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Lessons Learned

So, we’re new to this whole gardening thing. I mean, sure, I watched my dad plant his football field-sized garden when I was a kid…and helped pick things… And we had some tomato plants the past two years… But this year we actually PUT a garden in. Well. Two gardens.

A football field-sized garden is a wee bit daunting, and a Square Foot Gardening book landed in my lap at Christmas, so that’s the way we decided to go (at least for one of the gardens). It’s amazing to me the difference in the two gardens – the one we put in first is actually taking longer to grow (and we even – mistakenly – put cucumbers in both)! And the loam we used is incredible. I don’t think I’ve seen beans grow faster. We’re definitely using loam again next year!

We also put some vine-type plants in the raised bed…perhaps a mistake (although there was no mention of it BEING a mistake in the book). Don’t get me wrong…the melons are doing really well – they’re just taking over the onions and, well, everything else. One solution may be to put a trellis or two up so the vines go UP and not all over the place (and to keep a close watch that they DO go up…) The book says you can even grow pumpkins this way – you just have to make sure the trellis is sturdy enough for all that pumpkin weight. Perhaps next year.

My sister mentioned that they planted various rows of beans about 10 days apart. huh. That’s genus. Beans throughout the summer instead of a butt-load all at the same time!

I don’t know if I’ll do broccoli and/or brussels sprouts again. We haven’t gotten any of those (yet – it’s still early), so I don’t know if the taste will outweigh the OMG GROSS caterpillars that were in those this year.

And I was thinking to myself that I should be keeping a gardening journal – but then thought “wait – I’ve been writing in my blog…doesn’t that count?” So…we’ll see if anything gets on paper.

I do have to say that I am loving the raised garden bed. We’ll probably be putting in a second raised bed next year. Weeding is SO MUCH easier! Although – there’s still that one thing in there that I just need to yank. I’m pretty sure it’s a weed (and not an herb like we thought we planted there). It’s taller than all of the other things we’ve planted, so it HAS to be a weed. 🙂

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