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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: This year's Garden

Thursday, March 31, 2011

This year's Garden

I'm sure I'll mention this again sometime... but I have my hands in WAY too many things. And since I don't see that changing anytime too soon, I might as well share one more with you.

We garden.

There, I said it.

And we do. Now... I didn't say we ever harvest much, but we do all the planting and more. We are determined that this year will be different.

The problem is that we don't have much space of our own (any space of our own if you want to be really technical). We talked our landlord into some of the space out back between our mobile home and the creek. And, problem number 2, since we have very little natural light anywhere on our property (because of trees and hills on both sides of us), we built a green house to house our artificial light. I'll have to snap a picture of that sometime.

Basically, we started in January (we can because we have the greenhouse!)

No... we don't put them outside that early. The greenhouse was kinda beat up after the winter anyway.

We put them in our bathroom.


Our bathroom.

Let's just say it's the warmest room in the house in the winter and there's counter space. At least there was before we filled it with a couple trays of dirt and a grow light.

A couple weeks ago it was finally nice outside so we headed out to get some work done.

My Beloved worked on the actual structure of the greenhouse and I worked on this... our strawberry patch. Notice our "Squarefoot Gardening" boxes. They aren't great in the greenhouse... not enough air circulating I think. So this year we're tweeking it a little.

One thing we knew we needed to do is to space out our strawberries. They were all moldy and such last year. This year I made a point of digging them all up and thinning them to one per square (I think we had 4 to a square before... but really what we had was a big mess!) Hopefully this will help... it took me a whole afternoon to get it looking this pretty! Some of them are starting to show some green now that we're watering again.

Amazing stuff that water!

Oh... and what a fun surprise to find these down there popping up their little shoots from last year. We really didn't get much garlic (and what we got was not that great) last year, so these were a treat to find. Hopefully we'll get some good stuff!

And our trees were starting to think about waking up too. I don't know if we'll get anything on them, but this is their third year with us. They live in half wine casks. Sure would be nice to get some apples and pears this year (the peach tree didn't make it.)

The next weekend we added a bunch of top soil (our old "dirt" was entirely compost and we're thinking it was too rich for many of our plants so this year we added plain old top soil to help) to this box and then brought our 16 broccoli plants outside.

Don't they look so healthy!?!

We may loose one... but we're hoping not.

So here it is... part of it anyway.

The strawberries are in the left box and the broccoli is there in the right one.

We've already added some potatoes, radishes, spinach and lettuce around the broccoli to grow while it's still small. Some of it (like the potatoes) will remain when we harvest the broccoli. And once we do that, the tomatoes will take the place along the right side.

Oh, and My Beloved has worked to put in more soaker hoses. There were already a couple in the right box from last year. Now the strawberries and peppers have them in the left box! That is going to make watering soooo much easier!

Here's a map of the whole garden. The boxes are 4 by 16 each. Each little box is a foot squared. The color code is for seeing the water requirements at a glance. Sorry you can't read the tiny print. Maybe I can get a legible one for a future report.

I don't know if you can read it or not, but this one shows the tomatoes in the top box (the right box in the pics above... the entrance door is on the right of the map) in place of the broccoli.

Already there are tomatoes, peppers and a handful of herbs sitting under a light on the bathroom counter where the onions and broccoli used to be.

Wow... I'm tired just telling you about it all. I had no idea we'd done so much already. We always start with gusto... now I just hope we can finish so excited. Last year I had a baby just when harvest season started... made it tricky!

Now... what are the kids doing??? We're working through a garden unit right now. So fun! We're using Jolanthe's Preschool Pack and just getting started! More info on that to come. We're also spending time learning the Parable of the Sower and we're going to try planting seeds in a cup of sand, rocks and good soil (one each) to see what happens. Kids are excited about that!

Are you gardening this year??? Many of you are probably just starting... that's ok! I'd love to know what you're doing! Share it in the comments.

OR... join me over at Homeschool Village today and link up with their Garden Challenge. I am!

Oh... and it's a challenge to garden... not to garden well! ;)



At March 31, 2011 at 10:05 AM , Blogger musicalmary said...

Wow, this looks wonderful! I am so impressed and learned a lot from reading your post. Have fun gardening!

At March 31, 2011 at 10:56 AM , Blogger Ktribe said...

Great Plans!

At March 31, 2011 at 1:29 PM , Blogger ♥ilovemy5kids♥ said...

This looks so fun! Next year...I'm typing my plans! :)

Blessings to you,

Lana @ ilovemy5kids

At March 31, 2011 at 2:35 PM , Blogger Layton Family Joy said...

Fantastic - this looks VERY organized! (my rows are jealous)

thanks for linking up!

Next link up April 28th 10amEST


At March 31, 2011 at 3:15 PM , Blogger Christina said...

Great post! We also use the Square Foot Gardening method, this will be our third year. Your boxes look great! Happy Gardening

At March 31, 2011 at 8:32 PM , Blogger Selena said...

Wow!!! That looks great. You are so organized, and I don't even now where to start.

At March 31, 2011 at 9:00 PM , Blogger Zonnah said...

I would love to have a green house one day :) You really have got a lot done!

At April 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM , Blogger Julie said...

I love the idea of using the parable for planting. I am going to have to borrow that from you. We read that this week also but it never dawned on me to so that. Thanks so much. I'm also using the Garden Pack and it a lot of fun.

p.s. my rows are jealous also!

At April 3, 2011 at 11:28 PM , Blogger Mozi Esmé said...

Thanks for the caveat on gardening - not gardening well! I need that - I do NOT have a green thumb... You are quite organized! We keep wanting to garden, but never quite get it down well - maybe this will be the year. Except we don't have a bathroom counter, so we are way behind you... :)


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