21 May 2011

My First Real Garden

Last year was my first attempt to grow anything at all, and all I tried to grow were some herbs in a tiny tin on the porch of our third-floor apartment.  I thought I was doing pretty well until the first really hot summer day arrives and everything shriveled up and died.

Now that we're renting a house, I figured I could take a stab at growing some real food.  We decided a little strip of land next to the house would be the best spot.  I wish I had remembered to take a before picture.  This tiny strip of land was half covered with vines, weeds, and nasty roots, not to mention the fact that it's horrible red clay.  Not the most ideal growing conditions for vegetable plants.  At first we tried to till the ground with the few hand tools.  After we had worked for several hours without seeing much progress and my husband had developed a blister, we decided it was time to give in and buy some normal sized tools.  Oh, and Adelaide hating being outside the entire time.

It's amazing how much faster things went after we had the proper tools.  It only took us 30 minutes to finish preparing the ground and maybe another 30 minutes to plant our crops.  I wasn't sure how far apart the plants should be planted, so they're roughly a foot apart.  Here's what we planted:

  • Four everbearing strawberry plants.

  • Six tomato plants of three different varieties.
Red Brandywine Heirloom Tomatoes

Better Boy Tomatoes

Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes

  • Four yellow squash plants of two different varieties.
Butternut Squash

Yellow Straightneck Squash

  • Six cucumber plants of two different varieties.
Three "slicing" and three "pickling" plants.

The cucumber plants have since been planted in containers that are on our porch.  That little strip of land next to the house is shorter than I thought it would be and there wasn't enough room for them there.  If I had thought to lay the plants out on the little plot of land before digging any holes, I might have avoided this.  We've also rabbit-proofed the garden by encasing it in chicken wire.

I make it a habit to water my garden every day before noon.  I'm not sure how much water I should be giving them.  Is there any rule of thumb?

I'm already starting to see some buds form on some of the plants, so I'm eagerly awaiting my first bounty!  I'm looking forward to updating everyone on the garden's progress throughout the season.

Do you have a garden this year?  If so, what did you plant?


  1. That looks great. Jordan is going to get our garden started soon. I love the idea of a garden but I'm not so good with plants. Something to work on in the future!

  2. Thanks, Jenny. I'm really hoping not to kill anything, but I don't have a very good track record with plants. My grandfather is a really good gardener, so I'll be asking for tips and tricks when I see him next week!