itself).
Vertical Garden Experiment
One of the things I decided to try this year is helping my squash grow vertical so that the garden would be less crowded. Of course, this is something I read on Pinterest. So far, so good with minimal hitches. (Read more about What I’ve learned about growing vertical squash)
Encouraging the squash to grow vertical leaves the base of the plant easy to access and most of it up off the ground.
Oh look!! The first baby zucchini and first yellow squash!! Such cuties.
Maybe there is more to my garden love than just the transformation. There is also learning, experimenting, and researching about other gardeners and their innovations. I find that… dare I admit?… stimulating in a really nerdy kind of way. I frequently read up on vertical gardening. I am interested in trying all kinds of vertical experiments… eventually. Today, Madison asked me why I was so interested in vertical gardening since I have plenty of space to garden. I had never thought of it that way. I am interested in it because it is neat, cool, interesting, and the future. My answer to Madison was that I might not always have this much space to garden in and if so, I’ll already be learned on the subject.
Speaking of having plenty of space… why not create a new spot? I think I will…