As we’re just starting out (with baby steps) on our gardening journey, we aren’t expecting an outstanding harvest from the garden this season. So far, it’s more of a learning experience for us – we want to find out what grows well in our area, what works, what doesn’t, how to deal with pests, how often and how much to water, etc. And of course, we’re having a lot of fun – and learning loads – along the way.
We have very heavy, dense clay soil, so we splurged and bought some bags of garden soil which is lovely, but expensive. In the meantime, I have started a compost pile using kitchen scraps, garden clippings and manure from the chicken coop. It’s small, but I’m adding to it constantly and hope that in a few months, it will provide us with some valuable fertilizer. I know I should probably water and turn it more often, but hey, it’s organic material. It will break down, right?
We also have tons of rocks, so clearing even a bit of space for planting involves lots of rock-picking. I’ve utilized some of the larger, prettier ones for garden beds, as you can see below.
My little cherry tomato and pepper seedlings are now outside, and growing like weeds with plenty of water and sunshine. I do provide shade for them during the hottest hours of the day, from about midday till 3 PM. I do it simply by pulling an old sheet over their wire cages (I put the cages in to discourage cats and chickens from digging around the plants) and holding it down with rocks. I expect the need for that will be over once the plants mature a bit and put in deeper roots.
Our pepper plants (thriving and putting out flowers!), cherry tomato seedlings, and sage.
We’ve also planted more herbs: sage, rosemary and spearmint. I love the smell of mint when I water it at the end of a long, hot day. And I have some coriander started in pots. We use a lot of coriander in cooking and it loses its freshness very quickly, so it’s really something that pays off to grow ourselves.
Gardening is more enjoyable than I ever thought it would be!