Thursday, May 28, 2009

Vegetable Garden

We have attempted to grow a vegetable garden every year since moving into our house over three years ago.  

2006:  Nick did all the work.  We enjoyed lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and other delights all summer long.

2007:  I took over.  The lettuce and mesclun started off OK, but eventually my lack of watering and weeding condemned the entire garden to failure.

2008:  The garden was my responsibility again.  I was now a stay-at-home-mom with all the time in the world, what could go wrong?  It turns out that having a baby at the end of April was not the best timing, gardening-wise.  Even the lettuce went to seed in about two seconds; the only success was a few stubby carrots that managed to find some sun in spite of the weeds.  

I have high hopes for 2009!  Last fall I amended the soil and put down a thick mulch of pine needles from our front yard after reading that Colorado soil tends to be alkaline.  I was also spoiled by the incredibly flavorful garlic sold at our local farmer's markets.  When my stash ran out in October I took a gamble and planted my last head of garlic.  Check it out, it looks like I may be harvesting twenty or so heads of garlic in a just a few weeks!  I wish I could peek underground and see how they're doing.

We have this fenced dog run in our back yard, and we decided this would be a perfect place for a veggie garden just in case some rabbits try to sneak in.  Sure, it's not as convenient as a raised garden bed, but it is nice to have such a large dedicated space.  This weekend I planted lettuce, mesclun, carrots, basil, cucumbers, zucchini, purple bush beans, yellow banana peppers, and yellow pear, jelly bean, and roma tomatoes (thanks to a trade with a neighbor).  I only planted seeds, so this picture is not very impressive...yet!

I started these tomatoes and peppers from seed this year, and the poor things are pretty sad.  I know, I should cut my losses and buy some thriving tomato plants at the nursery, but I have been nurturing these babies with such hope for the past ten weeks, and I just couldn't bear to give up on them when it came time to transplant into the ground.  

Nick built a trellis against the house to guide our clematis flowers.  I decided this would be the perfect place to plant sugar snap peas this year.  I think I'll pick up some chicken wire to help guide these guys up to the first rung of the trellis (I actually drove all the way to Lowe's today before realizing that I left my wallet at home, so hopefully I get around to this soon!).  The seeds I planted a few weeks ago have sprouted into 12 plants, each about 8" tall.

Finally, we have the raspberry bushes.  These have been weakly surviving for the last three years, basically emerging as sticks with a few tasty berries.  This year, we noticed a little shoot coming up in the peony bed a few feet away.  Hmmmm...are these guys being hindered by the weed barrier at their feet?  I cut back the weed barrier and now we have dozens of new shoots coming up!  Hopefully we get more raspberries than we can eat this year, especially the yellow variety, as they are the sweetest.

Does anyone know what this perky little volunteer could be?

I'll be sure to show off my bounteous harvest as the season progresses!


  1. So, first things first...the volunteer. My guess is that it's in the onion family, break off a leaf and smell it. Or it might be nutsedge, an invasive grass that you will want to pull out.
    I love your garden! It looks a lot like mine because I started everything from seed, too. I put down diotomacious earth yesterday because something was eating my tomatoes and beans, and boy that makes me mad :) The poor plants only had their stalks left by the time I got to them! So I had to buy a replacement tomato :( I dreamed of screaming slugs last night.
    I didn't know that you could use pine needles as a mulch, that's pretty convenient for you guys!
    I liked your run-down of the last few years, hopefully this year you will have better luck :) I'm so excited for your raspberries, too! That was smart to cut away the weed barrier. I love yellow ones too!
    Oh, side note, where do you go to get your coupons online? I'm trying to be a better shopper. If you have any advice, I could sure use it :)

  2. p.s. how did you get the LDS button on your blog? I want one too :)

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  4. Thanks for all the coupon advice! I'm so excited to start doing that!
    (I deleted my last post so I could combine my two comments, just in case you were wondering).

    So I have another question :)
    I wanted to put a LeLou background up on my blog, but I can't seem to get it to work! How did you do it?