The past few years we've had a lot of success growing tomatoes and herbs during the summer. This year I really wanted to try my hand at a real vegetable garden. We have plenty of yard for it, but not enough sunlight. UNTIL....Matt chopped down our Holly tree. The Holly tree provided me with beautiful festive greenery each Christmas, but it also liked to drop prickly leaves during the spring and summer months, which made it not so fun for the kids to play in the yard barefoot. When the Holly tree was gone, Matt decided we now had a place for a small garden.
I have to say it, even though I know I shouldn't, but Matt picked the spot for the garden primarily based on the fact that the area didn't have grass already and the area in the backyard (behind the creek) that I believed to be the sunniest spot in the yard - sun being essential to the grow of vegetables - had thick green grass covering it. You can see that our priorities are a bit different. But Matt tilled up the ground and got it all ready for me to plant and I don't think he would have gone to all that work if he wasn't hoping for success. We planted seedlings of lettuce and broccoli and seeds of sugar snap peas and green beans.
Check out my beautiful row of broccoli. I took these pictures a few weeks ago and since then they've gotten a little taller and the based is thicker and stronger. This slightly unfocused picture is the beginning of a sugar snap pea plant. Since then they've really taken off and I have about ten plants growing and they're at least six inches tall (as opposed to an inch in this picture).
Here you see a green bean plant just starting to unfold. Isn't that cool?
Unfortunately, that's as cool as it got, because only two plants really started coming up and those two have really stalled and it looks like they aren't going to make it. In their place we've added cucumbers and green peppers.
As for the lettuce, I don't think it looks any different today than it did a month ago. I also don't know how to know when it's ready to eat. It looks like I could eat it now and just call it baby lettuce. Anyone, anyone? How do I know that lettuce is at it's peak and ready for picking?
Another development since planting our garden is blooming of our neighbor's tree which is on the other side of our fence (you can see a corner of it in the top left of the first picture). Matt said he forgot about how much shade it gave us - probably because previously we had a big tree there giving us its fair share of shade.
So now between noon and two - the hottest hours of the day - our garden is completely in the shade. If I happen to be outside at that time, I just look at it, and then look to the back of our yard that is still bright and sunny, and sigh. I think I've done a pretty good job (for me) of not mentioning it too many times to Matt - only twice...okay...maybe three times.
Another new thing I'm doing this year is growing strawberries in planters. Last year Matt bought some hanging plants for our fence that turned out to be shade plants. I realized how much sun we got there because the plants were completely wilted if I missed watering them for one day. So the strawberries hang from the fence, hopefully out of sight of all the little critters that come prowling about.