Have you ever tried your hand at growing a vegetable garden?
In February of this year, we moved into a new rental property on the outskirts of our downtown area. One of my favorite things about this new place was the fenced in yard that held within it a tiny little raised garden bed left by one of the previous renters.
When we moved in, the little bed was overgrown with weeds but I knew right away that it would be my first project to turn it in to a vegetable garden full of all the things we love to cook with.
I Failed At Gardening In The Past
I had tried a few times in the past to grow things but had failed. This time I wanted to get it right. So, I started researching on YouTube and found a lovely channel about Homesteading by a couple named Hollis and Nancy.
They taught me so many things about gardening but the most important thing I learned is that you must start with great soil!
This is where I failed so many times before. My thinking was that dirt was dirt. All kinds of plants grow without needing anything special so why wouldn’t mine? Well, I was wrong. Plants and especially vegetables need certain types of nutrients to grow and to thrive.
Trying Again With New Knowledge
So my first step (after clearing out the bed) was to amend the soil. Taking Hollis’ advice, I went out a purchased three bags: a bag of gaden soil, a bag of compost and manure and a bag of top soil. Following his instruction we made a mixture containing three parts of each and added to our dirt.
About a week later, I began buying the veggies we wanted to grow. I started with some crookneck squash, a few cucumber plants, a tomato and some rosemary. After some debate on where we should place the plants within the bed, we finally settled on an arrangement and we got to work.
Our plants looked so small but I hoped with lots of love and attention and, of course, time our plants would fill in all of that space. And they did! In just a few weeks they had more than doubled in size and were already starting to produce fruit.
Everyday after work we would come home, give everyone a nice drink of water and check all the plants for bugs.
As time went on, I couldn’t help but to add more and more types of veggies and even some fruit. It became something of a habit for me- stopping by Lowe’s or Home Depot on the way home to see what else they might have for us.
It’s been three months since we started our garden. We now have several varieties of cucumber, three types of cantelope, white pumpkins, watermelon, garlic chives, bell pepper, corn, potatoes, garlic and green onions.
Our First Vegetable Harvest
We had our first harvest of cucumbers and tomatoes a few weeks ago. We used our cucumbers to try making our very own pickles (they were delicious!). I will put a link here to that recipe if you’d like to try it for yourself.
As I write this, we are harvesting our second batch of cucumbers and our first batch of bell peppers which we plan to give to a friend. We are so excited to watch all of our plants grow but I’m most excited about the watermelon and cantelope. It’s going to be a special treat to eat all of the things we’ve grown.
If you want to see the beginning and the progression of our first vegetable garden, I invite you to check out these videos on my YouTube channel.
In the meantime I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever tried to grow your own veggies? What hurdles did you face?
Thank you so much for being here!