Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Very Own Organic Vegetable Garden

This is a pretty big deal for me. I've never been one with earth, or even a weekend gardener. I have a potted plant in my bathroom that I rescued from my office I used to work at, (they were going to throw it away because it was no longer "perfect") a fern of some sort that is still living 7 years later (with many near death experiences - I sometimes forget to water it until I see it's wilting).

People who have knowledge about such things and are good at it, mystify me. But I eat organic, and know that fresh produce is so much better - taste wise and also for the environment as it doesn't have been transported via plane, trains and/or automobiles. And then there's my fantasy which goes something like this - I need tomatoes for dinner, and instead of having to run to the grocery store, I just step outside and pick a ripe one off the vine. Being self sufficient and eating the fruits of my labor are great ideals. I like it. Where can I get it?

Oh that's right that means I have to go to Home Depot and pick up a bunch of gardening stuff like organic soil, tools, seeds, and gardening shoes. That's right - gardening while wearing green rubber shoes that even your kid says look funny. And then there's picking weeds for 2 hours in the hot sun.

I sure hope my first attempt at gardening actually grows some vegetables. I planted tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, pumpkin, and onions. Simple veggies for a first time gardener.

Astrid helped me pull weeds, even out the soil, and plant seeds. She was so gung ho about doing everything until I actually let her and each time it wasn't as much fun as she originally thought. "I'm tired. It's hard and there's too much!" Yep. I felt the same way. But it will be so much fun to watch everything grow and a great teaching tool for Astrid.

I'll be so proud if I can feed my family with this garden. Now I just have to remember to water it everyday.

5 comments:

JenK said...

This is so neat! Good luck to you!

After years of being in difficult gardening territory, this year I'm back in the good old agricultural midwest and I'm doing some MAJOR vegetable gardening like I used to!

It really is great to just go pick tomatoes from your yard when you want one. They go like gangbusters here. I always end up canning some at the end of the summer.

I've never been one with the earth

Where's a giggling emoticon when you need one. ;)

Jeannie said...

This is so awesome! Once the little plants start sticking up out of the earth Astrid (and Mama too) will be so excited.

One little tip...you can always do containers for your vegetables if you'd rather not have so much work involved. Next time you can put a weed barrier down, cover it with materials of your choice (bark, rocks, whatever)and place your containers and pots around wherever you want. And yes, tomatoes will grow in a good sized pot--think 5 gallon bucket size.

Good luck! I can hardly wait to see the fruits of your labor. :)

Rose said...

I keep reading that the key to having great veggies is water, water, and more water. So as soon as I got up this morning I watered my vegetable garden with the "mist" mode on my hose. Took a long time but it's more even and doesn't disrupt the soil.

Questions for you Master Gardeners:
1) Should I continue to water it twice a day (once in the morning and once at night)?

2) When should I lay down some mulch? I read that it's important for the soil to be warm for the seeds. This plot is in the shadier part of the garden under a tree, so it only gets some sun during the hottest part of the day.

I heard mulch prevents a lot of weeds from taking root - and I know I will have this problem - lots of weeds - esp. from the neighbor's yard that I don't have control over.

3)When the veggies start to sprout, how can I tell them from the weeds?

Jeannie said...

This is what I do Rose:

1)Keep your seed bed evenly moist but not sopping wet. The heat from the noon day sun may dry it out more than you want but underneath that dry bit is what counts--misting is good for starters as long as it is penetrating down under.

2)Mulch after your seeds come up. Until then you and Astrid will get good practice at keeping the weeds to a minimum.

3)There should be a picture of of what the seedlings look like on your seed packet. Little seedlings are delicate so try not to disturb their root systems at first with the weed pulling anymore than can be helped. Once they're established you should be able to be more vigorous in your weeding, but the mulching will help with that and also in moisture retention.

And keep in mind, should your seeds not sprout for one reason or another you can go buy some established plants and plant those.

Some things are better started indoors 6-8 weeks before going to the garden so that they get a good start. Other things don't transplant well and are best started right where they will grow.

It's an adventure!

Rose said...

Thanks for all the gardening tips Jeannie!