The first year was spent learning how things would grow in the area, how rain would run off (It didn't. Instead I had many swampy floods through my rows of veggies), and if the soil was deep and healthy enough. Some tweaks are in order as well as lots of expansion for 2015! I've got my plan made, seeds in hand, and hopefully some little seedlings growing at my brother's house!
But first I thought I'd do a quick run down of what happened last year.
In late April we built the garden, throughout May we added lots of soil, planted seeds and picked up plants at the farmer's market. June was spent hoping my seedlings would make it through the streams all the rain brought barreling through the backyard, and July and August I was actually able to harvest some stuff!
Besides all the rain I also tried combating all the rabbits that kept eating all my little plants. The beets tops had to grow back three times! I used all of the piles of dog hair that is abundant at our house during the spring and summer and that helped a little I think. I also paired that with marigolds that I've read is also supposed to deter rabbits. Finally, I would sometimes use a liquid pepper spray that my brother mixed up for me. It never solved the problem completely but the situation got better as the summer went on.
This fall I closed up the garden by adding all the compost I made throughout the spring and summer and covering the soil with some straw I got from Wills Orchard in Adel.
Carrots- lots of green growth but because the backyard is new and mostly clay, I didn't get much of a harvest but a few knubs. I read that you can make pesto out of carrot tops so I saved them but never actually got around to making them into something.
Cucumbers- harvested many! And make some pickles.
Zucchini- Plant grew really well, harvested a handful of fruits and then the vines turned to mush and died. At least I got a few out of it.
Beets- Like the carrots, the beets didn't grow large. I only salvaged a few very small beets. I did however, enjoy the tops!
Bell peppers- A few small ones grew throughout the season that I was able to chop up and use.
Tomatoes, cherry- This plant performed well and I got lots of little tomatoes throughout the whole summer. Next time I will remember to empty my pockets every time I come in from the garden and not leave a few little guys in my jacket pockets for weeks! Yeah, not a fun find that far down the road.
Tomatoes, heirloom- I was able to get a few fruits from each plant. The plants just did not do well since they received so much water. I planted them on the west side of the garden and that was the first place all the rain streamed in. Plus, most of the fruit that did grow developed blossom end rot. Guess I'll be making sure I get more calcium in the soil this year.
Kale- not one single leaf grew this year. I had some rally small little guys going and then the rain would come. Then it would dry out an so would the plant. Major fail but I sure hope I get lots harvested this year!
Here's to lots of pounds harvested in 2015! Can't wait!
Have you grown a garden before?