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Thursday, July 22, 2010

First attempt at a veggie garden

I decided that this year would be my first attempt at a garden. I have many childhood memories of my dad's garden in our backyard with all kinds of vegetables. I would go out there with him and pick pole beans, squash, tomatoes, and various other veggies. We also frequently went orange and grapefruit picking in the groves and even had a couple trees right in our yard. I guess that was the beauty of being in FL as I certainly don't see orange groves here in NC.

This was my dad pushing my sister and I in the wheelbarrow. You can kinda see part of the garden in the background  to the right.



I had been throwing fruit and veggie scraps into an area of the yard with some topsoil during the winter. We are pretty lucky to have clay-like soil here though. So this is what my garden area looked like before I planted.  What can I say, I liked to eat grapefruit.

I decided to start out small this year. The 2nd weekend in April I planted tomatoes and basil. I did 9 tomato plants - 3 roma and 6 big boy. I even ran out of room in the topsoil area and just stuck one of the tomato plants next to the garden area. I used one pack of basil seeds that was like $1. So I didn't take pictures right after I planted the garden but this was about a monthish later. Little green matos started to appear on the roma plants! 

  

I had staked the plants and tied them just like my dad suggested. Then later even more matos started growing. :)
 

At this point the basil had gotten like a 1/2 inch tall (which it did very quickly at the beginning)  but hadn't grown any more. So I read that basil does better in pots and I decided to transplant them... well they didn't survive their move and all died in the pots within a couple days. Too bad since I do love the way basil smells and it goes so well in lots of dishes. So next year I am going to start with small basil plants in pots and not the seeds. Anywho, the tomatoes were still doing well. Notice the awesome shadow in the first picture.
  

The tomatoes started to turning yellowish and then red. Then I picked them. And ate them. Well I washed them first.
 

I love tomatoes. I could seriously just eat a tomato like someone would eat an apple. I like putting tomatoes in all kinds of dishes. And tomato sandwiches. Yum! You can see my failed basil plants in the background.
 

I did learn that the roma plants produced more than the big boy plants. I did have a couple of plants that produced zero tomatoes... these were down near the end that can get quite flooded after a good rain. The strip of the backyard where my garden is doesn't drain well and water sort of sit there so I think we would have had more tomatoes if that were not the case. For next year we are going to hopefully have some of our backyard issues solved... like better drainage (toward an actual drain in our sideyard area) and a sprinkler system and perhaps some grass. Good grass would be nice in a backyard I think. Eric is going to help me build up the garden higher with more dirt and frame it out with some leftover deck wood. I may expand and try squash or cucumbers perhaps... I've heard they grow well here. It was definitely a good first year for my veggie garden but I'm excited about improving it next time around.

1 comment:

  1. That is such a cute picture of you, your dad, and your sister! This totally makes me want to move south so I can start a garden!!

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