growing your own organic food, raising livestock, & country living
With 2019 came a crawling baby, a tilled garden, a dug up stump, and a whole lot of extra space in our already large garden. Eddie did a great job fencing the garden in from our chickens and other various wildlife, and I had about 80 x 26 feet to play with this year. My goal was to plant in all of the space I had. I'm glad to say that minus a small chunk that I am waiting to till again and plant some fall crops, I was able to plant everything to fill the garden this year! Last year I had about a 5 x 5 foot space left over because I was uber preggo and was over the very hot summer. This year I had hubby watch the kiddo and, minus the mosquitos that had a feast, beautiful cloudy weather during planting. I planted about 1/4 of the garden during Memorial Day weekend, then the rest of the seeds the following weekend. Eddie dug in two rows of potatoes and two rows of sweet potatoes along with an additional two rows of asparagus-- green this time. Our purple asparagus was beautiful come May but we decided since it is the second year that we'll start harvesting next year. You'll notice the ferns growing out in the pictures below!
We've planted all that we've planted last year plus a few new veggies and plants. We added a raspberry bush as well.
New to the garden this year:
-Sweet potato (we are experimenting with two different methods-- one with plastic mulch, the other straight into the ground). As of right now, our plastic mulched sweet potato is growing better, but pretty slowly compared to the potato. We've had a lot of rain this year so I think that may be impacting growth.
-Pattypan squash (this squash reminds me of my childhood eating pickled pattypan squash from the Russian supermarket. I'd love to pickle these small, round squashes for winter!)
-Sugar beets (I want to make molasses out of the sugar beets and feed the rest to our chickens for winter supplement)
- Rainbow beets (I bought this on a late night shopping spree on Etsy and was super excited to plant them. They are very pretty, have a variety of colors, and include yellow beets, striped beets, pink beets, and red beets)
-Spaghetti squash (these are a vining plant and we look forward to having about 15 total to eat over the winter-- we planted three plants total)
-Purple beans (I got these beans for free from an Etsy store purchase and I just wanted to see what they'd look and taste like!)
-Sunflowers (need I say more?? Not only are these beautiful flowers, but they'll be great for us as a snack and for our winter chicken feed)
-Melon (we'll see what happens-- they've sprouted but haven't grown much since-- we bought the sugar baby variety and planted two hills with one plant in each)
-Purple heirloom tomatoes
-Brussel sprouts (to be planted in August)
-Radish (it is ready to pick! Pictures coming soon)
Coming back again this year:
-Summer squash (yellow crookneck variety)
-Peas (which we planted under a tree for a bit of shade and they are doing fantastic)
-Parsley, sage, dill, thyme, and basil
So far I am happy with our garden save for the overgrowth of weeds that we haven't gotten to yet as well as our started tomato plants, which aren't very happy right now with the amount of rain we are getting. I'm looking forward to letting some of our silkies loose into the garden to pick out the beetles starting to munch on our potato plants and the ants that are destroying our arugula this year. Right now I'm a bit too worried about them pulling out seedlings like our carrot seeds but once the plants get another week or so of growth in I'll update on how that goes!
I also experimented this year with rocks as row markers. Last year I used popsicles but they were really hard to see. Rocks are visible and give some purpose to the tedious task of de-rocking the soil in our garden. It seems like the last winter brought in a ton more rock up to the surface of our soil, but it hasn't seemed to deter the plants I seeded there-- so, woohoo!