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More Confessions of a First Time Gardener

June 23, 2010

So, we’re a couple of months officially into this gardening gig and I have to admit that I’ve definitely learned some lessons. I’m sure that some people will think some of this is common knowledge/sense, but I literally knew nothing before we started this whole process. I’m amazed that it’s actually worked and that we have plants growing, to be completely honest.

{The radishes. Only a few, but they were fun!}

Things I’m Learning

Seeds do grow. I created a lot of sad thinning work for myself because I put a few too many seeds in most squares because I didn’t really believe that things would grow. Now that they are growing, when I plant again I’m much more minimal on the seeds I’ve been planting.

Lettuce gets bitter if you don’t pick it. We had stuff going on and didn’t eat any for over a week and it’s crazy overgrown. I know I could have cut it down, but I ripped it all out. It was too much for us, so I’m going to use the prime spot for something that needs it more and plant just one square of lettuce in another spot.

Potato plants  are big. Um, really big. I didn’t think about this when I put them across the front of one of the boxes in the southern spots and now they’ve overshadowed the kale and beets behind them. Lesson learned – research more next time and taller plants need to be on the north side of the boxes. I did it with the tomato plants and the plants like the peas and beans(that never had a chance and got eaten to nubs:( ) that needed to climb, but the potatoes didn’t occur to me.

Kids really are excited to eat the things they grow – or at least try them. They get so excited to pull things out and there have been a lot of, “WOW”s going around when we look at the tomatoes growing or pull out radishes.

Bunnies make nests. And put them in our gardens. Logical, since they’re raised and protected a bit and offer shade under the plant growth.  John found a baby in one of the beds over the weekend and it was so sweet it broke my heart to move it. Then he saw another little one with the mama and I knew those bunnies needed to move asap. They already live under our shed, we don’t need them doing their actual living IN our gardens! When we were checking them out, Mia named him Peter Rabbit and told me I was like a nice Mr. MacGregor because these are the bunnies and they’re trying to eat my plants. If she only knew…

We definitely need some sort of fence. Bunnies eat what they can reach. This has almost ruined an entire raised bed that’s lower than the other two. They also like to eat my flowers. And certain types of blueberry plants. For this year, we might leave it as it is or get some plastic fencing. I absolutely adore this family’s garden (and more on flickr), so I think that next year we might attempt something similar as we add more beds.

Tomato plants really are big. I had absolutely no concept of how big they would get – 4 of our plants are already almost as tall as me!

June 1st:

The same box A few days ago:

We could have used another couple of raised beds. If for nothing else, for the tomatoes that are placed randomly along the house because I couldn’t decide where else to stick them. They’re the babies from this post and finally growing like crazy!  Next year we’re definitely doing even more raised beds.

It’s exciting all over again to plant new things in squares that have been harvested! It’s been so fun in the past few days to use what I’ve learned to decide what else I want to plant. Since the radishes came out, the lettuce came out and the sad, scrawny kale came out, we had a bunch of extra room and things are being shifted.

Sometimes you have to let weeds grow and really compare them in different places to be sure that they’re weeds before you pull them. I’m learning. But I’m getting better at recognizing the same old suspects!

Another before and after from June 1st to now:

If you’re bored and want to see a lot more garden progression pictures, you can check them out here. They’re mostly unedited and really for my own reference and memory, but it is kind of fascinating to see the progression in such a short amount of time!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. seekingsibling permalink
    June 23, 2010 4:45 pm

    Here’s the trellis thing I was talking about from the SFG book. Dude, I don’t see the long comment I left earlier. I hope it didn’t get erased!

  2. 6512 and growing permalink
    June 24, 2010 10:54 pm

    My mother-in-law LOVES SFG.
    You have learned a lot of very true things.

  3. June 25, 2010 9:41 am

    Wow~Gorgeous! It is such a learning process, huh? I love that about it. I recently learned that I really do need to thin things out~and plant in straight lines. 😉

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