5.21.2014

Our Backyard Garden {2014}

One of my very favorite parts of Spring (and Summer!) is planting our Garden.
Kevin grew up with a garden in their backyard & so did I.
We LOVE homegrown veggies. 
They taste amazing...there is nothing like picking veggies straight from your backyard!
I get so excited in April when it is time to start thinking about our garden.
This April we were crazy busy on the weekends with softball for Kate, throwing a baby shower and rainy weather, so we didn't get our garden planted until the first weekend of May.
I carefully plan out what I am planting in each garden box (that Kevin built for me!)
Each year, Kevin gets new dirt for our boxes. This year we did a compost mix (so stinky at first!!!) 
Each year, I have do most of the same things, but I like to try out at least one new veggie each year.
I am all about being a Suburban Farmer :)
Here is our 2014 Garden:
Notice the fencing around it....that is to keep our dog out. We originally had no fence:

 But, the day after I planted the garden, our yellow lab dug up half the garden!!!
I was furious! So, I had to go buy new plants & replant them. Ugh.

 Here is a breakdown of what I have in each of the 3 garden boxes:
Box #1
I have green onions & leeks
Carrots & Celery
2 types of lettuce, Wildfire Mix and Romaine:
I also put my herbs in this box.
Dill & Cilantro
Rosemary & Oregano:
Garlic Chives & Basil

Box #2:
This box contains 4 types of tomatoes, squash & zuchinni:
I planted Sun Sugar Tomatoes (orange) and Super Sweet 100:
Yellow Pear & Cherry Tomatoes:
Green Zuchinni:
I LOVE zuchinni! And, I love baking treats with it like:
and my favorite....

Yellow Squash:
 
Box #3:
This box has 5 Early Girl Tomato Plants
These are my favorite tomatoes! They are delicious and deep red. Perfect for Salads, Sandwiches, Caprese Salad, etc. Delicious!

Around our garden boxes, I have other things planted.
I have 3 types of Cucumbers:
Salad Cucumbers:
Persian Cucumbers:
Sweeter Yet Cucumbers:
I love growing cucumbers for salads and also making Homemade Pickles!

We also have some fruit trees. They are only 2 years old, so they haven't produced any fruit....yet!
Mandarin Orange:
Honey Crisp Apple Tree (that looks more like a bush)
Fuji Apple Tree:
 
 We had a lime tree, but it froze to death this winter. 

We also normally plant watermelon, pumpkins and cantelope in our garden, but we are in a drought here in California with water restrictions. Those vine plants require  A TON of water, so we are not planting them this year.
I am also not planting peppers this year.
The past 3 years, I have attempted bell peppers, banana peppers, pepperchini & jalapenos, but they have never produced more than 1 pepper per plant, so I have given up on peppers. I am not sure if we are in the right climate zone for peppers. Oh well.

Another view of our garden:

Here are my gardening tips in case you have a backyard garden!

1. Plant your garden in a place in your yard that gets a lot of afternoon sun. 
We use a raised garden boxes that Kevin built. 
They are 4x8 and made with redwood. This is our 4th summer having them. I love them!
2. Make sure you water your plants 3-4 times a week during mild weather and everyday during a heat wave.
3. Get new dirt each year, more specifically one for gardens. 
We order a Garden Mix from our local nursery. This year we added an organic compost.

4.  Block your garden off with a fence (or barricade) if you have a pet who likes to ruin your garden. 
Our lab dug up half our garden within 24 hours of planting it.
UGH. And, last year, she kept eating them off the vine. Bad Dog ;)
5. If you are planting Tomatoes, you MUST get this:

$5 at Home Depot. It works works wonders! 
Our tomatoes last year were OUT OF CONTROL!
It was awesome. 
I also an an organic fertilizer to my other veggies.
Do you have a Backyard Garden? What is your favorite thing to grow?
Let me know if you have any other garden questions (and feel free to add your tips!)

8 comments:

  1. Have you made pickles before?? M&J are DYING to make pickles this year!

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  2. I really want to do this in our new big backyard! We are in a stage 3 drought here, so it is always hit or miss if we would even be allowed to water! This may be next summer's project!

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  3. I live in Kentucky, and we planted peppers last year. They grew like crazy, and I'd say from 6 plants we harvested 100+ peppers. I think they just require really hot weather and direct sunlight during the summer, and apparently, they loss some spicyness if you water them too much. This year, we have several buds already forming. Not sure about your climate, but if you rock 90-100 degree days during the summer then I'd try again with peppers at some point.

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  4. Every year, this is one of my favorite posts!! I just love, love, love this! You guys amaze me with your suburban garden skills :).

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  5. Your post this time last year inspired me to attempt to try my own garden…and it turned out SO well, despite my black thumb! It has become a fun project for the whole family and I couldn't wait to get started again this year. Thanks so much for these posts! I was so excited when I saw it!

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  6. I planted yellow pear tomatoes this season and cannot wait!! I also did the early girls, regular grape tomatoes (we eat them like crazy) and another kind of slicing tomato. Love, love, love homegrown tomatoes!!

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  7. Love the ideas and tips. I too do raised beds in my suburban home. The tip that I would offer is using bone or fish meal. When the Indians taught the pilgrims to farm they taught them to place a fish in the ground with each plant. That is gross but good fertilizer. Fish or bone meal is not so gross but offers some of the same benefits to the plants. I do this and for the past several years my tomato plants are taller than my and I am 5'9. I have three or four plants a year and give away more tomatoes than we keep. Same goes for the peppers and cucumbers. Unbelievable really! Good luck and happy gardening.

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  8. Yes. Green onions should be included in every garden, once the conditions for growing them are right. There is so much that you can do with them. Add them to soups, include them in stews, make all sorts of dishes with them. I like to add them to fritters. It's a good way to save money and enjoy all of those foods.

    Norberto @ Thorburn Landscapes

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