We started our first vegetable garden this year.
Wait. Let’s be real.
Technically, this is our second vegetable garden. I tried container gardening once when we lived in a town home, but I didn’t have a water source anywhere near my patio where my containers made their homes.
I didn’t mind at first. I just filled my trusty, gallon-sized watering can over and over again, trekked it through my living room, out the back door and watered my wilting lettuce, carrots, and potatoes trying to grow in a trash can.
Then, when that was complete, I trekked upstairs in the same recurring fashion to our balcony to water our eggplant, herbs, and blueberry bush.
We had other things growing that I can’t recall at the moment, but I do remember that we harvested a few grape tomatoes and romaine lettuce for a bland sort of salad.
We were proud of our garden!
Then, I got pregnant for the first time, and the heat of the southern summers set in. My container garden went to pot (pun intended), and my husband lost a little bit of confidence in my gardening abilities. Rightfully so.
However, I never lost the itch to learn the art of planting and harvesting food for my family, but it did take me a few years to get up the nerve to try again.
And just as I am always prone to do, I bit off more than I might be able to chew again this year, but I’m hopeful that at least this time, I will give it a valiant effort. I am much further along in my understanding of what a vegetable garden needs to grow. At least I’m smart enough to make sure I have a viable water source nearby, right?
We currently live where the growing season is short. Very short. Bears, elk, and furry little chipmunk-type critters threaten to take out my strawberries, but at least I’m trying again.
And it feels good.
I’m taking full advantage of our small plot of land in our little resort town. Plus, I have big plans for the future.
Today, I want to share with you what we have planted in our vegetable garden this year.
I chose to do square foot gardening in a 4′ X 8′ raised bed. Additionally, I’m using some containers, and incorporating a few veggies into my overall garden scheme in various flower beds around my home. This came to me on a whim, and I’m experimenting this year more than I’m relying on complete success.
Thanks to my friend, Diana at My Humble Kitchen, I plan to incorporate more and more edibles into my overall landscaping. Her urban homestead has totally inspired me to think outside the box toward a more sustainable and simple living lifestyle right in my own home.
This is my second year at our new home with it being my first attempt at growing vegetables. I successfully had several flowers, shrubs, bushes, and trees come back after the long hard winter from my first summer of gardening, which gave me the nerve to try vegetable gardening again.
So without further ado, here’s what I’m attempting to grow in my vegetable garden this year!
My Vegetable Garden
I’m most excited about growing peas we can snap off the vine and eat. Not to mention, they grow quickly and easily so they’re great for making me feel like a successful gardener!
Planted: 6 square feet
Little Finger and Nantes Scarlet Carrots
Both of these carrot varieties grow relatively quickly for carrots, and I’m hopeful they will be tasty little snacks for us in the future!
Planted: 3 square feet plus 1 in side flower/herb garden
Garlic is very easy to grow, I’ve been told. We threw some in the ground late, late fall (after snow had already started falling in our neck of the woods…errr, mountains). We were so excited when they started coming up as soon as the snow had begun to melt this spring.
Planted: 4 square feet
Calima Bush Beans
I just got these in the ground (last frost was last week, if you can believe it!). They’ve sprouted and three of the four I planted are shooting up already.
Planted: 1 square foot plus 1 in flower/herb garden
Glacier and Beefsteak Tomatoes
I started these babies inside and transplanted them recently into our garden. It’s still a little cool at night, so I’ve no idea if this will actually work. I’m giving it a try and plan to learn as I go on getting tomatoes to grow in my area.
Planted: 1 of each plant – One in with speckled lettuce; the other in a container
I wanted some heads of lettuce in our garden for adding to burgers, sandwiches, etc. This was the best option for my area. It’s a lot prettier than I expected it to be.
Planted: 2 square feet
Another relatively easy to grow vegetable. We love beets for juicing, which is why I’ve added them into my garden this year.
Planted: 2 square feet
Easy to grow in cooler climates (again, so I’ve been told!). My neighbor’s spinach is coming right up, but mine still looks a little … sad? I’m not sure. I’ve planted it every two weeks or so to see if we can’t get at least one salad out of it!
Planted: 3 square feet
Rocky Mountain Lettuce
Hence the name, this should be a nice growing lettuce this summer in our garden. It’s so pretty coming up, but again, I’m surprised by how small it still is. Clearly I need to be doing some research!
Planted: 3 square feet plus 1 in flower/herb garden
I’d never heard of salad burnet before. As I shopped seeds, this was recommended for cooler climates, especially my area. It’s the one thing in our garden we’ve never had before!
Planted: 1 square foot
Crookneck Squash, Pattypan Squash, and Zucchini
All of these I started indoors and loved watching them sprout and take off. I transplanted them recently, and I’m waiting to see if I did it too soon!
Planted: 3 square feet plus 1 in container
My neighbor split off some of her strawberries and gave me several vines. We had one strawberry come in and the next day it was gone. I’m afraid the little critters might be robbing my patch. I have several more ready to come up. I’m going to watch a little more closely to see if I can figure out what’s snatching them. I’m also considering adding some netting… We’ll see!
Planted: 1 square foot
Early Fortune and Double Yield Cucumbers
These just went in the ground this week, so I’m waiting to see if they will sprout!
Planted: 2 square feet plus 1 in flower/herb garden
Some say planting seeds straight in the ground won’t work. I gave it a shot. It will be a couple of years before I have any chance of harvesting my rhubarb. For now, I’ll just enjoy the overflow from my neighbor!
Planted in flower/herb garden
Another great addition to salads and a vegetable we love. It’s growing quickly!
Planted: 1 square foot
I have serious doubts that anything will come of these seeds. I might just send these home with family. Our area probably cannot produce a single melon, but they were free with my purchase. I threw a few in the ground to see what happens.
Planted: 3 plants in add on bed behind raised bed
Currant Bush and Concord Grapes
These were on clearance at our local nursery. They are supposed to be hardy and able to handle down to -40 degree weather. We’ll see what they do!
Planted: Currant in add on bed behind raised bed; concord grape along side of house on east side
That’s it for my vegetable garden this year.
Again, this year is more about experimenting that really pulling a big harvest. I’m learning that with gardening, it’s a journey and a willingness to take a few risks. You simply can’t be afraid of failure. Because the truth is that you will fail. It’s just a matter of learning from it and doing things differently next time!
I have fallen in love with gardening. There is always something to do outside in the dirt. My children love it, and it forces me to slow down and enjoy God’s creation. I call it my happy place, which means I’m committed to learning how to do it well.
I will be back next month with an update on how everything is doing!
What about you? Do you have a vegetable garden? What are you growing? What tips can you give me? Tell me more in the comments!