Warm weather arrived in mid-April, so we celebrated by planting our garden.
Thrilled with the results of our 2012 garden, we learned that lettuce does not like hot weather, so we didn’t plant any this year. We also learned that more plants can fit in our 1-foot square sections, so we bought more plants this year.
Also, I will clear out the garden at the end of this season because left alone, it becomes a huge mess.
Before we dive into all the details of our new garden plot, I will share how we began the process.
Though a bit embarrassing as we did not touch the garden since the end of last summer, I will share the tangled, weed-filled disaster with which we started. Though it starts out ugly, this garden journal ends with a beautiful result. (If you follow me on Facebook, then you got a sneak peek. )
Preparing our Garden
Armed with my gloves, a spade, a rake, scissors, buckets, and a trash bag, I braced myself for the task at hand.
The mini tree on the bottom left corner is our parsley that overfilled its square and visited with the strawberries to its right and the dead basil behind it.
As I pruned the existing plants, I was surprised to see how well the parsley was doing when I found 4 happy slugs under the leaves.
The strawberry plants continue to thrive, and the oregano is also growing well. The rest of the green items were weeds, so I began digging and pulling up stems, roots, and weeds from each quadrant.
I also removed the top layer of soil and dug around looking for slugs to remove from the garden. Though I found no more (thank goodness), we did find worms.
After getting all the weeds out, I removed the strawberries and the oregano into buckets of top soil to replant. Leaving the garden bed empty to recover.
Planning our Garden
Making a few changes from last year, I mapped out the 16 slots on a sheet of paper and began making a list of plants to grow. I kept to the basics with a couple herbs and the rest fruits and vegetables.
When we went to Home Depot, I purchased the items on the list and added in a few extras for the remaining 2-4 squares. I increased the number of plants in each square to multiply our harvest.
Purchasing supplies for our Garden
Our family went to Home Depot for our garden trip. Spending $160, we purchased our plants, slug killer, top soil, Miracle Grow soil, stakes, and trellises.
BONUS: By spending $100 at Home Depot, we submitted a promotional rebate and will receive 2 free tickets to an Atlanta Braves baseball game. With my husband passing on his love of Braves baseball to our son, they will enjoy a game this summer.
While shopping, I met a wonderful gardener, who works at Home Depot, named Jennifer. She answered my questions and made some suggestions regarding which plants to put together or beside each other. I am very grateful for her and will return to her when I need further help.
Providing support for our Garden
With the supplies purchased, Paul added the soil to our garden bed. (See his well-worn Braves cap. )
He also added the trellises for the climbing plants and stakes on the corners to hold up the bird netting.
With the bed finished, Paul created the side beds for our blueberries and blackberry shrubs. Now, it was my turn to begin planting.
Planting our Garden
With the bed prepared, I began transplanting our oregano from last year in one square, and in another square, I transplanted all 5 strawberry plants from last year. We are going to have lots of strawberries this year.
I then began in the back row, and followed my plan. I dug a little hole, and planted the plant from the containers. I then moved to the next one. When I finished the back row, I moved up to the next row, and continued until I finished planting the bed.
Then Paul helped me by digging the holes for the blueberry and blackberry shrubs. My girls are really excited about these plants. Our youngest daughter enjoyed holding the shovel between plantings.
After all the planting, I gave the garden a good watering and applied the slug killer. With the garden cared for, I covered the bed with the bird net to keep the rabbits and birds away from our tender plants. Having lost multiple strawberries last year and catching one thief in the net, I have learned the value of protecting our investment.
Plucking harvest from our Garden
Thus far, we have retrieved 6 strawberries from our mini-patch in the center of our garden. Yum! The buds have lots more coming. The rest of the plants are still establishing root before taking off.
Planting a garden sure is hard work. We make our garden a family project and enjoy watching and eating the harvest. Though I will share our garden journey with you, we are still novices and will make mistakes along the way.
If you are planting any type of garden, then I would love to learn from you. In using time wisely, I will not hesitate to ask my neighbor or Jennifer, at Home Depot, any question. No matter how basic my request, they willingly help me without making me feel like a novice. By asking these seasoned gardeners, we save money, energy, and time. Wishing you success with your plantings!
Question: Did you or are you planting a garden this year?