Monday, March 30, 2015

Getting serious about the side garden...

I had to make a decision:  would I be traveling a lot this spring and summer or would I have a garden? I decided I would travel in the Fall and do a big vegetable and herb garden this Spring and summer. I haven't done a large food garden for a few years and I thought it would be fun and interesting.

Plus, now that we have our new side door from our kitchen, it is so easy to step outside to water or tend the garden. No excuses! And I can admire the new blue and white paint job while I work out there!

north side of the house
new side door
So we left the straw bales from last year although they are starting to fall apart. They will last one more year once they are retied. The one which had totally fallen down was dug up and is being used to add organic material to the bottom of new grow pots I am trying out this year. 

Straw bale that fell apart

There were some strawberries that came back even though we basically ignored them all winter. I am hoping if I am a little more watchful this time around we might have a better harvest. Also I plan to fertilize more to increase the fruit growth. Last summer the birds mostly got the berries.



I have planted 4 tomatoes so far: 1 each of a grape cherry size, a San Marzano (for cooking), an Amish paste (also for cooking) and a beefsteak for slicing. And so far I have planted a jalapeno and a green bell pepper. I need to do a lot more maintenance on the rest of the bales before I plant more. I think the chard that came back is ok for now although I may pull it out since the plants are rather spread out and bolting already. It is also a comeback from last year.

tomato plants

I am planting things like carrots and lettuces in the grow bags at the moment. I still have many more plants to decide where I will put them and whether I will start from seeds I have or get already started seedlings. 
Grow bags with carrots and lettuce seeds planted

Most of the herbs are in the front at the moment, although I am planting more Italian parsley and cilantro in this side garden.

As you can see however, the mint that was planted last year is still there and taking over the bale. I trimmed a lot of it back and may have to go in and cut more out. This time I also want to clip it and dry it for tea!

Further along the garden area is a blueberry from last year and a lime tree we planted last year. No limes yet but it is still young. Along the back of the house is our lemon tree. We planted another satsuma mandarin too but I am not sure it gets enough sun to be successful.

lime tree

blueberry plant

More garden news and photos to come as I get it planted and rearranged over the next few weeks.

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