|The garden in April before the spring overhaul/expansion|
In a spurt of energy last fall, I completed the initial dig-in, which required the time-consuming and hopelessly futile task of bermuda grass removal. A month later I added compost, formed the rows, and planted fall crops. Two months after that I sheet mulched a large area around the perimeter to start killing the bermuda grass in an attempt to make expansion easier in the spring.
The fall garden was only moderately successful, but considering I was still getting the hang of parenting and spent next-to-no time tending it, I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Some munching critter decimated the kale, I killed the first snap peas when out of pure laziness I failed to cover them during a freeze, the lettuce never germinated despite multiple plantings, and at times I was growing more weeds than vegetables. Even so, I managed to harvest chard, carrots, green onions, snap peas, radishes, cilantro, and one tiny beet.
|Another "before" shot--bolted cilantro that fell over during a heavy rain|
|First harvest of the fall|
|Some of my successful transplant purchases this spring|
This spring, I redid the old rows so they were a more appropriate width and dug-in the area I sheet mulched in the fall. I easily tripled the amount of growing space in my garden this season. For about two weeks in April I was regularly working in the yard after HP went to sleep to dig in new rows, add compost, shape the rows, plant, and install irrigation. The whole process took the better part of the month.
|Garden "after" the overhaul/expansion with wider, longer rows|
- Bush beans, Blue Lake 274 (from seed, did not germinate, planted squash in its place)
- Bush beans, Purple Queen (from seed)
- Cowpeas, Big Red Ripper (from seed)
- Black-eyed peas, California #5 (from seed)
- Summer squash, Abundant Harvest Mix (from seed, mediocre germinate and sickly looking sprouts)
- Summer squash, Early Prolific Straightneck (from seed)
- Winter squash, Winter Harvest Mix (from seed)
- Watermelon, Sugar-Baby (from seed)
- Watermelon, Mickeylee (transplant--died in the first two weeks)
- Cantaloupe, Hale's Best (from seed that did not germinate + one transplant)
- Cantaloupe, Honey Rock (from seed)
- Peppers, Bell Boy (transplants that I accidentally snapped in half--whoops!)
- Peppers, Ancho (transplants, only one of which I have snapped in half)
- Peppers, Marconi (transplants)
- Cucumbers, Marketmore(transplant)
- Basil, Sweet (transplant)
- Parsley, Flat-leafed Italian (transplant)
- Okra, Hill Country Red (from seed)
- Okra, Silver Queen (from seed)
|Squash and beans, grown from seed|
It is hard to be out in the garden as often as I would like in this season of life. Getting out during the day isn't always an option, either due to the heat, HP's love for eating mulch, dirt, and rocks, or his furiously fast crawl that would decimate all plants in his path if given the chance. I know it won't be long before he will be interested in the garden and want to participate, allowing gardening to become something we regularly do together (even if "do together" means I can work while he plays in the yard independently). Until then, I am trying to make the most of the evenings and weekends to cultivate our little plot of land.
|Me and my lil' gardener checking on the basil|