Since we moved into our house in 2004, we have been planting a bigger and bigger garden every year. This year, however, we have more than doubled the size of our backyard garden. Plus, we are committed to keeping it 100% organic.
The larger garden wasn’t my idea. One day, I came home and Sandi had cut down all the bushes and small trees that had been growing along the back fence of our yard, about a 20-foot line of shrubs. She simply decided that she didn’t like it anymore.
We also noticed that an area along our driveway, which had been covered with stones, was the area that was getting the most sunlight of any area in our yard. So we removed about eight feet of the stone, filled it with topsoil and planted it as a squash garden.
The problem with having a garden that is more than twice the size is that it requires more than twice the attention. Fortunately, over the past several years we have learned a lot from the many gardening mistakes we have made. This year, for example, we planted tomato plants far apart from each other so that we won’t have the tomato jungle that characterized our late summer garden in previous years.
We originally erected a three-foot wire fence to keep the dogs out of the garden, but our new puppy, Max, who joined our family last December, surprised us by being the pit bull high jump world champion and kept getting himself trapped inside the garden. So we had to tear that fence down and built a four-foot fence.
It’s only mid-July and already we are beginning to get some zucchini, yellow squash, patty pan squash, jalapenos, green peppers and cucumbers. There are tomatoes on all four types of plants — beefsteak, teardrop, plum and heirlooms — as well as tiny pumpkins and strawberries coming in. The only thing we are still waiting to see are the green beans.
We also are having trouble with one certain spot of land. We tried spinach on it, but they all shriveled and died. So then we planted snap peas, but they don’t seem to be doing well, either. I don’t know if it’s because we planted them too late — they are an early or late crop, I learned after they were in the ground — or if there’s something wrong with the soil in that spot. We’ll see how they do.
A recent bout of high humidity combined with heavy rains caused an explosive growth spurt, as evidenced by the size of some of our zucchinis, which literally grew overnight.
I anticipate a heavy yield this year. We had more tomatoes, peppers and jalapenos last year than we knew what to do with. I can only imagine what it’s going to be like this year, especially since we’re already getting a lot of vegetables. I may have to open my own farm stand!
Have you planted a garden this year? How is it doing? What have you planted? What sort of problems are you having? I just love gardening, don’t you?
I miss fresh home-grown tomatoes! We have been soooo dry, it’s hard to even get our cacti to grow.
“The pit bull high jump world champion” … Hilarious!
Beautiful gardens, Dan!
Thanks! I’m sure we are going to have bushels and bushels of tomatoes. I can mail some to you!
Ha, I may actually take you up on the offer! Going to a farmer’s market this weekend, hopefully they’ll have a decent selection. Local crops are way down though due to the West TX drought. Quite sad.
Who gardens barefoot?
Fantastic! Hope you have a bountiful harvest.
And with all that fresh produce, you won’t even have to cook in the heat to get a good meal.
Hey, a raw diet! I hadn’t considered that! Great idea!
Very little tastes as consistently good as fresh raw veg, right from the plant.
Enjoy! (Just wash the stuff first.)
I forgot how much I had to dig up to create our new garden! What was I thinking! I love my Maxie!!
Maybe next year we can tear down the garage and plant a cornfield.
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I would love a garden like yours…or at least have a generous neighbor with one just like it 😉 Maybe some day I’ll work up the courage to grow my own! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂
It’s both easy and hard at the same time. We learned a lot by trial and error over the years and we are still making mistakes. But sometimes that’s the best part.
What an amazing garden – we have trouble growing anything up here on this hilltop.
I would love to have an incline where I could grow grapes. Some people around here do it on trellises, but I don’t think we have the room.
Beautiful!!! Very inspiring.
Your garden is thriving, I see! glad to hear it! My pumpkin plant is doing that well at all! My aubergine plant isn’t doing that good too! 😦
Our pumpkin is thriving, as is the acorn squash. I recently took down the fence on one side and was whispering to the plant yesterday to grow in that direction. We’ll see if it listens to me!
Sandy’s purge was a huge success! Gosh I can only dream– I just have some herbs on my patio at the moment.
Herbs are great. I love cutting them fresh and using them right away.