In following the popular trend of growing ones own food, we jumped on the bandwagon and tried our luck with a couple raised beds planted with veggies and herbs this summer. We have had mixed success. Surprisingly, more success than failure. I blame the failure on not paying attention when being told how to identify weeds as a child. I'll get to that later.
Here is a more in depth recap on growing our first vegetable garden. We didn't want to overwhelm oursleves and so I found this simple plan and also this plan. Drew built one raised bed, but after mapping it out and buying the seeds and plants, we quickly realized we needed to build at least one more.
We had a great soil mixture delivered to us from Flowering Meadow Nursery where we stupidly instructed them to dump the soil in our driveway on the opposite side of the house from the gardens. We spent the rest of the evening wheeling it around on a wheelbarrow that had a flat tire. That was fun. Um, not. Either we completely miscalculated the quantity needed or they were very generous.
What did we plant? In the first bed we had sugar snap peas, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, onions, basil and rosemary. 5 1/2 out of 8 worked. The snap peas and the cherry tomatoes were my favorite. I can't believe I didn't like tomatoes until this year. Have tomatoes always tasted like a burst of sunshine? The lettuce came up, but it was sad looking and we had barely one salad each with the greens. As for the carrots, I don't know if I can say they were unsuccessful. I never really gave them a chance. This is where I needed another lesson on properly identifying vegetables vs. weeds. It turns out, those feathery greens aren't weeds, they're carrots. Fail. Oh, and when I checked on the cucumbers, I noticed Drew had accidentally butchered one with the lawn mower.
The second bed had green and red peppers and more tomatoes. We are still awaiting the peppers to turn red and wondering what to do with all the tomatoes.
We have had less frozen pizza this summer and more gazpacho, blt's, and various cherry tomato salads. Thanks to pinterest I discovered this recipe for chickpea, tomato and basil salad. Does anyone else have any other recipes to use up the tomatoes?
The slugs and worms weren't too harmful and the wildlife has been surprisingly kind to us. I noticed only a couple bites on a tomato and some gnaw marks on a cucumber, not enough to make us want to put up fencing. With the nights getting cooler, I'm realizing that the garden is coming to an end. Will we do it again? Yes, but next year I'll let the carrots do their thing.