Homegrown: Garden Update

Way back in May I had all these plans for building my garden bed, doing fabulous DIY posts about it, with bi-weekly updates on how things are growing.

Quite clearly, that didn’t happen. May turned into a life-organization-falling-apart month/blogging slump, and I feel like I am finally done with that. I did end up taking lots of photos of the building process, but never ended up editing them and putting a post together. I don’t even have a reason; I just never got around to actually doing it (re: life-organization-falling-apart month).

But, here I am now, with an update of how my happy little garden is doing it! I absolutely love gardening. I find it so incredibly satisfying on all levels – growing a plant, watching it thrive, and then in the end eating veggies I grew myself!

A quick note – I grow everything (veggies and flowers) from seed. I figured I’d just let you know so I don’t have to acknowledge it for every single plant!

lettuce

Lettuce! I am so happy these guys are getting so big! I’m growing two varieties: Romaine (left) and Giant Caesar (right). They are both such thick, crisp leaved lettuces. Which is my absolute favorite! I did spinach last year, and the leaves were very soft. I like a good crunch to my greens so I’m sticking with lettuces this year. (I did actually start some spinach in some pots on the stoop, and a critter ate every single one. Brat.)

carrot closeup

Most of my carrots are growing up quite nicely. To be honest, growing carrots in a small bed is really not that practical. To get enough to make it worthwhile cost-wise, I’d need an entire bed of JUST carrots, not eight little carrot plants. However, since I have a kiddo, carrots are an absolute necessity. Watching her face as she pulls them out of the ground at harvest time is priceless. Totally worth the garden space!

carrot&broccoli overview

Unfortunately, two of my carrots aren’t doing so hot as my broccoli plant it totally taking over with it’s giant leaves! So we’ll only end up with six carrots.

broccoli

Which brings us to broccoli. I’m pretty cranky with the broccoli actually. Don’t get me wrong – it’s thriving. Thick base, strong leaves. . .and zero florets. Not even the start of florets. We had the same problem last year. Giant glorious plant. . .teeny tiny broccoli floret! I think this is the last year I grow broccoli simply because I’d rather use the space for something more useful (green beans!!). We didn’t even get a single person’s serving worth of broccoli last year, and it looks like this year is following suit. Plus, it’s taking over my carrots. Boo.

tomato

My tomatoes are doing quite well this year! Luckily, they are more laid back than last year. (Last year in our container garden they legitimately grew to almost six feet tall, and were so thick and heavy they kept constantly falling over in their buckets and bending the metal cages. We ended up having to anchor them to the house. Tone it down, tomatoes.) These are a perfect size. About three feet tall so far, and lots of little buds and tomatoes starting to come in. Yay!

peas2 peas1

Peas! Pretty much my favorite garden veggie to grow. I love to pick them and pop them directly in my mouth, raw and delicious. I’m also really glad they are climbing up my DIY trellis I made for them. It’s a bit hard to see in these photos, but farther down there’s a picture of the full bed and you’ll have a better view. The actual trellis is made from fishing line, which I wasn’t sure would be strong enough for them to climb, but they seem to be responding quite well to it.

marigold1

Lastly, the marigolds. I have two different plants, and I’m really excited for how big they have gotten, especially being started from seed. This one has hugely grown out, with tons of bee-attracting blooms!

marigold2

And although I’m usually a cool color gal, I love fire colored flowers. So beautiful.

mutant marigold1

And then there is this marigold plant, which I have lovingly dubbed my mutant marigold. Marigolds are generally a small bushy-type plant. This one apparently aspired to be a palm tree. It is as tall as my tomatoes (about three feet). And it has HUGE blossoms.

mutant marigold2

It’s the size of my palm! What?! We had to truss it up to the pea trellis frame after the last rain as it’s stems are so tall and thick it was tipping over into the lettuces. It also started to bloom over two weeks after my other marigold (they were started at the same time). But I’ve learned to love it. It’s got character.

radishes

I’ve got some radishes in pots at the front of the garden. They are so yummy fresh on a salad! Plus, more fun things for my little to pick. These are almost ready to pluck out, and I’ve already gotten three others. I love how quickly radishes grow.

full view

And here’s the whole bed! We tucked it in the corner of our yard where the grass is a bit sparse and away from where the kids play, so it has it’s own little happy area. And it’s built entirely by me and the hubs, which kind of makes it all the more satisfying. You can’t see it, but the bottom of the bed has a full layer of wire fencing that we attached to it to keep the groundhogs out. We’ve had a couple in the yard before, so better safe than sorry. This project also led me to discover that we are the most unprofessional DIYers ever. My hubs, like me, is much more of the nerdy, book-reading, computer-gaming guy, not a power tools, handy-man guy. So I definitely appreciate his willingness and good humor when I propose DIY projects neither one of us have a clue how to do. 😀 And I built the pea trellis all by myself, which I was quite proud of (cough cough – ignore that teeny bit of duct tape at the top – cough cough).

Can’t wait to harvest some yummy veg!

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8 thoughts on “Homegrown: Garden Update

  1. Sonya says:

    This is so cute! You must have started your tomatoes much earlier than I did. Mine are still only a couple of inches tall. I think I’m going to start a lot more indoors next year, much earlier. Peas have been my favorite to grow this year, simply because they’re growing so well. Every once in a while Dan and I will go outside with the dog, and I’ll grab a few pods for us to snack on. Even with some plants just not doing so well (my spinach died so I ended up planting more peas, for example), I’m really enjoying gardening, and I love seeing how yours is coming along, too.

    • kaycreate says:

      Thanks! Yep, tomatoes need to be started about eight weeks in advance indoors. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t get any tomatoes this year. And although my peas are nice and tall, they have no actual peas yet! I can’t wait to snap mine off and munch too!

  2. Meagan Crowe says:

    I’m so jealous! I can’t wait until we have a yard and I can start a raised bed. I tried balcony container gardening a few years ago and it was a giant failure two years in a row so I scrapped the whole operation and now I wait for my house and yard.
    -Meagan
    fictionincarnate.com

    • kaycreate says:

      Our first attempt at a bed right in the ground was a total failure. Everything died or got eaten. I waited a few years before trying again, but our container garden last year was quite successful.

  3. Jessica says:

    It’s looking great!! I’ve always wanted to start a garden, but I know it’s a lot of work so I haven’t yet… but I hope to one day. I love the “mutant marigold” plant, lol those flowers are very pretty 🙂

    • kaycreate says:

      Thanks! Building the beds and doing the planting definitely is work, but after that I find it really does take minimal effort. It took me awhile to get on board with gardening, but I’m glad I did!

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