Happy Wednesday everyone!
I got to spend the majority of my day yesterday outside enjoying the beautiful fall weather. It wasn't too cold but I could still feel that chill that comes with this time of year.
While enjoying my scenery, it got me thinking about my garden this year. In the past, I haven't been the best gardener. The set up I had did not help suppress weeds and I would get discouraged by how much maintenance there was.
This year for mothers day/anniversary Ryan build and installed new garden boxes for me. I had read a gardening article that mentioned that this method is much easier to maintain. I still really wanted to garden and figured I'd give it a try.
I learnt a lot my first year and I can say that garden boxes are the way to go for me! Having a certain amount of square footage to maintain was so much easier. It took less water and my yield this year was amazing!
When I was trying to decide what to plant in my garden this year I was a little unsure as to what I wanted. This year was a trial.
I decided to designate one box JUST for herbs! I planted basil, cilantro, parsley, chives and thyme. This worked out so great and I used these herbs from my garden all summer long! It's so nice having fresh herbs on hand to add extra flavor to our meals!
Box 2 was my cherry tomato and pepper box. I planted 3 pepper plants and 3 cherry tomatoes. My cherry tomatoes were insane this year. Of the grape variety I had hundreds! Way more then we need and enough to share! Too many. Next year I will be only putting in 2 plants.
My peppers didn't perform well this year. I think they competed with the tomato plants. I will try them again next year.
Box 3 had 6 kale plants and a row of dill weed. I do really love kale but I do not need 6 plants! 3 would give me lots for myself and to share! The dill actually did really well! One little row was plenty for my pickles and to save some seeds for future.
Box 4 was spinach and beans! I have NEVER had luck with beans. They would either not germinate for me for get eaten by crows. This year I had SO many beans! Enough to freeze about 10 bags (1.5 cup portions) for a side at supper and make 3 jars of pickled beans for Caesars!
My spinach did really well but 3 plants was more then I needed. I think I will only plant 2 next year and attempt to freeze some spinach for soups and dip.
Box 5 was all cucumbers to make dills! I had 6 plants and most did really well. I ended up with 8 jars of pickles! I would have had 10 but the week that we went on holidays they got over ripe.
Box 6 was a couple of rows of peas. These didn't do amazing but I was able to snack on them. One of my favorite things to eat fresh from the garden. I also planted 2 rows of carrots. Carrots are a hit or miss for me. This year...WOW! So many carrots! It took me almost two hours to process them for the freezer! We'll have carrots for suppers all winter long!
I also continued the tradition of putting my tomato plants (roma variety this year) in my flower garden. Only 3 of the 6 plants performed really well. But I got enough tomatoes to have LOTS of diced tomatoes all winter long for sauces and soups. Yum! I also process 16 bags of corn from a local farmer and grew a few gourds.
I am so happy and my garden enthusiasm has grown after having such a successful year with my garden. There are a few things that will change next year and we are hoping to even add a couple of extra boxes. I also love to have some frozen garden treats to use all winter long but the best part is sharing some garden surplus with friends and neighbors.
Sam has been my little sidekick. He loves to help me pick the veggies and put them in the basket! It is still the first place he walks to out of habit when we go outside to play. I hope to continue to learn how to garden and teach Sam my love of growing as well.