Sunday, August 7, 2011

Garden's Bounty

Nothing is making me happier right now than my mostly successful garden. I was so enthusiastic about my first ever vegetable garden last year and was less than thrilled with the results. Although I did get quite a bit of lettuce and a few tomatoes out of it, it never really lived up to my expectations.

After several people who know a lot more about gardening than I do told me that my soil was REALLY sandy, I decided to call the place where I had purchased what they called "gardener mix" in the spring. I can't remember the details of all the back-and-forth conversations that we had, but in the end I was just plain frustrated when I realized that not only did they not seem to know what they were talking about, but I had been sold two truckloads of bad soil (or sand)!

I was utterly despondent for a month or so this spring when I realized all the work and cost that would have to go into having a garden again this year. I didn't have the money, energy or time to remove all the bad soil; purchase and load new soil; and buy all the seeds and starter plants to get this thing going. I told Brian it wasn't worth it and I just wouldn't do it this year.

Well, I think he knew how sad this made me, so he rallied, and spent one weekend removing all the bad soil, disposing of it, driving to Denver and buying new soil (from a different company, obviously), and hauling it all from the truck and into the garden! I can't thank him enough for all that hard work.

I went through all the seeds I had from the year before, gave myself a $100 budget, and bought some starter plants. I was a bit late in my planting, but figured I'd give it a shot anyway.

And, oh am I glad that I did.....

I'm currently harvesting lots of lettuce, Swiss chard, Anaheim chilis, herbs, and quite a few tomatoes (there are so many green tomatoes on these plants...I'm going to be swimming in tomatoes as they ripen). My other pepper plants are starting to produce, including green bell peppers and jalapenos. My squash, zucchini, and cucumber plants are getting big and trying to take over the garden. I'm also growing beets, carrots, and Brussels sprouts.

Another unexpected success for the summer is my compost pile! Again, something I was pretty depressed about after last summer because it appeared that NOTHING was happening....After declaring the compost pile dormant for the winter, I didn't even bother to bring the kitchen compost crock in the house this spring because I was so sure that I was a composting failure. But a while back I took the lid off my compost bin, thoroughly soaked it with water, and let it stay open to the air, sun, and excessive rain we were getting. And, lo and behold, my compost pile is cookin'! Literally! Take a look at this rich, dark soil! YEAH!

The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. ~Hanna Rion

1 comment:

Gratefulmom said...

Yeah! Your garden looks awesome! I will have to post some photos of ours as well. The people we bought the house from had built a nice garden box in the back yet filled it with the soil from the yard which as you know is sandy and filled with clay. We did our best with time and money replacing it but I think we need to go another route next year because the soil we used wasn't rich enough. The garden has grown but alot of the plants flowered which apparently is not good (but pretty! :) ) Plus our neighbor cat decided it was his litter box so we had to get rid of plants and soil and use wire to keep him out. Fun fun, you'll have to share your newly learned tips with us.