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Newly Planted 2010 Summer Vegetable Garden

July 11, 2010

For the past several years, my vegetable garden has been a sad excuse for a garden.  Really, the only garden that did exceptionally well was the first year that we tore out our lawn and turned the majority of our back yard into a fenced garden.  After that, I got pregnant with my last child and then things just never worked out quite right after that.  I’ve had various yields and planted various things, but I just never got my act together like I did the first year.  Some of the issues were funky weather patterns and most of them were financial and the remainder were time management and just plain laziness/not getting out there and working.  In regard to the financial issues, it has generally be an issues of putting out the money to buy a huge load of compost ($200+) and materials to build raised beds, because I’m not a big proponent of tilling every year.

In the years that I attempted a decent garden and didn’t purchase materials for raised beds, I tried  a hybrid weedless/lasagna gardening method.  It worked reasonably well, as far as yields, but was never weedless.  This year has been no different with the financial inability to purchase compost and raised beds materials, but when I thought back, I realized that the only year we had a great garden was the year we tilled everything.  When I looked into the price of a rototiller rental, I discovered that for approximately 60% more than one day’s rental, we could find a used rear-tine rototiller on Craigslist, which is exactly what we did.  This rototiller was a great price, but it needed a little work, though not as much as the previous owner had thought it would.  With rototiller in hand, my guy and I got the whole garden area tilled and raked the huge weeds out.  Then I laid out the beds and paths, and tilled the beds a little deeper.  If I had more time, I would have gotten a couple of loads of manure and tilled that in, too, as in the first year we had a huge garden, but since the time in which I could get a garden in was quickly running out, we just tilled the soil we have.  Though tilling still isn’t my preferred method, it sure beats not having a productive garden.

Considering the indecision and the time consumed figuring all that out combined with cool, wet weather well into June, even hoping for good yields out of a garden this year might be overly optimistic, but I’m going to give it a shot at least.  My garden plan has changed in a few major ways since the last garden planning post.  The biggest change was a rearrangement of paths and bed orientation based my husband’s suggestion.  It was actually one of those simple, yet brilliant suggestions.  In rearranging the main path directly from the garden gate to the chicken coop door , we also moved my clothesline to accommodate the new path.  It’s actually in mid-move, since it has only been removed; the move will be complete when it is rehung.

New 2010 Garden Plan

So, layout and tilling has been the biggest changes.  I’ve got basically the same plant list.  My tomato starts looked large and beautiful when I planted them and they are still looking good, but in the ground, they look much smaller than they do in a sunny window!  Though I’m behind on getting things in, I feel that I’m not as behind as I would be in a typical year, since the weather was so cool for so long.  I didn’t get any peas planted or harvested, which is a big disappointment, but most everything else has gone in, or will go in very soon.  I only lack planting carrots, beets, green beans and leeks.

See all the weeds in the background? That's what covered the entire garden before tilling.

Post-tilling, you can see the clothesline still in place

Garden, mostly planted.

So, that’s what’s going on in my garden. Hopefully the three-day heat wave we just had will jump-start the growth. I only lost one tomato plant and that one looked questionable when I put it in the ground.  Now that I’m starting with a mostly clean canvas, I need to learn how to wield my hoe often to keep it from getting overwhelmed with weeds again.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    July 14, 2010 3:20 am

    Congratulations on all the hard work!

  2. July 17, 2010 1:49 pm

    Great work! Considering that there was a heat wave but you still did that too much work! I have to commend you for that! Hope to see more about this work soon! I love the design and will definitely look good when finished!

  3. July 26, 2010 12:50 pm

    Great job on your garden! I will be your greatest fan! I love the way you mulch your garden. I can’t wait to see your next post about this. Thanks for sharing your garden plan this 2010.

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