A Basic Beginner Garden
2010 – Hannah and I attempted our basic beginner garden. As a child, I had grown up with the luxury of fresh garden veggies each summer, and know I had a yearning. Because I didn’t have a tiller, I purchased a hand tiller, from Lowes. Hannah and I used this tool to break up the ground for our garden spot. That tool is very handy and I have used it for gardening ever year since then and for other projects as well.
We picked an area in the lower section of the yard where it appeared there had been a garden sometime in the past. We planted tomatoes, squash, and a pepper plant or two. The plants produced a few tomatoes and peppers, but I was most proud of the squash. They had the most beautiful succulent blooms I had ever seen. Briefly. Then one morning the blooms were gone. Something had eaten each beautiful bloom clear down to the stem. Well, poop. So much for that.
Beginner Garden – take 2
2012 – I decided to take a different approach, planting one tomato in that lower yard, but in a different spot. It always so exciting to find the first little green tomatoes of the season.
Starting plants from seeds was something I had only pretended to try in the past. This time, I gave it more of an effort and had some success.
The marigolds I grew from seed were absolutely beautiful that year.
I planted the squash closer to the house this time. With my handy-dandy tiller tool, I made two very small (tiny) beds that held about one plant each. Maybe because they were closer to the house and because in 2012 we had a fence, I actually finally had some squash to harvest (maybe enough to cook a few times.)
Not a beginner garden anymore – but almost
2013 – things finally got rolling a little better. I came to the conclusion that I would tend to the gardens more if they were closer to the house. I abandoned the idea of planting in the lower yard. The only thing still down there was my little strawberry patch.
Because of the sloping yard, and my busy chaotic life, I knew if the gardens were right outside my back door that I could give them more frequent, short bursts of attention.
So, I went all crazy like and made me two more microscopic patches of ground to work with. At that point I had two small areas at each corner of the paver patio I built in 2012, and I had a small strip right along the front of the patio. Relatively speaking, I had moderate success with my tiny patches. I harvested peppers, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes.
Speaking of those tomatoes, let me just tell you. I grew the plant, yes, just one, from a seed. It was a Roma, and it had the coveted spot right in front of the center of my patio. It had a very consistent source of fertilizer throughout the spring and summer, and it was VERY happy. That plant grew so many tomatoes, that if I looked at it the right way the fruit would just fall to the ground for me to gather.
Did I mention TINY gardening spots? In this pic of Jess squirting herself in the head during a water-day, one garden area is almost visible at the outside corner of the patio. At the bottom of the pic you can catch a glimpse of the plant that became the greatest Roma of all time, at least at my house. I was inspired.
Gardening For Real
2014 …I used my handy-dandy tiller tool to turn this…
and grew this…
while my sister grew this…
Her yield was definitely superior to mine!!!
Not to be discouraged though, in 2015 I decided to add another tier to my garden and FINALLY I relented and recruited help.
Stay tuned for details of my 2015 garden expansion…
I grew lettuce for the first time a couple of seasons ago, and I must say that there is something all together deeply satisfying to be able to gather something YOU grew and take it to your table. You’ve inspired me to try again, and maybe even add a few things!
Jayne, I hope you do! You are right, so satisfying! I learned it doesn’t take much space to grow something. It is addictive though 🙂 Each year I research pinterest for ideas on space saving gardens so that I can grow more, and end up just going ahead and making new beds as well. Let me know what you do!
Those tomato pictures made my mouth water! There’s nothing like a good home-grown tomato, and my attempts at growing them have been pitiful. Put me in the waiting list for tomato giveaways! 😉
I definitely will Becca!