Saturday, August 24, 2013

So what's in the garden...Part 1

The Garden as of August 13!

Being that this is my first attempt at a garden, I have no idea what I am doing.

I'm reading blogs, figuring out different types of seeds, companion planting, the gardening rhythm, the gardening methods, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Anyways, I planted my garden with seeds I had previously bought at big box stores. I will gradually change my ways as I learn more and develop my skills but it'll have to do for now because I ain't ripping out what I planted just because they aren't heirloom seeds!

So we kept it simple.

We only planted 2 raised beds during this "grow cycle" and we planted them late! We are not expecting a huge yield (yield is a fancy word for how much the plant produces) but we are learning how things work, if we need fertilizer or not, and learning the BTE method among other things. Because the gardening world can be so overwhelming, I've decided to approach it like you would if you were eating an elephant, one bite at a time.

Not to mention, I'm trying to do everything on a very, very tight budget because I really hate spending money.

So we've planted 2 6' x 12' beds so far. We planted on July 1 and so far so good. We are learning what little things like to attack what (and believe me they like to eat leaves) and we are trying out different methods of organic pest control.

Now, if you knew me, you would know that I am not one of these whole-foods-everything-must-be-organic kind of person and I have absolutely nothing against anyone that is all organic, quite the contrary. I would LOVE to be all organic but I am and always will be CHEAP. Eating organic is SOOOO expensive. So since I'm growing all my own stuff, I want to do it organically so I get the best of both worlds. You will not find any chemicals on my garden. If the insects get to it and destroy plants, then I hope they had a good time because I will keep trying different methods so that one day I will conquer the little pests. 

Country Bloke's bed is on the left, mine is on the right.

As I've stated before, Country Bloke and I are trying the BTE method of gardening. We did our beds a little different though, sort of experimenting with which way is better. 

My bed is lined with newspaper at the bottom. His has straw from the sheep pen which has a fair amount of sheep poo mixed in. That is pretty much the only difference between the two beds but his bed seems to be doing a bit better than mine. Maybe its the sheep poo.

So we planted both beds with long rows. I've read a little bit about companion planting and downloaded a couple of charts to help me out so when we were planting we had some sort of guidance. I recommend you plan a little better than I did. We sort of did it on the fly and it worked but I would've liked to have planned it more.

So I'll start with my bed going from left to right according to the picture below. 

My Bed
FIRST AND SECOND ROW: The first row has half basil and half chives. I've drawn an arrow to them cause they are really hard to see. I read that it was good to plant with tomatoes which is my second row, more specifically Roma Tomatoes. There is something tearing up my tomato plants though, evident by the gapping hole in one of the leaves.

First and Second Row

THIRD ROW: Next, my little chart said broccoli makes a good companion with tomatoes so I planted Broccoli Di Ciccio which is an organic, heirloom variety (score)! 
Third Row

FOURTH AND FIFTH ROW: After that I planted lettuce, lettuce and more lettuce! I LOVE LETTUCE!! Seriously though, I planted two rows of lettuce, one row is completely mesclun while the other row is all season Butterhead mix lettuce. Oh, yeah! 

Forth Row

Fifth Row

SIXTH ROW: I went with carrots, Nantes Champion Hybrid because I also love carrots. These little guys are good for storage and is a sweet, tender eating carrot. Yum.

Sixth Row
SEVENTH ROW: The last row is squash. We love yellow squash so we planted lots. What I didn't know is the amount of yield each plant would produce. So we will be enjoying squash all through the winter because it's not only in my bed but in Country Bloke's bed too and these little suckers produce at least 5 blooms each!!

Seventh Row
You are probably noticing lots of little holes in all the leaves. I read that folks in Japan like to buy vegetables with holes in the veggitation because they figure that if the bugs are eating it, it's safe for them to eat it too. I like that way of thinking because it really helps explain away the actual reason for the gaping holes in my produce...I'm LAZY!

Part 2 will be Country Bloke's bed so come back to check that out!

1 comment:

  1. Get some diatomaceous earth and sprinkle it on your plants. It is a natural way to discourage many insects, mainly cutworms, slugs and such. Just use a bit and for 9.00 you can get as seasons supply.. Also, you might want to place a little plant rings making it harder for slugs to get to the plant. However d-earth works better. You can put out beer traps as slugs love beer, go to it and drown themselves. I consider that a waste of good beer but it works. You can also spray the plants with soapy water. That helps as well. There are other remedies but as you add compost and grow the garden, you will eventually win most of the battles.