Blue House | Life

My Garden Plus a Few Gardening Tips

May 30, 2013

Happy Thursday! Today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite DIYs: my garden. This is the first year I’ve had a large garden plot; in previous years I had an 8’x8′ raised bed. The years of having only a small raised bed really help me learn about gardening in a very hands-on way. Thanks to my tiny garden of years past, I was fully prepared for my large garden plot.

Garden at BetweenWeekdays.com

In the Garden

I’ve planted:

  • potatoes
  • white half runner beans
  • cherry tomatoes
  • tomatoes
  • three types of lettuce
  • three types of onions
  • eggplant
  • squash
  • zucchini
  • lots of peppers
  • cucumbers
  • watermelon
  • cantaloupe
  • strawberries
  • peaches and cream corn
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower

It’s hard to image that all of that is in my garden, but it is. We’ve already been enjoying lettuce for several weeks, as it does better in cooler weather in my zone. My broccoli and cauliflower will be ready soon. I plan to freeze the broccoli. Unfortunately, I lost most of my cauliflower, but I’m looking forward to enjoying what survived.

Other Edible Plants

You may have noticed the huge vine growing behind the garden on the fence. We obviously didn’t plant that, since it’s already mature. It appears to be grapes, which I’m told will be perfect for jams. Yes!

Travis built an 8’x4′ raised bed for me to the front right of my garden. I’m using it for herbs: basil, dill, cilantro, rosemary and oregano. I just recently got these in the ground, so I’m hoping they take off and grow well. I don’t expect the basil and cilantro to do well due to rising temperatures, but everything else should be fine.

I’ve really enjoyed gardening this year since I finally have the space I’ve always wanted. Come August, I’ll be doing a lot of canning.

Gardening Tips

  • Learn how to properly care for each plant. For instance every other week or so, we go out and “hill” the potatoes. 
  • Give plants proper spacing and support. We’ll need to stake the beans and cage the tomatoes in order to keep the food off the ground, which would cause it to spoil. The cucumbers will run, so we gave them extra room to spread out.
  • Weeds are not your friends. Weeds will choke the life out of your plants as they take away nutrients in the soil. If you have a small garden space — like my raised bed — you can weed by hand. If you have a larger space, you’ll need a hoe and a tiller for the rows. You can hoe the rows, but save your back and invest in (or borrow) a tiller.
  • Don’t plant more than you can consume —friends and family included — or are willing to put up by freezing or canning. I strategically planned my garden to produce a lot of tomatoes, so that I will be able to make and can spaghetti sauce, whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa, etc. On the flipside, I only planted one zucchini plant, which will yield plenty for me.
  • Learn how to protect your plants. I rely on Sevin Dust to protect many of my plants from harmful insects, however it’s not recommended or necessary for all my my plants. This harkens back to learning your plants.
  • Know when and how to plant.This is a biggie, and it largely depends on where you live. Learn your zone and learn your plants. Some plants need to be started from seeds indoors, or they can be purchased once they’re a bit more mature and planted outside. It’s a personal preference. Some seeds can be directly planted in the ground, but it all depends on where you live. However, if you plant at the wrong time, you stand very little chance of success.
  • Water either early in the morning, which is preferable, or later in the evening. Be sure not to over water. If your plants turn yellow, they’ve had too much water.
  • Fertilize your plants. There are many ways to do this, so I recommend trying a few and seeing what works best for you. Be sure to fertilize when you plant. Your fertilizer will have a recommended feeding schedule on the label.
  • Be prepared to lose some crops. You can’t control the weather. Due to heavy rains/flooding I lost every bit of spinach I planted, several cucumber plants and a few tomato plants.
  • For more gardening tips, check out my Pinterest board.

I’m hoping for a successful gardening season this year. I’ll be sure to check in before the summer is over with another garden post. Don’t fail me now green thumb!

I’m linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick.

All comments are encouraged and appreciated!