Back in late March my husband had 10 straight days off of work. We decided to make good use of that time (& the unusually cool weather we were having) to get our vegetable gardens started and a couple of other outdoor projects. Spending the time to get the garden going had been a goal since we bought our house nearly 3 years ago, but indoor projects that were more urgent and pressing caused us to miss the time frame to get things planted. (Last spring my kitchen was completely gutted for a total reno–so getting that back up and functional was the number one priority!) It was hard work but we did it all together and actually had a good time doing it, even the kids didn’t mind….much lol! While my husband and I both grew up with family gardens neither of us really know much about gardening, especially organic gardening. And since I spend a large amount of our grocery budget on fresh organic produce it seemed only logical to try to garden organically, obviously.
We made a couple of trips to our local Ag Extension to get some tips and pointers for what varieties of produce grow well in our area and the best time for planting them. We got a lot of great information and so many printed hand outs! The people that work there have a wealth of knowledge and information!
We have two fairly decent sized garden beds right now. We build a new shed in the fall and then take down our old one and put, probably, three more beds in where the old shed is before next spring. We have a lot of mature trees, so sunny locations are a prized commodity in our yard when it comes to gardening (though the shady spots are pretty handy when we’re outside in our hot Texas summers)!
My husband and kids mixing earth worms up into one of the gardens.
We’re already starting to reap the rewards of all of our hard work. We have harvested a lot of kale, lettuce, string peas, tomatoes, and squash. Our cucumber plants are growing like crazy and are full of lots of tiny little baby cucumbers, so hopefully those get large enough to harvest here before long too! We’re also hoping to have some melons here before long as well! We’re at the point where the number of tomatoes we’re picking is getting to be more than we can just slice and eat, though we do seem to be able to eat several in one night just sliced up. I think this weekend I will get the rest of the stuff I need and make some salsa. Hopefully before much longer we’ll have enough that I can try making some ketchup as well!
This picture was taken a few days ago, we probably have nearly double that amount of tomatoes now! Our tomato plants are definitely doing well! We were worried that a massive amount of rain we had recently might cause problems, but it doesn’t seem like it has.
The lettuce and kale are starting to drastically reduce the amount that they are making, now that it’s getting so warm. The cucumber plants in this bed will be taking over the space the lettuce and kale are using, hopefully, right about the time they stop making. This has been a great experience for us and for the kids. We want them to know a lot more about gardening, especially vegetable gardening, than we did when we became adults. They have enjoyed, mostly, helping out with the garden and the garden chores and have definitely enjoyed eating the fruits of our labor and have each mentioned that having a garden to be able to go pick fresh food out of is pretty dang awesome…..we agree! 🙂