I decided I wanted a garden this year. And with the expanse of backyard we have now, it wasn’t hard to find a spot!
Here’s the deal, though. I want a garden. I don’t want to pull weeds. Or fight bugs or critters. Or, you know, do all the work. So, I got Caedmon in on this idea of a garden. And then I utilized the wonderful Internet to figure out how to grow the most things in the least amount of space (and work). I’m not sure any of this is going to turn out, but at least we’ve given it a shot!
First, I built a box. Mainly to keep things hemmed up. I didn’t want to exactly build a raised bed, but I didn’t want things going all willy-nilly, either. After a little research, I decided to use cedar fence planks. That meant our box is approximately 3’ x 6’.
After the box was built, I pulled up the grass and did my best to work the soil that was already there.
We’d already bought some plants, but I wanted to see what all we’d need to add before we went back to the store. So I created a grid with some tacks and string and set out our plants.
Let me just say, if plants need love to thrive, our garden should be a jungle. Honor carried those plants around, pulled them in the wagon, and even lovingly pet them.
We added some garden soil, put the grid back up, and got to planting.
Along the back, left to right, we have Roma tomatoes, green bell peppers, and Roma tomatoes (surrounded by marigolds.)
In the middle, left to right, we have cucumbers, jalapenos, red onions, and stevia.
And in the front, left to right, more cucumbers, zucchini, strawberries, and watermelon.
I chose things that a) I think we will eat, and b) seem to be easy to grow.
I used a guide I found somewhere online (I have no idea where, sorry!) about square-foot gardening and how many plants to put in each square foot. I put the cucumbers, zucchini, and watermelon at the edges so they could spill over the sides of the box and not take up valuable inside-the-box real estate. I also put the tomatoes at the back (north side), so they won’t shade the other plants when they get taller. Also? I have the (probably quite realistic) expectation that not every plant will survive.
Then, I added a thick layer of cedar mulch.
I tried a few “tricks” I found on Pinterest. I used the 4/1 Epsom Salt/sugar mix sprinkled in the planting holes. I also buried water bottles with holes poked in them next to the tomato plants to deliver extra water to their roots. We’ll see how they work. I also crushed up egg shells and put them in the bottom of the tomato plant holes.
Since we planted, we’ve had a TON of rain and a frost scare. Everything seems to be ok so far, but I do have some yellowing leaves on the zucchini and cucumber. I’m hoping it’s just too much water from all the rain we’ve had. Hopefully, as things dry out a bit and begin to regulate, they’ll green up again.
When I was digging the garden up, I found not one earthworm. Not a single one. So I am seriously considering going to a bait shop and buying some nightcrawlers. I’m sure that’s completely bizarre. But if it helps the garden grow, it’ll be worth it.
Hopefully, things will continue to grow and we’ll get some yummy food from the garden in a few weeks!