The Garden Project 2013: Peas, Beans, Lettuce, Tomatoes and What I've Learned So Far

I never would have thought that I would be planting a vegetable garden.  As I've mentioned before, we haven't had much luck growing things, but I was inspired by Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker to give a garden a try this year.  We have a pretty short growing season, but hopefully by the end of the summer we will have lots of fresh vegetables.  We are hoping to at least get back what we have spent in supplies.

We originally had planned to build a raised bed garden, but my father-in-law offered to till a garden spot for us with his tractor.  We will have lots of weeding to do this summer, but we were happy to save money on supplies to build a raised bed.  We actually have two garden spots now--one close to the house and one on the far side of our property where I will be getting some exercise trying to keep everything watered.

I planted 50 pea seeds that we soaked overnight to help them sprout faster.  I think I planted the pea seeds a little too late in the season and I'm not sure if we'll get very many this year.

Our 4-year old was very excited to help plant the seeds.

I raked each row into small mounds.  I remember my grandfather planted this way and since he had a beautiful garden every year, I decided to follow his example.  I made two rows of hills fairly close together and planted half of each row with peas and the other half with beans.  Our plan is to put wire between these rows as a trellis for both the peas and beans to grow on.  I also planted a whole row of leaf lettuce.  Lots of salads may be in our future.

We have some squash seedlings that we are going to plant in the far garden this week and in a couple weeks when the weather is a little warmer we will plant a row of zucchini.

Since we don't have a lot of garden space, we planted 18 tomato seedlings in buckets as we have been doing for several years now.  We drilled a hole on the side of each bucket for drainage.  

I have had a lot to learn and still have a lot more that I need to know.  Here's what I've learned so far (the hard way):
  1. Flip flops do not make good garden shoes.
  2. Digging a shallow furrow is the way to plant instead of digging individual holes.
  3. I didn't take into account that some seeds may not germinate, so we could have a lot of bare spots in the garden this year.

I have found some very helpful resources that have made this process less overwhelming.  My favorites are One Hundred Dollars A Month and Vegetable Gardner.  I am also currently reading Great Green book of Garden Secrets by Jerry Baker and have found his nontraditional approach to gardening very interesting.  Of course the best way to learn is by doing!

If you have some experience with gardening, feel free to leave your tips and advice in the comments.  I can use all the help I can get!

For more ideas on how to live simply, visit Simple Lives Thursday.


Anonymous said...

Great post. I hope you will share this with us today at The HomeAcre Hop.

Becky Neville said...

Gardeners never stop learning. I hope your harvest is plentiful and satisfying.

Vanessa M. said...

Thank you Becky. I hope to have a good crop this year, but if I don't, I've had a great time trying! :)

Carol J. Alexander said...

I wear Birkenstocks in the garden. ;) Thanks for sharing with us at the HomeAcre Hop. Please come back and see us this week: