Sunday, June 27, 2010

Garden Progress

Our garden is growing beautifully this year. Unlike last year's terrible weather (during the month of June we had something like 26 days of rain), this year's has been perfect. We've harvested loads of lettuce, kale, and pea pods already. One jalapeno pepper plant already has a tiny pepper growing and the zucchini have set flowers which means squashes won't be far behind.

Here's a view of the garden taken early this evening:

In the left front corner, behind the fence, is the zucchini. Working toward the right you see parsley, then broccoli and red onions. In the back left corner is the cabbage. Pea pods are straight ahead being picked by my daughter with tomatoes to the right of that. (My kids eat more pea pods raw, right off the vines, then they do cooked). In the middle bed is the post with the hummingbird feeder I wrote about last time. Pole beans have just popped out of the ground and will soon be winding their way up the pole. Around the pole beans are peppers, eggplant, and marigolds. Outside the fence is lined with various flowers- marigolds to deter pests, cleome and cosmos to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and on the north side (behind the pea pods), sunflowers to attract birds in late summer. In the far back left of the photo, against the building, is our cold frame. We grew arugula and rosemary until mid-December last year, but I need to learn more about maintaining produce all winter long.

I'm thrilled with the results so far, but I want pause to tell you that we have been working on this garden for about 5 years. Our first year was a disaster- the seeds were washed away in heavy rain and rabbits ate all the plants we put in during one night. We gave up that year- we had a young son and it was too much to redo everything. The next year we got smart- built inexpensive raised beds and put a cheap fence around the whole thing. We had more success. Then we put in a real fence with a gate and added more compost to the beds. Terrific success. Then last year... virtually nothing was productive except the basil. It was a bad year.

My message... start small and add to your successes. If you planted a small garden, or in some pots, and had success this year, build on it. If things didn't go quite so well, as with our first year, take a step back and plan for how you'll improve next year. Take baby steps. You know the old saying: Rome wasn't built in a day! It's easy to get caught up in trying to do everything all at once. Cut yourself some slack and celebrate each step you take toward growing your own produce.

Here are some close-ups of the produce:



Romaine Lettuce

Pea Pods

How are your gardening efforts going? Some of you left comments that you were planting this year. Others told me in person. Please share your successes with us. What challenges are you facing?


  1. For the first time ever my cilantro plant is alive and thriving! For some reason this particular herb has always eluded me. Basil, mint, chives, marjoram, thyme all doing well. I think it's the absolutely amazing weather we are enjoying in the UK, but it could all go tits up any minute. My two tomato plants are thriving and we have lots of strawberries ready to eat already. And I have lots of flowers in a big barrel at the front door and they are beautiful. Best gardening year so far. Our new house has a bunch of huge grapevines very mature and all over our pergola. I have never grown grapes before but they don't seem to need any help from us, there are a ton of flower clusters so I expect a lot of grapes. Maybe we will try creating some feet wine this year. :-)

  2. Kristin,
    I'm glad you're having such great success with your gardening this year.

    We've officially been set upon by Japanese Beetles, cabbage worms, and tomato horn worms. We sprayed BT- an organic treatment- for the worms, but counter measures for the beatles will have to wait until tomorrow.