Friday, January 22, 2010

so you want to plant a garden?

Over the last several years, I've enjoyed learning a bit about how to make stuff grow in the ground.  Before my kids were in the picture, I'd come home from Home Depot with several different interesting plants and stick them in the ground to see what would happen.  Dave & I spent lots of time the backyard back in Richardson, creating new beds, trying new things, planting trees/plants for special occasions.  I had roses from the Antique Rose Emporium where my bridal portraits were made.  We planted an oak tree in the front when Dave graduated from business school.  We had a rose planted when Anna Rose joined us.  The redbud tree was planted for Daniel.  It was sad to leave our first house (I took the rose with me - Anna was not quite 1 when we left).

As we entered full-on toddlerhood, Dave and I put most of the yardwork on hold.  We were in Granbury, and the soil around our new house was builders fill dirt, which is often referred to as "red death clay".  We planted a few things (Anna's rose looked great when I saw it last fall) but kept it pretty simple.  We were in a more country-type setting (no privacy fences, drainage creek in backyard) and deer and other critters were just waiting to devour any fun things we planted.  We also had Bailey in the backyard, who had a habit of laying down on TOP of things we planted! We were crazy proud of our 1 inch tall Rose of Sharon seedlings that were about 7 feet tall when we moved out after 2 years!

In July of 2008, we came to Austin and said hello to the privacy fences.  My kids were getting older (Daniel entered kindergarten in the fall) and I was able to spend a little more time outside without having to constantly attend to the needs of my kids or worry about the amount of dirt being consumed.  In the spring of 2009, I saw a "Square Food Garden" on a blog I followed.  I was immediately interested and purchased the book that told you what to do every step of the way.  I started late in the process - late April, I think - and had some good and some terrible results.

Over the summer and fall, I talked about it with friends who came by and commented on the boxes in my backyard.  I found 2 local nurseries that fed my growing desire to grow things and found more success.  We had watermelons, bell peppers, and herbs all summer long.  I learned a bit more about tomatoes, and harvested some in the early fall.  We harvested delicious broccoli in late fall and continue to enjoy super-skinny but very tasty celery.  And the kids LOVED growing huge sunflowers that unfortunately attracted crazy-weird bugs that were pretty scary!  I failed on lettuce, corn, early tomatoes, jalapenos, spinach, onions and several things I probably brought home from Home Depot and planted but quickly died.

So, I've had friends ask me for help and my sister thought a blog was the way to go.  So here I am -for now.  I've been a very sporadic blogger in the past, but I'm hoping to redeem myself by posting short posts (excluding this one, obviously) about what I'm doing in the garden.

Here are some of my previous posts with pics of my garden:

If you're interested in Square Food Gardening, you can look at their website, but you're better off just buying the book to get all the scoop.  If you live in the Austin area, The Natural Gardener sells a version of "Mel's Mix" that is MUCH easier that buying everything separate.

So, that's it for now!  Feel free to ask questions by leaving a comment (in case someone has same question) or send me an email daveandsuzanne @ gmail dot com.  (Must confess I don't know exactly why people do their email like this on blogs, but if it keeps the spam away, I'm in).

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