Garden Update

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We’re halfway through April already. What?

It has me freaked out a little because I’ll be turning 30 in a little under a month, and while I thought I wouldn’t care about that number, it turns out I am so unprepared to have it attached to me. Thank goodness for happy gardens that make me appreciate the quick passage of time.

Overall I felt pretty good about last year’s summer garden, considering it was my first year. There were plenty of things I did wrong, but I suppose if I hadn’t done them wrong I wouldn’t have learned anything, right?

My first mistake this year might be double our garden’s size. Maybe even tripling, if I take up my husband’s offer to build a third raised bed. We’ll see how optimistic I am about my August work ethic. Darn Texas summers.

Here’s what’s in the garden right now:

Garden grid

What, you can’t read that? OK, here’s the list:

Tomatoes: Sheboygan, Cosmonaut Volkov, Sun Gold, San Marzano
Beaver Dam peppers
Boston Marrow winter squash
Waltham butternut squash
Watermelon
Zucchini
Onion
Bush bean
Peanut
Elephant garlic
Buttercrunch lettuce
Nasturtium
Marigold
Miragreen peas

I’m following the square foot gardening system, which is meant to fully utilize your garden space instead of planting things in wasteful rows. The book I have (All New Square Foot Gardening) gives a guide for how many plants to put in each square foot. For example, for peas it tells you to put eight in each square. And since I figured it would make the most sense to put a pea trellis up across an entire (short) row, I have four squares of peas. Um … yeah. It turns out the peas really like my garden and have climbed the whole height of my netting and put forth a gazillion flowers. Those flowers are quickly turning into pea pods. It’s going to be raining peas over here, y’all. And the only reason I planted them was for my pea-loving boys. I opened a pod up on Tuesday to check on how fat they need to be before picking, and well, I might a pea convert. They are so sweet and crunchy and fresh. If you’re like me and were afraid of peas because of years of the factory canned or frozen varieties forced down your throat, try growing peas in your yard. Really.

Hello, peas!

I’m most excited about the winter squashes. Last year I planted them too late and the tiny butternuts that were developing instantly withered away when we had a cold snap. I love butternut squash anything, so you can bet I’ll be using it up. At least, that’s what I’m saying now. But hey, I have a new-fangled pressure canner to use, so there will be jarred soup in my future. Along with jarred everything else, probably.

What are you growing this year?

2 Comments

  1. Kudos on your garden! I think it’s awesome that you are doing this. It’s a very healthy way of living. I’d wish we had the motivation to do it. However, I am cooking more…so, who knows. If anything, I think we might end up planting an herb garden.

  2. We’ve got two 8X2 square foot gardens on our patio (we live in apartments still). One of them is filled with herbs, but we haven’t planted in the other one yet. I think we’ll do a bunch of tomatoes and other veggies in the next week or so.

    Last year, we did more herbs and also melons, zucchini, and squash. The herbs were great, but we didn’t get a single melon, zucchini, or squash. We had tons of beautiful blossoms, but then they eventually shrivelled and died, along with the rest of the plant. Might have been the heat.

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