Tag Archives: vegetable garden

how does your garden grow?

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells, and cockle shells, And pretty maids all in a row.” — Does anybody else get that infamous nursery rhyme stuck in their head when the talk of gardening arises, or is it just me? Oh, just me? Hm, I thought so…

Anyway, I thought I’d follow up my “the making of a garden” post with what I actually have growing inside it. Being new to the world of gardening, I am far from that of an expert, as I am sure you will pick up on in my side comments… (To any connoisseurs out there: feel free to give me your advice!)


These seem to be doing very well! My only concern is that I might not have thinned them out enough and they are too close together to actually produce a sizeable beet. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…!

bell peppers

We started these inside and they’ve been doing well since the start, however, next year I think I will place them on the side of the garden that gets more sun. I am also thinking if these continue to grow any taller, they will need cages or stakes.


We also started these inside (both cherry and beefsteak) and they’ve been thriving since the move to the great outdoors. (Measuring at about 6 feet tall, they look like they are on steroids!). I’m definitely not complaining though because if I had to pick only one item in my garden to do well, it would be these guys. What’s summer without fresh tomatoes, right?!


From the whole row of cucumbers we planted, only this one guy made it. I didn’t realize that cucumbers grew on vines (rookie mistake), and therefore didn’t think to plant them accordingly. I am hoping this wire cage + wooden stake I put in place will work out…


Our rows of lettuce (we have a ‘gourmet blend’ kind) have been doing awesome and we’ve enjoyed a few fresh summer salads thanks to it! One thing I really dislike about lettuce is the amount of dirt the leaves acquire and the amount of time it takes to clean it off and let the leaves dry. Also, I’ve been a little hesitant to make a salad after finding a spider in my last one (eek!). I think next year we will plant just half a row’s worth because we are not going through it nearly as quick as I thought we would.


I planted these in the garden not realizing that they are perennials and that they spread (yet another rookie mistake) so I will be transplanting them to another location within the next month. Out of the four strawberry plants we have in the garden, we only get about five  ripe strawberries a week, and they are quite small mind you. I am not sure if this is the norm and we just need more plants, or if it’s because they just aren’t thriving in their current location.


Last but not least are our bountiful raspberry plants! They were already in our yard when we moved in last summer and we were told by the previous homeowners that one year they harvested 60 lbs worth and used it to make country wine. We’ve been picking them regularly while they’re ripe and freezing them so that we’ll have a reserve of berries when they’re no longer in season. (I’ve also been using them to make this chocolate chip raspberry muffin recipe that I am hooked on!)

So that’s a little tour of what’s growing in our garden! I should also note that I attempted to start a few herbs from seed (mint, cilantro and basil) and none of them made it, even after two tries. Fail. I think I will stick to starter plants when it comes to those guys from now on…



Filed under Gardening, Urban Homesteading

the making of a vegetable garden.

then and now

When we first moved into our house last summer, I was pretty excited about the garden boxes that had been left behind (reference top pic). I figure it’d be the perfect spot for starting our first little vegetable/herb garden the following summer. Over the course of the winter months, I started creating a list of all the things I wanted to plant come spring. As my list continued to grow, it quickly became clear that those boxes weren’t going to be able to host all of the veggies I had my heart set on growing. So fast forward to this May when we decided to get rid of the boxes in favor of building our own fenced-in garden, allowing us to plant multiple rows worth of goodies. (Go big or go home, right?) In a nutshell, here’s how it went down:



We got rid of the boxes but were thankfully able to salvage a few of them that my parents are now using. We then reused the dirt that had filled the boxes. (Two instances of reduce, reuse, recycle! Woo-hoo!)


Then we built the frame of the garden and tilled the soil prior to planting. Above is how it looked before the chicken wire was stapled onto the frame (a necessity to keep our chickens, dog and other pesky animals out!) I’m thinking the gate could totally use a fun little sign like this, or maybe a DIY version more like this!

Next (and not pictured) we planted what we had started indoors (bell peppers, cherry tomatoes & beefsteak tomatoes) followed by the organic seed packets we had purchased which included beets, lettuce, spinach, green beans, cucumbers, watermelon, & strawberries.


And here is what it’s looking like now! As you can see, the middle row is vacant, along with a few other spots. With the late start of spring/summer and us being rookies at gardening, we knew there was a good chance that not everything was going to make it (or anything for that matter!). So unfortunately the green beans, spinach, and watermelon never made it to the germination process, but we’re not complaining since we still have a whole slew of other items that did make it!

We’re considering this a “learning year” and hope to only improve the garden as time goes on!

What did you plant this year?


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Filed under Gardening, House & Home, Urban Homesteading