Hello Garden friends! It’s been a minute since we got to chat but today is the day where we get to bond again 🙂 Today is our spring garden reveal day! It’s not the most dramatic or glamorous – talking about plants….BUT to me, there is something really special about having a garden and getting to watch your own food grow outside. It’s like watching a miracle! A miracle OF LIFE!!! See mom, I can make plants dramatic 🙂
Last year the garden fence was our biggest building project and this year it was such a treat to walk inside and to have everything ready for the planting season! It was minimal work to prep everything which made the planting task even that much sweeter!
Our garden has four raised beds and Jeremy did a TON of work to keep the bermuda grass from poking through the ‘floor’ of the garden and it really paid off. There wasn’t a single blade of grass! We still want to add some edging around the base of the garden fence to keep the grass from growing through the edges…but that’s a fairly quick task that we should tackle this summer.
This year I rotated my beds from last year…..basically everything switches to the next counterclockwise bed. I also amend the beds with manure and added a couple bags of organic soil. It was funny because I went to Home Depot to get the manure and the associate in the outdoor section was helping me and I asked him where the manure was. He was having a hard time hearing me because of a big truck outside….so he yelled “I don’t know what that is. Is there another name for it?” and I yelled back “It’s COW POOP IN A BAG!” right as the truck turned off and the entire line of people waiting to check out turned their heads. My kids loved it.
So last year we had a plethora of food from our garden. We gave a ton away and froze some and honestly….I love having a garden because I can share! So this year I wanted to make sure I was really aware that the items that I had, I could be generous in sharing and they would be things people wanted. I also wanted to be sure I tried a couple new things! That’s part of the fun right?!
Last year here is what WORKED –
- tomatoes (people especially wanted the bigger ones and cherry tomatoes)
- peppers (jalapeños and red/yellow peppers were the most requested items)
- pesto (which is made from pesto – my family was very happy to have their own jar of fresh pesto)
Here is what DID NOT WORK –
- tomatillos (we didn’t know when to harvest them or what to do with them afterward)
- pablano peppers (a lot of the families I gave stuff to had little kids and these peppers were a bit too hot)
- plain basil (I had way too much and people apparently don’t cook with it around here)
So the biggest new thing this year is going to be the zucchini. I am gonna try my hand at growing this beauty and y’all just wish me luck. I bought one little pot at the local Walmart and saw that it had two plants….which then divided again into three….so I got three for one! It looks like so far it is going okay but I want to build a trellis for it to grow up….otherwise it might take over everything 🙂
I also popped in only ONE hot pepper plant. I also was very conservative with the basil. I bought three plants of sweet basil and they all had double plants so six little basils will probably yield a LOT of basil.
In the next bed I did a lot of peppers. This year I chose a lot more smaller varieties (called lunchbox peppers) that are sweet and colorful. I should have lots of reds, yellows, greens! Bring on the kabobs!
Tomato plants are the thing that I will plant till the day I die. They make me feel close to my grandfather. I can literally smell a tomato and it brings me back to his house, digging in his Pennsylvania dirt and watching him hands turn a perfectly ripe tomato over in his hands.
I was kinda disappointed because this year my Growers Outlet decided not to carry as many varieties of tomatoes….so I chose beefsteak tomatoes (they are called beef masters), celebrity, roma and a yellow heirloom. I told the kids that they were Daddy tomatoes, Mommy tomatoes, Goldilock tomatoes, little boy tomatoes and then we have baby tomatoes 🙂 That way they know what to look for!
And speaking of baby tomatoes, we went with the regular cherry tomatoes but also included yellow cherry this season! I can’t wait to taste these ones! Anything with ‘sugar’ in the label is sure to be a nice addition. And last but not least, the last bed got a few jalapeños. This year I want to make some of the stuffed jalapeños with bacon around them….so I prepared myself accordingly 🙂 I could have gotten away with only two plants but it was cheaper to buy them in a tray.
I think this year will be the year of containers too! I had a few pots that were empty so I popped rosemary in one of them (it’s my favorite for chicken recipes!)…
And watermelon in the other (although this is WAY too small for watermelon – I just wanted to make sure it didn’t die before I got it an appropriate sized container.) We accidentally grew a watermelon a couple summers ago and the boys were THRILLED so this is gonna be an experiment for sure!
As far as staking the plants, I clipped some branches off our crepe myrtles and used those as stakes for the peppers. As they grow, they will need additional support so this will give me some reference of how tall they have grown.
And I have used these same tomato cages for years but my Pappap always steaks his and I am wondering if anyone out there can tell me what is better. I have heard mixed reviews.
And like I said before – I want to build a trellis for the zucchini because I hear they need the support and the room to grow. I thought I would have enough room for one zucchini plant but when it tripled, I know this is CRAMPED. I was thinking a grid type triangle shaped trellis made from crepe myrtle branches – very natural looking.
OH and here is another fun development….Max’s apple tree…..it has an apple. A LEGIT APPLE YALL.
It’s only been in our yard for a year or so and it already started growing a beautiful little fruit. Max was beside himself and demanded that we eat it immediately 🙂 So EVERY DAY we have to go check on it and make sure his very first apple is doing ok.
For those of you wondering…we plant something for all the kiddos and I haven’t done Ella’s yet and was thinking that maybe I should do something a little different for her. Will has a flowering cherry tree, Weston has a peach tree, LJ has two blueberry bushes, and Max has an apple tree….would it be weird for me to do a rose bush for my sweet rosey-cheeked girl? I was thinking of ordering a Peggy Martin rose bush and letting it grow on the garden fence. It’s a seriously impressive plant that is tough and gorgeous….here it is growing on a garden shed….beautiful right?!
Well, that’s the recap of what we have been getting our fingernails dirty with recently! Have yall been planting? Have you gotten your garden in? Anyone trying anything new?