When we moved into our little house in 2007 it was the first time ever that I had a garden.
In 2008 my dear husband built 6 raised beds and we planted vegetables. We did pretty good the first year, having had not much prior
experience with gardening, relying on books and friends. Unfortunately the previous owner had planted bermuda grass and that stuff
is tough to get rid of. So in 2009 we dug up all the beds and put some lining on the bottom to keep the dreaded grass from coming
back. It worked fairly well. We changed a few other things and had a nice crop. We do not use chemicals and fight bugs with homemade soap spray.
2010 was a bit of a desaster, too much rain, bad seeds and too much other stuff going on in our lives left
us with very little to pick but plenty of weeds, the bermuda grass was miraculously replaced by crab grass, lots of it.
Now with a new year ahead of us (2011) we are planning some more changes, definitely buying better seeds, getting organic fertilizer
and maybe planting different kinds of vegetables.
The flowers in our garden and around the house were here before we moved in and include an old rose bush that produces the most fragrant
dark red roses. There is also a lilac bush, two forsythias, several azaleas in various colors and a large camelia bush on the side
of the house. I am looking forward to a new season of gardening and hopefully a nice harvest of fresh vegetables.
It was not a bad year but not a really good one either. We switched to containers and some
plants did not do well in them. We got lots of tomatoes, some cucumbers, carrots and peppers and only a few zucchini. The beans did not come up at all,
neither did the beets, radishes and parsnips. The herb garden did very well.
2014 - A New Beginning
After two years of no garden at all, because the garden was completely overrun by crab grass and we lost interest in fighting it, we
are now making a new start with containers. The raised beds are rotting away and we use the remaining 'hills' as platforms for the containers.
We use doggie pools for the low growing and root veggies and 5 gallon buckets for tomatoes and peppers. I am also going to revive
the herb garden and expanding it a little, growing new herbs.
The garden did well and we learned a few things for making improvements next year.
May 17, 2014
It looks like the flowers are doing much better this year than the vegetables. The rose bush has recovered from some difficult
years and is back to its old glory with big, dark red blooms that smell heavenly. We had some heavy rains and a few very hot days
but all in all the garden seems to be about one month behind in its growth compared to previous years. Some things are not growing
at all, like the second row of sunflowers I planted and the white kohlrabi. Everything else is very slow and the herb seedlings
I tranferred from the house outside are all dead. The idea of planting them in the egg shells where they were started, backfired.
Some critter dug up the eggshells and thus destroyed the seedlings. I have bought a few herb plants to replace the lost ones
and I re-seeded some of the others, maybe they will grow after all. The weeds are doing exceptionally well, like every year.
April 21, 2014
Soon after we put out the pools we discovered that some critter had dug up one of them and we covered them with chicken wire, just
Two of the strawberry plants survived the harsh Winter and I added a new one to replace the one that died. I also planted a new rosemary and a new lavender plant.
The oregano and lemon balm are coming back already, radishes, spinach, carrots, parsnips, beets and kohlrabi have been planted, the beans are next. After the last frost date I will sow wildflowers and
put the tomatoes and herb plants outside, and also plant zucchinis and cucumbers. The brick planter in front of the shed will hold
sunflowers. I wanted them in this place ever since we moved in and this year I am going to do it.
Summer 2011 - The fruits of our labor
The garden is doing very well. We are picking radishes, lots of lettuce and spinach. The strawberries are beginning
to run out but the raspberries are coming in well. The squash was a bit slow at first but is now coming in well. The peppers
and eggplants are growing well too. It looks like I might have planted a few too many beans, but they are coming up well as are
the peas and carrots.
May 24: I picked the first beets today and a sink full of lettuce. The spinach is getting ready to bolt but is still producing.
Radishes are done for now. Tomatoes and pepper plants are blooming. The herb garden is doing well, a few herbs I tried to grow
from seed did not come up. I guess they got washed away by the torrential rains we had.
The garden is planted.
April 25: The garden planting is finished. We planted: beans, peas, radishes, carrots, parsnips, spring onions, lettuce,
spinach, beets, kohlrabi. Peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers and zucchinis. Strawberries are already ripening and the
raspberries are blooming. Del built me a new herb garden in place of the big tree stump that has completely rotten away due to
all the rain we had last year. In it I planted: rosemary, lavender, chamomille, calendula, peppermint, lemon balm, parsley, sage,
thyme, dill, cilantro, majoram, oregano, chives and nasturtium. I used some of the knowlegde I gained this Spring from reading
several great gardening books and interplanted the tomatoes with basil, the cucumbers with radishes and the zucchinis with nasturtium
and dill to keep the bugs away and improve growth. We also switched from rows to square foot gardening.
Time for planning and first signs of Spring.
End of March. I am itching to work in the garden and get the seeds into the ground
but it is cold and raining buckets. We were able to use one sunny weekend to spread pine needles around the
azaleas on the side of the house and in the back yard. I hope this will finally get rid of the weeds.
Compost and fertilizer are waiting to be worked into the soil and a new herb garden is in planning. Bean stakes
and tomato cages have been bought and we plan some sort of chicken wire cage over some of the beds to keep the cats
from digging. All we need now are a few nice days, preferably on the weekends.
Here are some photos from previous years.
© Maria Cherry