Monday, September 24, 2012

Summer Garden Verdict: Success!

Ever since I had a piece of land to dig, I've felt like I should be putting seeds in the ground in the spring. For most of that time, I wasn't really ready to garden for real, so, besides a few tomatoes and a few handfuls of peas, my gardens became insect food.

Last year, I got serious. That old adage that you get out of something what you put into it proved true. I payed attention to my plants. I weeded and watered. I cared. And, I was rewarded with a bounty that was meager by most gardeners' standards, but enough to make me feel successful.

This year, I had a chance to have a plot at our church's new community garden. I couldn't wait to get my hands in the dirt! I planted cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash, pumpkins and sunflowers. Then, when the summer squash was done, I pulled the plants and replaced them with radishes.

At home, I planted kale, tomatoes, green peppers, carrots, and parsley, in addition to all the perennial herbs and small berry bushes I've been growing successfully for a few years.

I put a lot of work into my gardens, especially the one at church. I was rewarded in spades! My family and I ate produce out of our two gardens all summer. As a matter of fact, we didn't need to buy produce, except for lettuce (which I wish I had planted), for most of the summer.

Today's haul:

A Few Fresh Garden Veggies and Seeds
Today, I harvested some nice, fat carrots, a few skimpy radishes, a sweet pepper and some sunflower seeds. I also picked some late summer raspberries that we ate before they could be photographed.

I still have several carrots and radishes to harvest, as well as more kale, peppers and tomatoes. I've got plenty of sunflower seeds and will likely leave at least half of them for the birds.

I'm already thinking ahead to next year. Now that I know what does well in my garden, I'll focus on those veggies and add a few others to round it out. I'll definitely add lettuce, potatoes and probably green beans to the list. I also plan on trying to preserve more of what I harvest. I can't wait!

Homemade Pickles from Homegrown Cucumbers!
I think it's safe to say I've finally turned my black thumb to green!


  1. Just wonderful! Did your boys help harvest this produce? Any idea how much money you saved?

  2. The boys helped a lot with every step of the garden. I'm not sure how much we saved over all. Quite a bit, I think, because I didn't have to buy any produce over the summer months.