Monday, August 27, 2012

Growing My Own Food

We started our very first vegetable garden back in May after building a fence to keep the wrestling puppies out.

It has been through some tough times and really wasn't the ideal year to start a vegetable garden, but it has been a fun adventure!

We planted onions, beans, cauliflower, some type of lettuce, and zucchini initially, right before we left for Italy. Our friend watered while we we gone and by the beginning of June we had some things growing!

One evening we went to check it out and were so excited because it looked like we might have actually succeeded. The onions never came up at all, but every thing else looked right on track (as far as my limited vegetable knowledge goes). Fast forward about 5 hours to 11pm that night and enter the biggest and longest hail storm I have ever experienced. It hailed off and on for about 2 and a half hours. In the morning, everything that was starting to come up was pretty much decimated. There were itty-bitty bits of leaf all along the rows where the vegetables were.

We definitely thought we were out for most of the vegetables, but we watered and hoped they would come back.

Since the onions didn't make it, we had some extra space, so when my cousin's work had some free tomatoe and pepper plants, as well as an artichoke plant, we figured we would throw those in the garden too.

Then enter the hottest summer I can ever remember. We had one of the hottest June's on record (as did everyone else) and July was pretty much the same. Doesn't exactly help lend itself to vegetable growing. We watered as much as we could, and everytime the ground soaked it right up.

Here is the state of our garden in mid-July:
Those are the tomato plants top and bottom left (planted ~2 weeks) and a sad cauliflower plant bottom right 
Our beans actually looked alright at this point
Zucchini looked great, you can even see a couple flowers
Around the middle of July, we did have enough lettuce to "harvest" and eat and it was really good!

Here are some more recent pictures of the garden:

I don't think we will end up with anything from the cauliflower or beans since they never really flowered. The artichoke died pretty fast after we planted it. The tomatoes are a maybe. There is definitely more lettuce to eat. We have also had come zucchini to eat, which has been DELICIOUS! We had a huge one about 2-3 weeks ago and then had two more this last Friday for dinner with my parents and grandparents over.

It has been an interesting first attempt. I think we will start planting earlier next year (for certain vegetables) and mix it up some with what we grow. I also want to try to fit more vegetables in the garden, since it is a pretty good sized space. We also want to get those little drip irrigation hoses.

At least we have had some veggies from our labor!

Any vegetable recommendations? Have any of you tried a garden?

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