Adventures in Gardening: Part 2

(If you missed Part 1 of my gardening adventures, you can read it here ).

Well, it’s been about two weeks since we planted our garden and I have good news: I didn’t kill everything! In fact, it seems to be thriving. Most of our seeds have sprouted, some are already three or four inches tall, and most of the plants have gotten noticeably bigger. I did lose a couple of plants that were either cantaloupe or watermelon. I think we let them get too dry right after we planted them and they shriveled up. There are also some gaps in some of the rows, such as the sunflowers, sweet corn, beans and snap peas. The planter was acting up when we planted those things.

Surprisingly, we haven’t had too many weeds pop up yet. I saw a few creeping in as I was walking through the rows and I just snubbed them out with my foot. I know I should have pulled them out by the roots, but I wasn’t in the mood. Maybe if I just walk through it every night and ground them down with my foot, I can keep them fairly controlled without having to do an all-out weeding (yeah, probably not). Once the pumpkins get going, it will also be harder and harder to walk in that area, let alone weed.

We did have a little bug problem. Some little black bugs were eating holes in my eggplant leaves. We finally sprayed Seven and some sort of fungicide my mother-in-law gave us. I hope it works. I wish we didn’t have to use chemicals, but I don’t have the time or motivation right now to learn the ins and outs of completely organic gardening. I’m sure it’s not enough to hurt much anyway. It’s still better than the mystery produce at the store shipped in from another country.

I also planted four cherry tomato plants that I picked up super cheap at a local farmer’s market. I found some metal tomato cages on sale at Menard’s for 99 cents, so I bought some and put them on all of my tomatoes. I put a thick layer of grass clippings around all of the tomato, pepper and eggplant plants to deter weeds and keep in moisture. We built a compost area a few weeks ago and we’ve been raking up long grass after we mow and putting it in there. I need to learn more about what can and can’t go into a compost pile. I think I heard that meat and weeds are not good.

We also have to build something for the peas to climb. My mother-in-law said we could use stakes and some of the extra metal fencing we used for the compost pile. It just needs to run along the side of the plants and they will grow onto it. That seems simple enough, but I’m sure it will be one of those projects that takes longer than planned (aren’t they all?).

So, the summary for now is that the garden is still kickin’ and hasn’t been too much work so far other than dragging a super long hose out there to water it when it gets too dry (well, three hoses put together!). Now I’m actually somewhat happy when it rains, because I won’t have to water the garden. I know the really hard work is coming, but I feel better about it, because I know it will be worth it. I was super excited just to see that the seeds sprouted; it was truly a miracle. To watch a little seed turn into a plant, and then to watch it grow and produce, is probably one of the coolest things in life. When I can actually go out and pick produce to eat or flowers for a vase, I will be so happy.

My hope is to take pictures and post an update at least every two weeks, so check back if you’re interested in the progress.

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