We cannot pinpoint the exact reason that our garden is doing so well this year, but we’re happy about it! The multiple factors that we have changed from last year (our first year ever gardening), to now, made all the difference. As I have mentioned, being a gardener you learn some hard lessons along the way. For example, last year we did not use a rain barrel. This year we are. That in itself, made a huge difference, as we all know that rain water is much better for the garden and it shows in the growth of our plants. Not to mention, the water bill will be kept to a minimum, as we have not watered our garden with anything else, but rain water.
I know that I have complained about all the rain we have been getting lately, but it has kept our garden well watered. It is great in that aspect, as just when I think that I have almost exhausted the entire drum of rain water, a storm rolls through and it is full again! We even have cleaned out a huge garbage can on wheels, and are using it as a backup for rain water. We just unhook the flexible hose attached to the gutter and let the rain water drain into the garbage can. This is awesome, because all we have to do is “dunk” the watering can into the garbage can and fill up! What amazes us is how quick a 55 gallon rain barrel can get filled up with one rainy downfall.
I think I did forget to mention, that we’re trying out two Juliet Tomato plants in large containers just to see what the difference is between plants in the garden, and plants in a container. Right now, one of our container Juliet Tomato plants is starting to bloom, so tomatoes are soon to follow!
What really blows our mind is, that our whole entire garden (minus the leaf lettuce and Romaine) were all started in our basement under a grow light. We basically ran out of room on the one table we had as the plants got bigger, so we now know that we will need an extra table and more grow lights for next year to make room for everything. Heaven help us if we had a bigger yard, as we know that we would most definitely build more raised garden beds!
We had to cover up our strawberry patch (which we are sure by next year, or even the end of this growing season will take over the flower bed) to protect them from all the birds. We watched them one afternoon just swooping in, one after another, flying in and grabbing a strawberry, then off they went. We knew immediately that we had to do something to protect our berries! The chipmunks can still get through this netting, but we are picking berries every day now as fast as they ripen, so at least we are getting the chance to enjoy our harvest!
Gardening is sure an adventure, one that we enjoy each and every day. Nothing brings so much pleasure than harvesting something that you grew yourself. I can just see it now… me building a veggie stand for the end of our driveway and selling Juliet Tomatoes! (now that would make a great blog post for sure!!)
And last but not least, every veggie gardener should also have a beautiful flower garden too! This flower garden is definitely budding with almost everything ready to bloom any time now. It is jammed packed with Bee Balm, Moon Beam Coreopsis, Russian Sage, Marigolds, Catnip (which the deer have grown quite fond of lately & ate half the bush!), lots of wild flowers, and if you look closely, you will see little pumpkins popping up all around this garden bed. (The cement “GROW” stepping stone was made by me last year with a mold and sealed with cement sealer. Beautiful!)
What do you have growing in your garden or flower beds?