You would think after growing up on a 400 acre fruit and vegetable farm I would inherit a green thumb. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Year after year, we have many failures in our garden. A lot of it having been from not enough nurturing and poor planning. This year is going to be different!
Last year we didn’t really have a lot of time and didn’t really plant a garden. We started to let the space go and get overgrown. That meant that this year we had lots of extra work to get it ready for planting. Here’s a little recap on how we got started.
My husband built some really great garden boxes a couple years ago. You can find all sorts of plans on Pinterest, but he built his before Pinterest was even around. Of course I don’t have pictures on the actual building of them. But, they are really simple to build by essentially just using boards to build a box.
We had a lot of old weeds and grass to remove out of the old boxes. We used different tools, such as shovels, claws, and rakes to get all the plants loosened up. Then, we just removed all the old plants until we were left with mainly just soil. It might be a wise idea to treat the soil with some type of weed killer, but we had limited time, so we just moved on with the process.
It seems like our soil is always missing nutrients that the plants need, so we decided to add in some slow release plant food to give it a little boost. We had top soil delivered and added that on top of the plant food.
Follow your seed packages to know how far to space out seeds, how deep to plant, and what needs the most sun. Make sure that you are out of the woods as far as frost goes. The last thing you want is to plant your seeds, have them start sprouting, and have a frost kill them. There are some really great websites out there to assist you in deciding how and when to plant.
Here are a couple I like:
Vegetable Planting Chart: gives spacing information, time to germination, common pests, etc.
Sprout Robot: type in your zip code and it will tell you week by week when to plant
Vegetable Garden Plan: How to layout raised garden beds to maximize your produce
I was very excited to receive a box of seeds in the mail from my parents. Along with some cute gardening shoes for Levi. The first thing I did was call up my mom and ask her what to plant together, when, and how. She gave me some great tips and I got started on the planting.
While I was planting, I made some garden stakes to mark what I had planted. I was trying to get done planting before dark, so I made some super simple stakes out of sticks and painter’s tape. These are definitely NOT going to hold up after the first rain storm, but they worked until I could make some better ones. I took some pictures of the garden layout and added text to designate what was planted in each section.
We made sure to give the boxes a good soaking after planting. It has been hot and dry, so we have been giving them a lot of water on a daily basis. Don’t overwater either though!
There is still a box or two that we plan on cleaning out and planting, so hopefully we will be all done by the end of the week!
It is one of my goals to make sure our garden really grows this summer, so I decided to get an early start. We started off some seeds in our garden window so that we would have plants when it came time to start planting, instead of starting everything from seeds in May.
My husband planted some pumpkins. I planted some tomatoes. My mom is growing me some pepper and cucumber plants in her green house.
Our plants grew pretty well. I’m just waiting for another garden box to be cleared out to plant the pumpkins and one more type of squash seeds. The tomatoes are going to be planted in some nice big pots on our deck, along with the green peppers and cucumbers.
Stay tuned for some updates on how our garden is doing. And, if all goes well, some great recipes using the fruits (or vegetables!) of our labor!
What tips do you have for keeping your garden growing? What is the easiest thing you grow in your garden?
Until next time, happy crafting!
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the people in Oklahoma.