The Garden That Was

Please forgive me.  I promised this post a long time ago, and just got to it now.  Life’s been a wee bit busy… 

This past summer, we actually had a pretty sweet garden over here.  Today I’ll finally show you what went on in the back yard.  I am in total summer withdrawl…so here goes.

I plotted.  I planned.  I chose our favorite veggies and herbs and decided where I thought they’d be happy.  We had no garden dug yet…but my imagination was WAY beyond that.

We dug a NEW garden.  Went from 2 beds to 10 on the other side of the yard.  We meant to do 12.  Thank you, highly invasive Japanese Knotweed, for knocking out 2 of our beds.  Still, after 10 beds gave up the produce of an entire summer, I was dumbfounded: You can grow a TON of food in your own yard! 

Anyhoo, AFTER we dug the lawn up, I discovered how much shade was in the area.  I showed my obsessive insanity by trying to figure out what in the world to do with the big plot of dirt I was cultivating.  Keep it?  Cover it?  Rotate it?  Have a hissy fit?

It turned out we’d picked the perfect spot in the yard after all, and we got to work.

Stupid knotweed…  It did make nice spacing markers…

My incredible Sweet Babboo and Mom and Dad dug and tilled the garden, and shoveled a literal TON of poo upon it.  Boy, does that stuff work.  (It’s not really poo.  It was poo once upon a time, but since then had….ripened….into dirt again.)

Up went a fence, and TA DAAAAAAAAA!  We had a real garden.

At 8-9 months pregnant, I could not believe it was happening, and that no one was pulling me aside to say how silly I was for doing this now

I’d started tomatoes indoors, and these came out soon after, following direct-sown cukes, peas, and beans.

And they GREW.  The cup collars are for their protection against cut worms.  Works well.

By the end of the summer, we had so many cherry tomatoes, they were dying on the vine or falling to a later death on the garden floor.  Turns out we can’t eat hundreds and hundreds of cherry tomatoes by ourselves.

Live and learn.

The peas had a nice trellis.  And although these turned out to be mostly snack food for Ye Old Faithful Gardener, their sweet crunch was worth it!

I also discovered that we do not need an entire bed devoted to lettuce.  Salad Bowl, Black Seeded Simpson, and Romaine grew beautifully, and we feasted. 

Next year I’ll add some baby field greens, and maybe arugula or something – but in smaller quantities.

Upon the recommendation of the MG, I planted red and white potatoes for the first time.  What a great success!  They require very little attention, and we’re still eating them now.

The peas kept growing… 

…and so did the cucumbers.  It turns out the MG was right again – 10 vines is too many unless you have a small colony living together in the backyard.  Heh heh.  Oops.

The potatoes kept growing, crowding out the lemon balm, which fought bravely to catch a little sunlight under there.

Despite being very pregnant, and then a recovering Mama, I got to spend a lot of time in this little Eden out back.  How grateful I am for Mom, Dad, and my Sweet Babboo, who helped me get it going and gave me great advice for its success.

This is a photo taken about halfway through the growing season:

By the end, the basil was up to my chin, the tomatoes were taking over like mutant, hairy red-flecked monsters, and the green beans had covered the back fence like a wall.

These pictures show a little of that amazing blessing.

Overgrown or not, I loved it.  🙂

I can hardly wait for next year.  I’ve learned how NOT to stake the big tomatoes, how TO kill aphids and ants without using chemicals, and how to LEEEEEEET GOOOOOOOO.

It was a great summer, and next one will be even better.  A gardener always hopes.

Last year we grew carrots, potatoes, bush beans, pole beans, cucumbers, peas, big red tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, a couple measly little red peppers, lots of lettuce, basil, oregano, chives, sage, and lavender.

Next year I’d like to add strawberries, rosemary, parsley, thyme, and maybe iceberg lettuce for my Sweet Babboo.

When can I start seeds in the basement?  Shucks.  I guess it’s too soon still…

Here’s to looking forward.


7 thoughts on “The Garden That Was

  1. I am VERY impressed, and I can’t wait to see what you are planning to do this year when you aren’t 8-9 months pregnant (unless you are withholding a secret from the world). We had umpteen gazillion grape tomatoes too, but I discovered a secret to putting up tomatoes this year. You just take them, wash them, blend them to a pulp in your blender or food processor, and pour them into big ziplock bags and freeze. They don’t need to be cooked or anything first. Just add the thawed bags to your spaghetti sauces in the winter. They might take extra simmering to get rid of excess water since grape tomatoes aren’t as condensed as a nice paste tomato, but I’ll tell ya, I got a couple extra bags of sauce just out of grape tomatoes. But I do plan to cut back on grape tomatoes this year and add more romas- which went very well for me but I would have liked more. And by the way, growing them on the chain link fence and weaving them in and out of the links worked FANTASTICALLY. And I appeased the neighbors by telling them to come help themselves to any tomatoes on their side of the fence. They did.

    • That’s an awesome idea! I tried freezing cherry tomatoes the way they were but didn’t like the consistency when they thawed. I WILL be trying that next summer. Thanks! And bravo on the fence idea! I’m glad it worked. I remember you telling me you were trying it.

    • Huh. That’s weird…I wonder why? Thanks for reading it though and passing it on. I’m tickled pink that he liked it. He has QUITE the green thumb. I’m a little surprised that he hasn’t taken over their backyard and grown everything under the sun. What a great spot for it, and he’s so good at it…

      Love you too! Have a good day.

  2. Pingback: Until Next Time | The Full Vine

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