I love gardening! It’s very rewarding but it can be time consuming. Much of late winter and spring I am preparing my garden for plants to grow in it. Then, I plant most seeds and seedlings in late spring. After that, I am actively maintaining the garden and weeding for the next month or so. I get a few weeks of not having much to do except for harvesting a few things here and there and keeping the weeds down (and water of course). And then, it’s harvest time in late summer/early fall. Which also happens to be the same time school starts for my kids.
Every year I have dreams of having a leisure summer. But, I have come to the realization that spring and summer are actually some of the busiest months of the year and I should get it out of my head that I have “extra time”. Between preparing the garden and caring for all the babies animals being born, there is little time for extra things. Though I do manage to find time for extra things, thankfully.
Our gardens are growing up really nicely. Like last year I got a late start so most of my harvesting will be in late summer/ early fall. I have harvested a few things so far. We have had peas, garlic, onions, carrots, kale, chard, spinach, green onions, cucumber, strawberries, artichoke and a few raspberries (very few).
I’ve been very pleased with the garlic and onions this year. I planted an elephant garlic I bought from the store and it produce some nice sized garlic. This year I learned that you can cut the tops off of your onion tops for green onions and they will keep growing. I have cut my onion tops 3 times and the greens keep growing back. A friend of mine said you can do this for years.
I have been really battling the rodents this year. I have had several sunflower plants eaten by gophers. They also got some of my garlic and potatoes. I have also had some grounds squirrel trouble. They like to take bites out of my melons and squash. Most of the time they don’t eat the whole thing but just leave marks. It’s quite annoying.
I am growing Georgia Rattlesnake watermelon again this year. Man, do those melons grow fast. Everyday I feel like they have grown an inch.
Some of the amaranth I grew last year reseeded so I have one huge Love Lies Bleeding amaranth growing in one of the rows. I also plant two other varieties of amaranth- Golden Giant and Red Hopi Dye. I am very pleased with both of these. I think the Red Hopi is going to be gorgeous.
I added a third garden area this year. We call it the Upper Garden because it’s on the upper half of our property. It’s really not all that fancy though so don’t get too excited . We are growing corn, pumpkin and squash in this area Upper. This garden area is likely going to be temporary. I do realize that we really need more space for the space hogging plants like squash but I think we will have to move the squash/corn garden somewhere else eventually.
This is the first year I really feel like the gardens are thriving with less work on my part. Taking time to prepare the garden is essential. It’s also important for me to be in my garden regularly for weeding, pest control and harvesting. But, if I could give only a few pieces of advice to new gardeners, it would be – amend your soil, get weeds while they are small, fertilize regularly and water consistently. Though if you are anything like me, you will ignore this advice until you have discovered the importance on your own .
How is your garden growing? I love to hear all about gardens in different areas. It’s fascinating to me