Summer Gardening, Part 2

In our last post, I updated you on our front flower beds. Out in the back yard, our vegetable garden is really taking off. So far this summer, we’ve harvested our first zucchini and fresh parsley.

IMG_0980

fbfs_parsley_1

Our basil plant is getting really big. We need to start incorporating fresh basil and parsley into our meals so we can use more of our fresh herbs.

fbfs_basil_1

One thing I’ve noticed about our vegetable garden is that it does not need much as maintenance as I originally thought. Other than continual weeding, watering and harvesting, I haven’t spent much time maintaining the garden. I bought plant food when I first planted the seedlings, but haven’t used it yet. The vegetables look like they are holding their own without the extra food.

Our corn is doing really well. I did have to stabilize the stalks a few weeks ago. They were leaning after a heavy rain storm so I put a big clump of dirt next to each stalk and although I was doubtful of my “temporary” solution, the dirt clump did the trick and the corn stalks have stood straight ever since.

fbfs_corn_1

We are starting to see a few ears growing on each of our corn stalks. I can’t wait for fresh sweet corn. Out of all the vegetables we planted, I think I’m most excited to enjoy our fresh sweet corn. Hope it is delicious! fbfs_corn_2

The green beans I replanted are up and hopefully we will have fresh green beans to harvest.
fbfs_greenbeans_1

Our yellow pepper is still going strong. I’m not sure when we will see peppers growing, but I’m still hopeful.

fbfs_pepper_1

We have a zucchini and a spaghetti squash that may be ready to harvest in the near future.

fbfs_zucchini_1 fbfs_squash_1

How are your summer gardens?

Advertisements

Getting Our Garden On: Take 2

So our first go around at a vegetable garden didn’t work out as planned. Only a few of our seedlings survived the cold weather.

After a few weeks of rain and cold, our garden looked like this:

IMG_5875 (2)All of the seedlings except for our sweet corn and some of our herbs didn’t survive. We were also left with a lot of tiny weeds.

To replace our failed seedlings, I bought a selection of mature vegetables and some garden soil from the Home Depot. These vegetables (and technically “fruits”) came in really neat biodegradable pots that you can plant straight into the ground. To learn more about the biodegradable pots and how to plant them, check out the Bonnie Web site.

IMG_5908

IMG_5903

IMG_5902

IMG_5898

IMG_5896 (1)

In addition to the mature plants, I also planted new green bean and red pepper seeds. I planted the seeds in garden soil in hopes that the rich soil will produce better results.

IMG_5895 with text

Our sweet corn stalks are doing really well despite a few cold days. The stalks are getting pretty tall compared to when we planted them.

IMG_5897

How are your summer gardens going?

IMG_5895 (2)

Before I wrap up this post, did you notice anything different about our photos? I’m working on some upgrades to Frame By Frame Style and this is the debut of our new photo tag. Hope you like it!

photo tag

Getting our garden on

Our vegetable garden is officially planted! But before I show you the finished product, let’s go back a week so I can tell you all about our crazy veggie garden adventures…

Two years ago, our backyard looked like this:

IMG_4380

It was pretty empty.
IMG_4381

Last year, we added a gazebo to our patio to help spruce up the backyard and to make it a little more functional.

IMG_0451

This year, we decided to add a vegetable garden to our backyard. But the big question was, where should we put the garden? In order to plant our veggie garden, we first needed to decide on a place in our backyard and then measure out the appropriate space. In my last post I mentioned our plans for the patio. In order to know where we wanted to put our garden, we decided to map out patio design. From the design, we were able to take a few rough measurements and place the garden in a location that would be incorporated into the patio design down the road.

After taking the measurements for the patio design and marking off the garden using spray paint, we then used a tiller to dig up the soil.Thankfully, one of our good friends let us borrow his tiller for this project. Using a tiller was a huge time saver despite our very damp and muddy soil.

Since our yard is mostly clay, we bought top soil to lay over top of the clay. We calculated that it would take 27 40lb bags of top soil to fill our space. That’s 9080 lbs of top soil! Much to my surprise (BJ wasn’t skeptical, of course) were able to fit all the bags in my car but it was definitely riding low. Good thing we only live a few miles from Lowes!

On the evening that we chose to till the current soil and lay the new top soil, a scattered thunderstorm came through and it rained for about 30 minutes. This of course, didn’t help because we’ve had so much rain that the backyard was already damp and soupy.Once it stopped raining, BJ started tilling while I made our dinner. Gotta eat sometime, right?

After dinner and tilling, we added the top soil and laid our organic garden mat.

IMG_5030

It was pretty late by the time we finished laying the mat so we decided to wait until the next day to plant. In the meantime, our seedlings were growing like crazy in their starter kit.

IMG_5044

Then, the next over the three days it rained and was cold… so fast forward a few days to Mother’s Day.

I spent several hours on Sunday, cutting holes in the garden mat and planting our seedlings. By Sunday afternoon, all the seedlings were planted. We planted red and yellow tomatoes, sweet corn, green beans, zucchini, green and yellow peppers and a few herbs such as oregano, parsley and basil.

IMG_5050 IMG_5049

I found these copper herb garden stakes at Target.IMG_5048

Once the plants were in the ground, we covered the mat with peat moss and watered the entire garden.

IMG_5058

IMG_5061

IMG_5063

That night, BJ and I covered the entire garden to protect the seedlings from the potential frost.

After several days of planning, tilling and planting, our garden is complete. Now, we’re keeping our fingers crossed and hoping our little seedlings make it! After this year, we’ll see what crops produced vegetables and which didn’t. Next year we will adjust our game plan based on our results. Since we’ve never planted a vegetable garden before, this year will be our baseline to determine what will grow and what will not.

Do you have a vegetable garden? What vegetables and herbs do you have the most luck with each year?

Going Green for Earth Day 2013

Happy Earth Day 2013!

I got an early start on our Earth Day celebrations this weekend by purchasing fresh flowers and house plants and planting a seed starter kit for our vegetable/herb garden.

On Friday afternoon, I stopped by the grocery store and decided that it would be nice to have fresh flowers for the weekend. I picked up these daisies and arranged them in Ball jars to use as coffee table decorations. They went perfectly with our West Elm owl, Threshold coasters and West Elm tray.

daisies with owl

daisies and owl

I also brought home fresh tulips for the kitchen and arranged them in our bright green vase.
tulips

On Saturday, I made a trip to Home Deport and found some gerbera daisy annuals for our kitchen. The flowers and their brightly colored pots (which we already owned) add vibrance to our kitchen while helping with our air quality. Very Earth Day appropriate!
gerbera daisy

IMG_4139

IMG_4135

I also picked up a few foliage plants including this prayer plant and palm.

IMG_4127

IMG_4141

We decided to kick-start our vegetable/herb garden by purchasing a Burpee seed starting kit. You can find these kits at places like Target or Home Depot. The kit is really easy to set up and even includes a QR code on the package that you can scan to watch a “how to” video.

I planted 12 different rows of vegetables and herbs in our seed starter. Hopefully, in a few weeks we will have little seedlings ready to plant outside.

IMG_4129

The seed starter can be stored inside in direct sunlight or under a grow light. If it’s nice enough, you can also store the starter outside in direct sunlight. Since we still have the lingering possibility of a freeze over the next week or so, our seed starter is seeking refuge in the loft window.

IMG_4124

How are you celebrating Earth Day this year?