Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wanna-be Gardener.....

Here's my first post for the Happel Garden 2010!
(it may also be the last post, depending on how things go.)
Last year, we tried to have a garden. It seemed like there was plenty of sun in our back yard, so as soon as we moved in we dug out a little patch, tilled, planted, watered, fertilized,
battled the slugs, and.... pretty much got nothing out of it. Corn: complete failure. Not an ear. Basil: pretty good crop. Tomato: sad. Probably 5 (albeit tasty) tomatoes total. Chives: excellent. Salad: slug food. Cilantro: no show. Parsley: also a no show. Carrots: darling. The smallest little carrots you ever did see. Multi colored and quite tasty for the whole bite. Spinach: slug heaven. Sugar snap peas: yum-o!
For a few days, I went outside each hour (so long as it was sunny) and recorded just how much
sun our little patch was actually getting. Turns out, only 4 full hours, plus 3 hours of part sun. Bummer. So this year, we are re-thinking our crop selection. I did a little research on part sun crops, (or at least ones that will supposedly survive without full sun all day) and planted a few things as soon as the soil was workable. Now that we've had some sun and rain, I'm happy to
report that things are sprouting, I took a few photos this afternoon to share with you our bright start!

garlic! mmmm

potatoes coming up- aren't they cute?

sweet peas sprouting around the teeny garden fence. I'm hoping peas wrapped around the barely visable fence will help Rowen not trip over it. Also, the chives came back bushy and beautiful!

leeks! Oh, how I hope I have success with leeks. I l.o.v.e. leeks. See the teeny tiny sprouts coming up in this little trench? mmmm....... I have a few planted indoors too waiting for transplant. I thought I'd see which set did better.

Also barely sprouting are beets and spinach. I'm going to try to keep the slugs out of my spinach this year, as it's supposed to do well in the shade. Eggshells, hazelnut shells, more beer traps, something....
I just transplanted brussels sprouts and broccoli. They don't look so hot, but after setting them outside to "harden off" many of the sprouts "broke" so.... I don't know if they'll keep growing or not. I might just plant more directly in the soil.

We also have a few mystery sprouts! I'm guessing a little gift from the compost pile. There are... oh... five? of these little guys scattered throughout the garden. I may transplant them into a sunny spot once they're bigger just out of curiosity. Zucchini? Cantaloupe? Any guesses? Darling little things. (Like my scattered broken egg shells to ward of slugs?
Judging by the bite taken out of this leaf, they aren't that effective.)

And....... HERE'S the view from standing in our garden into our neighbor's back yard.
I have a feeling my battle with the dandelions is going to be fierce throughout the spring and summer. Oiy.

On another gardening note....I was wondering why our tulips weren't budding. There are just a small handful of them that came up around the base of the big tree. I've been just waiting and waiting for their happy little heads to shout "welcome, Spring!" Upon closer inspection, they've been decapitated. All of them. I hate squirrels. (See the tiny purple evidence at the bottom of the photo?)
Last fall our iris' (also planted around the base of the big tree) showed some signs of disease. So I dug them up, cut off the bad portions, split them, and replanted. The squirrels dug them up. So I replanted. And the squirrels dug them up. After several weeks of this game I gave up and threw all the poor little tubers into a bucket in the garage and forgot about them until January. I put them in a new spot by the house where the nasty squirrels left them alone, and I'm happy to report they are now all sprouting. :) They survived!!!
We had planted a couple ferns around the tree last year which did not survive the crazy squirrels. I'm hoping to plant my rosemary around the tree- seems like a really good spot- but I'm going to have to think of some sort of squirrel protection plan first. Hm.....
Okay, enough already! Obviously I've got spring fever!


BETHANY said...

I'm not jealous. Not at all. I'm really happy for you. Super happy.

TheBoehme3 said...

Love it! We have done a garden every year since we've been married...and will be starting a new one at the new house. I'm working on little container sprouts inside to transplant when we move. BTW, the best stuff for slugs, IMO, is the Corry's copper tape (no chemicals). Good luck and have fun!

The Boggs Family said...

WOW! I want a garden! I just don't have a place sunny enough to have one. : ( I'm not jealous either!! ; )

Patti said...

So you're crafty AND have a green(ish) thumb?

Our friendship is in serious jeopardy due to my envy. He he.

That would be so great to have a garden....especially with little ones. Such a great example of the miracle of God's creation!

Looking forward to hearing all about it as things grow!

P.S. Your bitterness towards slugs and squirrels cracks me up!!!!!

Jacki R. said...

Boy you weren't kidding about your neighbor's yard! That is crazy, when those go to seed they are destined to make their way into your yard :(

Good luck with the battle of the slugs this year!