Garden Update

For the last two years I’ve been buying fresh veggies locally at both my farmer’s market and several local farms. This year I decided to make a crazy attempt at growing a few things myself. It’s crazy for two reasons. First our yard is mostly shaded which limits where any type of garden could be planted. The soil quality is terrible. We grow a fine crop of rocks but the only plantable area barely grows grass. Even when it does it only grows in patches. Second, to actually plant in the ground would require us to bring in a rototiller. We tried once. It doesn’t work due to the huge number of rocks.

My husband suggested using wood to build a raised garden. Good idea except for the third problem….my black thumb of death! Over the years I have attempted to grow various things from house plants to flowers outside to several fruit tress that I spent lots of time, money and back braking work to plant (see above about the damn rocks). The cats dig up the house plants. Seems it’s lots of fun to dig in potting soil. The flowers didn’t really grow and the fruit trees were invaded by Gypsy moths. No matter what I did I couldn’t get rid of the moths and by year number two I had a fine yard orchard of five stripped bare apple tress ūüôĀ

Investing money into building raised beds and then purchasing soil didn’t look like such a grand idea. Then I read an article about planting a bag garden. Not purchased planting bags made of material but simply bags of soil. The bags are just laid out in the area you want to plant, punch holes in one side of the bag (for drainage), turn the hole side down and slice an X shape into the top of the bag to open it. Then you simply plant directly into the bag. Seems easy enough so we gave it a try.

Here’s the bag garden set up with the bags prepped and opened. Please notice the horrible ground and several poor raspberry/blackberry plants/twigs off in the right hand corner. Those were planted two years ago (same time as the apple trees) and haven’t grown much.

Close up of the poor blackberry plant in the corner of the yard:

And the sickly looking raspberry plant:

Near the end of May we planted a variety of things including several types of tomatoes, cukes, zucchini, peppers and squash. I also planted several more tomato and pepper plants in some planters on the back deck. I mulched around the berry canes and tied them up hoping that they would do something this year. I figured, given my track record of keeping things alive, that it would be best to purchase starter plants rather than attempt to grow from seed. Crossing my fingers I watered and watched. At one point my husband put up an emergency fence around the garden when something decided to eat several plants. All that was left behind were a few little pieces of green sticking up from the ground where the plants had previously been. He rigged up some mesh fencing that we had hanging around. Who ever ate the plants hasn’t made a return trip. Not yet anyways. The results of all of the careful tending:

And even better……baby tomatoes and cukes! Squee!

And those¬†twigs that were suppose to be blackberries? Check these baby’s out!

How about the two twigs that were a raspberry?

Hey…we’ve even got grass growing. Of course. Just when you don’t want grass to grow because you end up having to weed it out of the strangest places. Things are looking¬†good so far. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

What about you?¬†Do you plant a garden? If so what are you growing in it? Leave a comment and a link¬†to your garden pictures below. I’d love to check them out and see what mine could potentially be like in the future.


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