We have been working diligently around here for our 2020 garden! I’m really excited about having home-grown produce again after not having a garden so long.
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A lot of this season has been spent prepping things for the future. The back garden bed is FILLED with rocks, tilling it was DREADFUL but we decided to go for it anyways and do what we can to grow whatever we can. In the Fall, we will continue removing rocks and adding to the soil so that next year, we will have even richer dirt to work with.
Even though it isn’t yet ideal, we are still going BIG and I hope to grow enough tomatoes to can our own spaghetti sauce, make salsa, and put up diced and stewed tomatoes to use in recipes. I’m also trying to grow several varieties of squash and beans, but the beans don’t seem to be taking off as I had hoped.
Beyond that, we are growing ALL the things!
All the Fruit
Our apple trees have been in the ground since last month and they seem to be doing well so far.
I grew up climbing in the apple trees of my grandfather’s small home orchard. In the warmer months, it was my choice place to play with friends, read books, and have a picnic. I have such fond memories of smelling the blossoms and picking apples for a snack in the afternoon sun. It makes my heart happy to know that in just a few years, we will be growing apples of our own!
We also planted blueberry and blackberry bushes along our front fence. Unfortunately, 2 of them seem to have not taken off, so I will be ordering more soon. I am looking forward to having pies, jams, and fresh bowls of berries in the future!
Of course, we won’t see apples or berries for 2-4 years, but I am having a ball dreaming about when we do! Future plans involve even more fruit trees and berries, but I am quite sure that we have more than enough to keep us busy this year!
I unknowingly ordered a huge lot of June-bearing strawberry plants. Because I ordered so many of them (100!), we decided to dedicate an entire garden bed for our strawberries. (In the end, I actually glad we did this) I also sold extras I was not going to use and I think I may have discovered a nice way to make some side income.
If you don’t know, June-bearing plants bear their fruit all at once in the June, giving you a big harvest all at once. This will be great for putting up berries in the freezer and for jam. So, I will plant them this year for a harvest next Spring.
When you plant June-bearing varieties, you want to pinch off the little white blossoms for the first year. This allows the plant to develop a strong root system for more prolific growth in subsequent years. A strong strawberry plant will return and bear fruit for at least 3 years. In the meantime, you take the ‘daughter plants’ (the runners) and root those into dirt to create more strawberry plants. This will ensure that you never have to buy plants again and have strawberries for as many seasons as you want!
For the little strawberry bed we had already built though, I want ever-bearing strawberry plants. Ever-bearing plants produce berries all summer long to enjoy! My Lil miss has wanted her own strawberry patch since she was two, so this is something we have both been looking forward to, which means, I have more strawberry plants to buy!
Tomatoes and more galore!
Homemade marinara, salsa, diced, stewed, ketchup, etc… I plan on making very good use of our tomatoes! I’m already beginning to gather canning supplies and hopefully, this year’s garden will provide many meals for us!
Other veggies I started are peas, green beans, peppers, beets, cucumbers, various pumpkins and squashes, zucchini, broccoli, cabbages, and various greens. None of my beans sprouted this year, and the squashes have been very slow to start, so we will see what happens there!
While we will enjoy the fresh veggies, my hope is to put up as much as I can to enjoy throughout the winter months.
The biggest garden I’ve ever grown
This is by far the most I have ever attempted to grow in one season. I am thankful that the fruit trees and berry plants won’t be producing this year because I think I will have my hands full canning from the vegetable gardens come August and September.
I am nervous about the humidity here and hope that nothing happens to wipe out all our hard work. We are working on making sure that we guard against damaging molds and pests.
Speaking of pests, I’ve been using a Neem oil solution for some of the plants to keep them at bay! You just mix a little oil (about a tablespoon) with a few drops of dish soap, pour into a spray bottle and fill up with warm water, shake and spray your plants. I apply it every couple of weeks and it seems to be doing good so far.
The beginnings of our flower and herb children’s garden
We have the spot in our front yard off to the side of our front porch that is perfect for flowers and herbs. I’ve had this idea since we bought the house that I would like to cultivate a ‘children’s garden’ of sorts, with lots of cut flowers, herbs and perennials, a bird bath, some feeders, butterfly waterer and more. I want to make a little fountain too.
My daughters love all sorts of flowers and they love to see the bees and butterflies and birds that come to visit. So far I am very pleased with the way it is coming along. I hope to add the birdbath soon and maybe some edging. 🙂
That is what has been happening around here!
I hope you enjoyed me sharing our garden with you. Be sure to check out our chicken adventures too! More updates in the Fall!
Download and make your own free garden markers!
One thing I have been terrible about in past gardens is not properly marking where I planted certain seeds.
I downloaded some cute free garden markers from the internet and mounted them on twigs to remind me where I planted, but they are so small that I decided to make some larger ones as well. I like the larger ones because I feel like they will be more stable as the plants grow up around them.
To make them I printed out the pages, cut them out and laminated them to make them waterproof.
Then, I super-glued these large fan sticks to the backs to make sure they stayed upright. Because the markers are so large, we can easily see at a glance where things are in the garden. The kids love them because it makes our garden look more colorful, lol.
I also included some blank ones in the pdf so that you can customize them for your own garden!