Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Not-So-Secret Garden.

If you follow me on Facebook, which most of you do, you have been subjected to posts about my small garden.  I have never really attempted to have a garden, so I've been very excited about its successes.

First, there is nothing that beats eating food you've grown yourself, in terms of eating veggies.  Throw in some DIY veggie dip (just a packet of ranch dressing mix and an 18oz container of plain greek yogurt), and it's a fantastic afternoon of snacking.

Second, a garden is something I can share with Elliott.  Most of my hobbies are not 2-year-old friendly.  Crochet involves scissors, as does scrapbooking.  School certainly does not interest a toddler.  However, he has enjoyed watering and caring for the plants from the beginning.  He's obsessed with watering plants.  Both grandmothers have purchased little watering cans for him so he can help them with their flowers.

Here is our garden, or at least the plants we put in the ground.  Everything else comes up every year whether we like it or not:

Sunflower: My sunflower is really my pride and joy of the garden.  I cultivated it from seed, and despite somehow killing its greenhouse-mates, the sunflower came through strong and tall.  This is Elliott's plant.  When we water, I fill his can up and its a perfect amount for the sunflower.  It looks like it is getting ready to flower soon, which will be really exciting.

Sunflower plant today.

Planting day!  I got the seeds for $1 at Target.

Basil: My mom has been a big help with the garden, purchasing the rest of my plants as Mothers' Day gifts.  Basil can weather the heat of a PA summer and the occasional days when I forget to water.  I haven't "harvested" any basil yet, but it smells amazing.  PLUS: I have an adorable metal bird that helps me find it amongst the insane vines from my tomato plants.

Adorable basil marker (Jo-Ann Fabrics)

Can YOU find the basil?

Tomatoes: I have two varieties of tomato in my garden, cherry and beefsteak.  Tomatoes love sun apparently, because these suckers are tall and out of control.  I'm learning about determinate and indeterminate plants (indeterminate has vines), and about pruning.  I had to tie my beefsteak plants up so the vines grow up and not all over the poor basil.  My cherry tomatoes need to be re-staked entirely, since the cage I bought was cheap and couldn't handle the robust nature of my plant.  I've harvested 9 cherry tomatoes, but there are A LOT of tomatoes appearing every day.  Elliott is happy to help keep the tomato population under control.

Beefsteak plant in the quality cage.  It's almost 6' tall.

Ripening vine (these tomatoes have been eaten).

One of many fruitful vines.
So far, my first foray into gardening is a mild success.  Next year, I would like to expand my garden.  In addition to tomatoes and basil (or the pizza margherita garden), I would like to add peppers, potatoes, onions, mint, and one other herb.  I may even get crazy and add lettuce.  My Pappy has been advising me here and there.  He has always had an incredible garden.  He and my Oma lived off of a garden before it was cool and Pinterest-y.

Thanks for taking a little tour!

- M.