Sunday, July 5, 2009

First Year Gardening Lessons

I have a lot of good excuses about why our garden hasn't taken off quite like I had expected. Ben was born during the time that would have been ideal to start our seeds, so they were started late. We had way too much rain in April and May and were so late to plant. June was so dry and we didn't keep up with watering as well as we should have...

And so, I have given up on the squares in the garden that are still empty and I looked into seed starting and late season / fall gardens. Some of our squares took off and we've already harvested basil, lettuce, parsley and snow peas. We also have little green tomatoes that are teasing us into expecting a great tomato harvest.

In the empty squares I started seeds again, and I'm experimenting with what will take the heat and sprout.

Although I didn't keep exact dates and every detail, I've tried to keep some gardening records to help us plan better for next year. Earlier today we visited the monthly Heratige Festival in Bakersville, Missouri to do some vegetable and seed shopping. There weren't many vegetables, but there were thousands and thousands of seeds. We left empty-handed but had lots of ideas and inspiration for the coming year. We preordered our seed catalogue and started picking out some unusual seeds to plant next spring.

Here are the notes I have taken so far. There are some seeds that we purchased that we haven't planted yet and may not this year. Other plants were started so late that they may not produce. It will be interesting to see what this chart looks like in October. I am very excited to see what we are able to produce this first year. (Click on the chart to see an enlarged version.)

Because we used recycled fencing to build our beds and started most things from seeds, we have spent less than $100 total on our gardening project. We did buy several tomato cages, but with the most recently planted bed, Josh cut a cattle panel and staked it in the middle to support the tomato plants. We may need to add another for more support, but we'll see.

I also harvested plenty of basil, parsley, snow peas, (and from the woods) black current, black raspberries, and blackberries earlier today. I'll add those to July's column on the chart and post the updates to the gardening notes at the beginning of each month.

Ben's incision is looking much better now that we've been using the prescription cream three times a day. He's also becoming increasingly mobile, rolling across the living room floor.


  1. very inspired by what you have done. maybe next year for us...

  2. Don't you love Baker Seed Co.! I had a great time just meandering through the seed store reading about all the different varieties of things. I didn't get my seeds started soon enough, either. Next year will be better.

  3. I love Baker's! And would love to visit them in person. You have such a nice, organized record of your garden. Great job! -tw

  4. I found your blog via Foodie Farmgirl... we have quite a bit in common... albiet I am a suburban homesteader with a 9 month old, a garden, chickens... I think our husbands know each other too... both dems. I have been lurking for a little while, but the pic of Ben was to fabulous to not comment on, he is adorable! Enjoying your blog and jealous of your land. We are dying for some property and a donkey!

  5. Jill - each year is easier; getting started is the hard part!

    Jodi - Baker Seed Company was very cool. I had a hard time figuring out which people were in period dress and which people dressed like that normally. :)

    Tammy - You've got to make your way to Baker Seed Co. on the first Sunday of the month. From 10-6 they have the monthly farmer's market and Heritage Festival. All of that info is on their website.

    Allison - I checked your blog and sent you an email. We do have a ton in common!

    - Lara