My first attempt at my own garden was a success. I grew Roma tomatoes, Anaheim peppers, gypsy peppers, green bell peppers, and orange bell peppers.
I planted six Roma tomato plants, which turned out to be WAY too many. I was harvesting 3-4 pounds of tomatoes every couple of days through September.
I made salsa and salsa and salsa. My wife made a couple of roasted tomato recipes and my youngest daughter made bruscetta. I gave tons of tomatoes and peppers away to neighbors, too.
I did not use any fertilizer or bug chemicals at all. Not that I meant to not use them, I just never had to. We had grasshoppers here and there, but it wasn’t too bad. I read somewhere that Marigolds keep bugs away, so I planted Marigolds in pots and placed the pots around the garden. I’d pop the dead heads off every couple of days and throw them into the garden. I have no idea if that helped with the bugs or not, but again, I had no bug problems.
Next year I plan to increase the size of the garden from 4′ x 8′ to about 8′ x 8′. I plan to plant the same as this year and add onions, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and some herbs.
Last year I wanted to grow vegetables and wanted to make a garden as we didn’t have one. My concern was that I would dig up the back yard, plant something, then lose interest. I lose interest very fast it seems.
Instead of digging up the lawn, I planted some herbs and some tomato plants in containers just to see if it was something that would keep my interest. It was. I enjoyed the maintenance of pruning the plants, watering every day, etc., and the whole family enjoyed the tomatoes.
This year I decided to move forward with a larger, more permanent garden in the back yard. This is about the construction of my first garden from start to finish.
I started by determining where to have the garden. With a can of marking paint in hand (the wife picked pink, of course), I marked the spot.
Next, I sprayed the area with RoundUp. I’ve dug up my share of live sod and it’s about as much fun as a poopie flavored lollie pop. Thus, kill it first – it’s easier to remove. I had reservations about using this chemical, but it actually did more than kill the sod – it gave me a clear indication of what I was dealing with, which enabled me to determine if I wanted to increase the size of the garden before the digging started. The RoundUp took about a week (give or take a couple of days due to all the rain during May in Utah) to do the job.
Now the digging started. With shovel in my glove protected hands, I started digging. Again the rain hindered my progress. I used a rounded spade and basically dug trenches going from left to right and about 10″ wide per row. When complete, I turned around and did the other side the same way, thus making a sort of trench where I removed the sod. Because of the rain, the sod was heavy and muddy. I needed as much dirt as possible, so I flipped the sod pieces over to dry out the mud. I used a three-prong hand rake to hack away the excess mud/dirt from the sod. This process took a couple of weeks due to, you guessed it, the rain. Eventually I hacked as much of the dirt/mud from the sod as I wanted and loaded the wheelbarrow (several times) and hauled the sod away. It was now looking a bit better.
Unfortunately, I don’t own a truck. I have friends that do, and have always offered, but I didn’t think I needed a truckload of dirt. So, my wife and I drove to Lowe’s and purchased several bags of top soil and several bags of steer manure (yummy!) Actually, the top soil smelled worse than the manure. But I digress… I unloaded the bags into the planter boxes and my wife started “decorating” the area with some other flowers, planters, and stuff.
Finally, I went to the nursery and bought tomato plants and a variety of peppers. We love tomatoes, so those were a must to have, but the peppers were my idea – 1. because that’s all the nursery had and 2. because peppers are something I can see grow and thus pick. I’m sure we’ll try them in some dish 🙂
Here’s the final result.
Here’s another picture from a different angle:
Finally, I got one of my minions (you might know them as children) to water for me 🙂