On the Homefront

The Garden

Not that it should have come as any surprise to me, but I’ve found it to be very difficult to garden when I have absolutely no energy or self-motivation to do so.  I love gardening, but I seem to have pretty poor luck at it.  Since I also lack skill, it’s no understatement to say that yields have been low.Snap pea harvest from 2012

I’ve had one good year gardening in my life, and that was when we lived in northern(and I mean NORTHERN!) Minnesota.  Weird, huh?  I had a much smaller window for growing than I did in California, where we lived prior to moving to MN, but my garden was pretty awesome.  I loved that garden.  It was in the front yard, and I certainly had more than a few people confused when I started hauling and piling dirt out there.  Once the plants were added and it started filling in, it looked beautiful and I received many compliments.  Not to mention the bounty of zucchini, tomatoes, and green beans.  Since then: nothing but failure.

This year will be different!  Or not.  We’ll see.

It’s officially planted now, albeit a little late for the area.  Although, given the weather and temperatures here these last few weeks, it was probably good that I’ve been procrastinating.  I think, should anyone ask, I’ll just claim that I knew the weather was going to be wonky, and I was waiting until it was safe to plant.

Eh, anyone who knows me won’t even bother to ask.  They’ll know the real reason why.

DSCN3057We’ve made a few changes this year, over what we had the last couple of years.  The suburban deer have proven to be quite a challenge.  As much as I love watching them, I’m not a fan of the collapsed fencing they keep leaving on our garden here.  We’ve now made the switch to wire fencing.  I’ve also finally gotten smart and (hopefully) spaced the plants out enough.  A lack of airflow the first couple of years was another likely problem.  Not that the mildew all over everything wasn’t a clue.  This year, I’ve got two bean towers, a snap pea tower, two different zucchini, three tomatoes, two cucumbers, three butternut squash, and one bell pepper-with plans for strawberries(hanging) and decorative flowers-in a 12 ft. by 16 ft. space.  The butternuts and cucumbers I’m going to try training on the fencing.  I had far more than this last year(My initial plan was less, but I’ve found that I have a hard time being ruthless with thinning things.).  Aaron has hops trellised on the side of the house.

I’m also making more use of our sunroom this year, and growing a number of things indoors.  I’ve got a few herbs, celery, mini bell peppers, cayenne pepper, another tomato, and have plans for leafy greens, garlic, carrots, and potatoes.  Of course, looking at that list, I may have moved my overcrowding tendencies indoors.  I’ll also have to look at required pollination procedures, I may be doing quite a bit of “painting.” (Hopefully, wind will be enough for most of them.) As an added benefit, I can extend the season for everything that is indoors.  Our sunroom is essentially a large greenhouse and warms up quite nicely, even on cooler days.DSCN4308

I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all goes this year.  Hopefully, there will be at least a little extra to put up for winter.  Even if there isn’t, I’ll just be happy with a mildewless, deerless garden.

Do you have a garden?  What do you have planted for this year?  Care to share any tips?

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11 thoughts on “The Garden

    • Oh, I’ve got plenty of inspiration, but I just can’t seem to make it past that point! I’m very easily overwhelmed, and tend to not do anything when I get into that state. Yay for wonderful husbands! Mine did all of the tilling and structure work. Well, I stuck the bamboo stakes into the ground for the towers, if those count as “structures.”

  1. I joined a community garden this year and painstakingly designed and planted my 10 ft. x 20 ft. plot with squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, and melons. If I get one single fruit or veggie from my efforts, I’ll be surprised. First it was too dry, then there was a plague of grasshoppers, followed by a wind storm that blew all my bamboo stakes into the next county. Now it’s rain…we’re on the 8th day and counting. I just have to laugh at this point and send my well wishes to other gardeners. Best of luck!

    • We’ve done community gardens in the past, they are definitely a great option for many people! I think a sense of humor is mandatory when you’re dealing with Mother Nature. That, or a large, well-stocked bar.

      Or both. 😉

    • Hey, at least the perennials are doing what they’re supposed to do! We’re anchored ashore, so I’ve got the luxury to garden, and to keep plugging away at it. Besides, the markets were made for those of us who cannot(for whatever reason) grow our own food.

      • Oh, and how that happened, I’ll never know! I thought it was dead, and just left it until I needed the pot for something else. It’s lucky I’m such a procrastinator! That and one of the mints were the only to have survived(The other mint I managed to kill off, which is actually kind of impressive if you knew what it had survived up until that point.).

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