Thursday, June 5, 2014

Garden Growing

We planted our first garden this year.  I was intimidated by the idea of gardening because I don't have a great track record with house plants and taking on new projects for which I have no experience generally stresses me out.  I don't like failing and knew there was a high probability that a garden under my care would not thrive.
Thankfully, the majority of the plants have grown.  I know most of it has nothing to do with me.  My husband built the garden beds and ordered the soil.  The weather has been pretty ideal as well.  Even so, I feel good about how things are going.  I have taken a small part in helping our garden to grow.
Things have been really busy for us recently.  The garden has become a great place to release some stress.  It sounds silly, but I like hanging out with my plants.  Spending time out there has helped me to understand their needs.  I haven't done a ton of research on varieties of plants.  If you asked me about specific plants in my garden though, I could tell you a lot about them.
The garden has been a wonderful lesson in patience for Pearl.  Every day we check our strawberries.  One day she took a nibble of one on the vine because I told her it wasn't time to pick it.  She seems to understand now that we don't pick (or eat) them until they are ready.  The garden has also helped her with restraint.  She has learned to be careful when checking out the plants.  At one point, she accidentally pulled two cucumber plants out of the ground.  She felt terrible and has been so careful ever since.  Amazingly, it has also gotten her interested in trying new foods.  Pearl wouldn't even touch a salad before.  Now she wants to try everything we pick.  It turns out she really likes chives and regularly asks me to cut her one to nibble on while I water the plants.
The whole family is reaping the benefits at the dinner table.  I have much more motivation to come up with new healthy meals when they are based around the food from our backyard.  Jeremy and I never considered buying a radish before.  In the last month, we have eaten around 100 of them.  We always have fresh spinach on hand so I make green smoothies to share with the kids.  The garden has really changed the way we eat.
If you are on the fence about starting a garden like I was, I absolutely recommend going for it.  There have been so many benefits to it that I never even considered before we started.  
-Kira

15 comments:

  1. So awesome Kira! This makes me think I could do it too, though it sounds like an awful lot of effort to get it going. Maybe a mini potted garden would be doable for things we use a lot of like spinach and cucumbers. How do you keep things from being eaten by pests?

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    1. I think having the garden raised the way we do helps with pests. Jeremy also put a wire mesh under the garden beds so moles can't pop through because we have a lot of them in our yard. He put down weed blocking fabric all around the garden area with rocks on top which prob keeps some bugs out too. We do have lots of spiders and some little tiny bugs that haven't seemed to cause a problem yet.
      There are little birds that nibble on the radish greens, but it didn't seem to hurt the plants much. The birds grab worms from our garden too which I guess isn't great because the worms are good for it, but it hasn't seemed to hurt things.
      We haven't really had to do anything to keep pests away yet.
      We bought big wooden containers for our herbs at Home Depot. I bet you could use something pre-made like that. You can also buy garden bed kits there too.
      If you do it, I recommend buying seeds from Territorial or some other local seed company. From what I have read, it sounds like your odds are much better when the seeds are from local plants.

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  2. What a beautiful garden! We wanted to do some potted plants this year as we don't have a yard for a garden but out landlord came up with a laundry list of reasons why she didn't want us to have one including someone might trip over the pots...yeah I know crazy. I hope that next year we can have a mini garden (or a big one) and be able to share that with our kids.

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    1. Thanks! And, your landlord seems overly cautious! Have you looked into a local community garden plot? Those seem so fun because it would be a great way to get to know neighbors too. I have no idea how much something like that costs though. I assume you have to rent the space?

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  3. Your radishes look fantastic! I remember when my kids were younger and would pick things from the garden before they were ready - they just get so excited :) Like you, I have never had a good track record with houseplants, but vegetable gardens are so forgiving, thank goodness. Your garden looks great!

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    1. Yeah, Pearl is definitely excited. She has tried so many times to get at the strawberries early.

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  4. My husband has been "gardening" since we put our backyard in about 3 years ago. He's learning a lot, but there's still a lot to learn. I will say he's managed to master berries...so we'll be eating jam all year!

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    1. Berries sound good to me! We only have strawberries right now and they don't generally grow much the first year. We get like one or two ripe strawberries a day here and the birds usually get to them before I do.

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  5. We still rent in an apartment, but I dream of the day I can have a backyard garden and bring my daughter to help me with the plants. Yours looks incredible -- and delicious!

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    1. Maybe a community garden? Seems like a great way to get to know people too.

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  6. Cool. We have some raised garden beds too- full of growing things. Yay.

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  7. your garden and your radishes look great! your first year garden looks like my 8th year garden! nice work.

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    1. I'm seriously so excited about your comment. I appreciate that someone who is seasoned thinks our garden looks good!

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  8. I love your garden!! Looks awesome and I'm so glad the kids are loving it too! So cute!

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