Well, we tried the backyard garden plot, but all the shade from the neighbors' trees made that first year's crop turn out looking like the "7 years of famine" corn from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
So last year Ryan moved the garden (1 wheelbarrow full of dirt at a time) to the front yard next to the driveway & rebuilt the cedar planks. Total cost: $Free.99!
May 21 2010
...then installed the iconic white picket fence:
May 31 2010
That was so 2010. We learned a lot (we think!) and have big hopes for 2011. Over the winter, we tilled in all the leaves from our 2 huge trees, added some nitrogen, and let them compost. Then in April, we added a good helping of Oakdell Organic Poultry Compost (the good stuff! and doesn't smell at ALL) and planted spinach & snap pea seeds:
April 7 2011
We went on vacation for the next couple of weeks. It rained enough for the tiny spinach seeds, but none of the peas came up. Oh well.
The next couple of weeks we added a drip irrigation system and a lot more vegetables:
Tomatoes - 4 Roma, 1 Early Girl, 1 Sweet Cherry, 1 Beefsteak)
Peppers - 4 Bell, 2 Cayenne, 2 Jalapeno, 2 Anaheim
Onions - 1 Vidalia, 1 red
Garlic - 1 garlic
Squash - 1 yellow crookneck, 1 zucchini
Herbs - 1 sweet basil, 1 cilantro
Cucumber - burpless (seeds)
May 22 2011
Note the grass clippings covering everything. It's to (1) keep weeds down, (2) retain moisture, and (3) provide more nutrients. $Free.99 again!
Oh, and there's an empty spot in our backyard where fruit trees used to be, so we put some seeds in there: Pumpkin (giant and carving varieties), Watermelon, Cantaloupe, and Cucumber.
Everything started off pretty slowly since it was a cold / late spring, but it all took really well except the cucumber seeds (bottom right by the stake), which never came up:
May 29 2011
We've watered everything (with the soakers) for 4-8 hours about twice a week, without much help from any significant amount of rain since then:
June 12 2011
And the spinach has been EXPLODING!! We could pick it all 2x / week, but we don't, so the leaves get monstrously huge. It's finally starting to bolt (June 26th) so we'll probably only get another 1 or 2 pickings:
June 26 2011
The tomatoes and peppers are now flowering. So is the cilantro, so we'll let it go to seed (coriander) and figure out what to do with that later on. The peppers and basil aren't growing nearly as much as everything else, but we expect them to now that it's heating up outside.
More updates to follow!