I love our garden. I know all of you have visions of what a garden should look like. Let me put your minds to rest, mine does not follow the norm. Don't get me wrong. We do grow things but I think it turns more into a science project than an actual producing garden.
When we first moved into our house, it seems we were more excited about planting a garden than just about anything else. So about 2 months after we moved in I went and bought plants and some wood beams to make a bed. I figured if I bought the plants than I would have to hurry and build it or they would die. My dad happened to come to town a day or two later and helped to build a beautiful garden bed and we put it right under my dining room window so I wouldn't forget to water the plants and I could watch them grow. We planted the plants and it looked great. They were all in rows and everything. Then the rain started. Little did we know that we had placed the garden in the one spot in the yard that tends pool when it rains. Needless to say, the garden didn't do very well. I got 2 tomatoes and our okra plants did great. Everything else just kind of rotted on the vine. I figured this was going to be a work in progress.
This last spring we moved the bed to a better place in the yard. We planted summer squash, that did great. We didn't know what to do with all of it. We grilled it and even tried making squash bread out of it. It wasn't very good. I don't recommend it. We planted basil, oregano, cilantro and chives. We also planted 2 tomato plants. The goal of every garden in my opinion is to get the coveted garden tomatoes. At first they wouldn't fruit. There were lots of flowers but they wouldn't fruit. Then when they would fruit, we had stink bugs that would suck them dry. We couldn't seem to get rid of them. By the time we figured that out, it was the end of the season. One day we notices a couple of horned worms, or tomato worms on the plants. They look kind of cool and I can remember my parents having us take them off our tomato plants when we were younger. At this point we had pretty much given up on getting any tomatoes off the plants and we thought we would see what would happen. It took one day and those plants were stripped clean. I couldn't believe the damage those little things could do. Later when we were clearing out the garden Scott found the cocoons of the horned worms. They were huge. They were as long and a little fatter than my thumb. They were also red. So we left them alone. It was something else when the moths came out of the cocoons. It really freaked out dog our. She would bark and bark at the things. I will post pictures when I get them. It was a great learning experience for the kids.
We also planted okra. Scott had saved some seeds from the plants the previous year. We didn't really think they would grow. He went out and scratched some lines in the dirt at the back of the yard and planted them. He planted them just in the sand and the soil wasn't very good at all. I didn't think any of them would take. By the end of the week, we had about 100 okra sprouts. So after the thinning process we were left with about 25 okra which turned into an okra forest, that's what I called it. We had more okra than we knew what to do with. We made gumbo and had fried okra a few times. We tried to give it away but not many people would take it.
We planted carrots in September. I found some seed packets at Walmart they were clearing out for 10 cents. Scott made rows and made sure the loose dirt was nice and high so the carrots would grow nice and long. Then a week later we were hit by Hurricane Ike. I figured that was the end of our carrots. Ike had taken out what was left of our okra. A week or so later the carrots started growing. We had carrot shoots in the grass and everywhere except the tops of those perfect little rows. They were all in the valleys. So we kind of let them do what they were going to do. Another science project. We didn't thin them. We just let them go. Once they got pretty big we started pulling one each Saturday. It sure was a lot of fun to watch them grow and taste them. Then they got bigger and started to grow down into the clay. It sure was hard to get them out of the clay. We harvested them on Saturday. The kids had a great time. Ian even helped. I think he ate more dirt than anything else but he sure loved the freedom to go where he wanted and do what he wanted. He sure needed a bath when he was done. They have even saved 9 carrots for Santa's reindeer. Last night I even made carrot cake with the carrots from the garden. It sure tasted good. Now the garden is waiting for peas to be planted next month. It sure is great to live in a place where we can plant things all year long.
3 days ago