Thursday, October 10, 2013

Slowly Growing a Green Thumb: Reflections of My First Summer Garden

I've brought up before about how I've always longed for a garden. There's something so lovely to me about the idea of growing your own food, spending a little time in the dirt, enjoying the sweet spring and summer air. I daydreamed about it and pictured all the canning I would do from our own garden growing on this tiny lot of land. Well, summer is over... and I'm not totally disappointed, but growing more vegetables wasn't as easy as I was hoping it would be. 

This past summer was the first time we were able to have a raised bed garden at our home. And you know what, it got a little out of control. And it didn't produce as much as my dreams predicted. What did happen? Well, our plants got tall and leafy. Our tomatoes were later than I expected and I'm just now getting the peppers I was hoping for. 

I think that our road trip timing could have been better - we came back and I never caught up with the work that needed to be done in the beds. I think it is time for me to accept that our lot is a bit too shady for the large raised beds we made. And something needs to be done about it. I also can't "love that the deer walk right into our yard" and not expect them to eat all but three of my blueberries. 

I've had some more experienced gardeners tell me that with all the good compost we put in our beds that it might take a year for everything to really be ready to grow - that things are still decomposing and the nutrients weren't quite ready for the plants. 

The good thing is, now this first year of only "some growing" is on the books. I've learned a lot about preparing the raised beds and how to keep the critters out. I might know when to plan our next vacation as to not miss out on the crucial weeks of tomato plant growth. We also built and filled the beds, so now we can clean up this fall with preparing for the spring. This will give the garden all through the winter to sit and rest and hopefully be ready for planting and growing next season! 

Until then I believe I will just daydream of more blueberry bushes... which will most likely feed next year's local deer population.