Garden Year 1: A Review

As the new year starts and I get excited for the next round of planting, watering, and harvesting (and blogging!), I thought I should provide some closure to last year and my long absence over the cold winter.

Last summer was amazing. I cannot stop thinking about how much I enjoyed every aspect of growing things in my garden. When I bought my first seeds and supplies, I could not wait to get started! The first herb seeds were planted (way too many in each pot!) and then the tomatoes and peppers into their little self-watering cells.

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Charley helped as I began working the ground, preparing it for the seeds and seedlings that were being tended to so diligently indoors.

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My mental image began to expand of what my garden was going to be, and I created a document of where things were going to go, which changed and morphed as things were planted.

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I tested out recycled materials to use as containers as I started growing my other seeds indoors (zucchini, cucumbers, basil, etc.). This was a blog topic I was hoping to write about, but I guess I will have to do it his year! Here is an image of the ones I used last year:

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And then the garden began to take off. Starting with the spinach (which ended up bolting before we got a chance to eat it) and the peas (which were deliciously yummy, and ended up housing a little family of sparrows).

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And before I knew it the garden was fully planted and happily growing. (It seems like it happened so fast, but I am also missing some pictures since I lost my iPod where they were all stored).

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There was so much time spent running to the garden in the morning, giving everything a soak, and just watching as it bloomed and flourished. At first we were harvesting our salad greens and the peas, along with massive amounts of basil.

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But it wasn’t long before our zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers were on their way!

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Looking back, I have to say that one of my biggest mistakes was not giving the tomatoes enough space. It was a very wet end of the summer, and the tomatoes did not have enough room around them to let the air circulate and dry them out. I really like planting my tomatoes with basil and marigolds, and I think we were really successful, even with the blight that our tomatoes caught. We ended up with over 50 lbs of tomatoes! I was hoping to write a little bit about each thing that we planted in the garden last year, but I didn’t get around to it. Maybe that is a good way to spend my anxious energy I have waiting for all this snow to melt! What a winter on the east coast!

The garden kept on giving us wonderful weekly harvests, and we made lots of salsa and other delicious dishes with the produce.

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Towards the end of August, we had harvested a lot of the garden, and were going on a trip for two weeks. A friend watched and watered the garden, specifically a new area where I had planted a second round of carrots, some cilantro and parsley, and some more lettuce. Since a family of rabbits had somehow moved into our enclosed garden, I fenced in these beds to make sure we weren’t sharing our yummy greens with any unwanted guests.

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In September I was back in school, which made it more difficult to spend time in the garden (and on my blog!), and after returning to a sad looking garden after our two weeks away it was hard to get myself to go in the mornings and watch as the plants I had tended to all year were slowly dying away. Andrew took over the last few garden duties. We had fertilized our bell peppers at the wrong time, so it took them awhile to produce fruit, but towards the end we were getting beautiful little green peppers. Those last beds of carrots and herbs needed tending, and the carrots even held up all the way until thanksgiving when we harvested and steamed them for a shared dinner with friends. But for me it was over. I wish I would have kept up the blog, but sometimes other things come along that need to be done. It was an amazing summer, and just the thought of getting to do it all over again is so exciting. In fact, every time I hop online I have to restrain myself from looking up one thing or another. I have some great plans for this year and can’t wait to share them!

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