Monday, June 4, 2012

The first fruits

A couple of months ago Matt and I had to make a decision: landscape the front door area or plant a garden. Seeing as it would probably cost more money and require more of our own energy to landscape, and we can't really eat the flowers and shrubs we plant, we decided to go with the garden. Now, a month and a half later, it is confirmed that we made the right decision. Who uses the front door anyway? We always go through the garage and we rarely have visitors.

So I present to you, the first fruits, er, veggies, of our labors! 

We planted this arugula early in May and it grew literally, like a weed. So much that it looked like a weed and my amateur gardener self was so tempted to just yank it all. Turns out, you have to thin it out from the bottom and leave the heavier center leaves to continue to grow.

For being total novices, we weren't sure what to expect with our first garden, so we have just been winging it from the get-go. Thankfully, you can be totally, well, "green," and still find garden success!

For not knowing much, we educated ourselves by reading through Mel Bartholomew's book, "All New Square Foot Gardening". Everything about his book made gardening seem so easy, it really felt like it would be a no-fail for us. So far, everything looks great!

Matt built the boxes in 30-minutes with wood that had been sitting in the corner of the garage. It cost about $100 to make the soil mix and the seeds were pennies. Matt added a simple irrigation system to deal with the arid Utah heat and we'll water occasionally. For the most part, the garden has been a fairly simple undertaking.
So far, we have planted:
 tomatoes                parsnips
 radishes                 carrots
 cucumbers             green onions
 squash                   turnips
 sweet potatoes       butter lettuce
 peas                        arugula
 corn                         broccoli
 cauliflower               gourds

Who knew that so much could fit in such a little space?! It wasn't my intention to try growing such a variety, but it just seemed so easy and if we fail on some items, we'll have plenty more to fall back on.

I never thought I would ever grow a garden, but the thought of growing our own vegetables and the freshness and enhanced taste of homegrown produce was what really interested us. It's going to be a great summer!