Thursday, June 7, 2012

Calily, Calily, quite contrary, How does your garden grow?

Ok, so it's not quite as catchy as "Mary, Mary, quite contrary," but at least my name ends with a Y!

As a gift for my 30th Birthday (crazy!), Micah and his parents decided to gift me with my own veggie garden! It's really the gift that keeps on giving, isn't it?

I've been talking about starting a garden for quite some time now, but never committed due to time, energy, and excuses. Now, I have no excuse but to turn my brown thumb into a green thumb... or else we won't be feasting on anything this summer.

The dirt in our backyard is not the best stuff to garden with, so we decided to get this raised garden bed and fill in with nutrient-rich garden soil (from Garden-Ville in Georgetown). The bed measures: 42 x 84 x 8. It's not huge, but it fits perfectly on the side of our house. If I like it, I can always get another garden box in the future.

{Garden setup: I have a soaker hose to regulate the water. This area of the house was basically a dead zone when it came to grass, so we decided to put the garden here. The area also gets FULL sun, hence why it's been so hard for the St. Augustine grass to grow. Why is it green now? Well, because that is leftover zoysia sod from our newly sodded front yard.}

 Once we got the dirt hauled in, Micah's parents helped me with the most important part: what to grow!

1. Plant in the left foreground is yellow bellpepper. The two other plants next to it are green hatch chiles. I guess I will be making tons of green chile this summer!

2. Yellow Squash! I thought this plant wasn't looking that healthy in the store, but wowzers, it's blooming like crazy! Squash blossoms!

3. Several rows of okra! I love okra and okra loves SUN so this was a perfect fit. Fried okra, stewed okra and tomatoes, okra in soups, okra in gumbo... so many options! Micah's parents gave me the good tip to leave the okra plants in the container they came in for one week before transplanting them to the garden. This gave the little guys a chance to get a little bit stronger before I shocked them into the garden.

4. Tomatoes! The one on the left is heirloom variety, the one on the right is a zebra tomato plant. The one on the left has some yellow leaves, so I put some extra compost around it and hopefully it gets more nitrogen. I hope it survives! The one on the right is a beast! I can't wait to cut into the juicy tomatoes!

5. Honeydew! This was the last plant to go in -- almost two weeks after the other items were planted. Micah chose this one. The plant hasn't been the strongest, but I think it's stronger and definitely growing. I wonder how the melon will turn out?

Here's hoping to a good growing season! I can't wait to have a bounty of veggies to cook with this summer!