This spring I have done something I have wanted to do for a very long time – start my own vegetable garden. I have fond childhood memories of working with my mother in our garden in Sherman, Connecticut. During my adult life, I have had my fair share of small container gardens for herbs primarily. My boyfriend (a stupid term for the man who I live with but I am not married to) has always had a small garden as well where he would plant tomatoes, basil, peppers and corn.
About a month ago, we started on building the form for the raised bed after we had scoped out the best and easiest place for the garden to go. We did our research on how to build the form and not to use chemically treated wood which could leach contaminants into your garden effecting your produce.
We made multiple trips to the town mulch pile to get what we needed. A mixture of that, cow manure and some top soil filled the bed. I had tilled up three bucket fulls of rocks from the bed before laying the form and the mulch mixture since I planned on planting carrots I wanted to make sure that the pathway was clear of rocks. An impossible task in Connecticut which is why we opted for the raised bed method, plus we can control the soil mixture more that way.
April provided us with a few days of warm weather which had us planting a few starter plants but not everything. There were a few days which frost warning had us putting plastic containers on top of the crops over night to protect them. We escaped without any casualties. We started off in the bed with about 8 corn plants, 3 tomato plants, 3 green bean plants, a couple of peppers. I was concerned right off the bat of one of the corn plants since I had been drinking a beer while planting and I spilled the beer on the soil right where one plant went in.
Deer aren’t as much a problem for us with the four dogs around. To keep the four dogs from trampling through the garden bed, we put posts in each corner and wrapped a plastic fencing around it. We stapled the fencing into the posts leaving one side that we could open to get into the garden and use a bungee cord to secure it.
At the same time we also used our patio containers to plant cauliflower, red lettuce, Boston lettuce, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce and spinach, broccoli and strawberries. Last week, we were able to pick off a leaf from every plant and used it for our Greek Steak Sandwich Wraps. It was delicious and so rewarding to walk in the backyard and get out lettuce from our very own garden!
We have quite a bit of rain in the area and now are needing some sun. Over the weekend we added more tomato plants – a few heirloom, super 100s and Lemon Boys. I also planted some snow peas, and the carrots that I had started form seed a few weeks ago. The “beer corn” plant looks to be doing well and has I think gotten over the drunken phase it may have been in. Who knows maybe I stumbled upon something 🙂 The strawberry plants have buds and flowers and a real strawberry in progress.
I am excited about the prospects for the garden this summer. Sharing this experience with my family is a big part of starting this garden. I look forward to adding our crops to the dinner table as the months tick on.
“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” Winnie the Pooh
Peace – Xine S.