Sunday, March 9, 2014

Recap from our first garden

Last year, my husband and I finally got around to getting our green thumb on. It was the first time that either of us took gardening seriously and committed to seeing our efforts through to the end, and the result was satisfying.

Here is a look at our gardening adventure.  My hope is that you can learn from our adventure and be inspired to have a gardening project of your own.  It really isn't an impossible task, especially if you live in Oregon!

1. Prepare the land. 
First, the house we purchased in 2011 already had a nice little garden plot that had excellent irrigation and a watering system. The challenge was discovering it under the weeds. After a few days of labor intensive weeding and tilling we cleared enough space to plant some seeds.

2. Decide what to plant when and where.
This was both fun and stressful at the same time. We wanted to set ourselves up for success so we consulted with OSU Extension Services and the Oregon Tilth for a list of low-maintenance vegetables and when they needed to be planted. We decided on radishes, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, and the assortment of our most frequently used herbs - dill, cilantro, basil and parsley.

We drew out a map of our garden and marked where we were going to plant what. We also discussed what would be best to plant from seed and what would benefit from coming from starts. In the end, everything we planted came from a seed with the exception of the tomatoes.

Now I admit, we were a little sloppy on clearly labeling where things were growing and where the paths were. This year, we will be more realistic in how much walking space we need and how explicitly we need to label our plants. This didn't negatively impact our results at all, but it did make for a few awkward moments navigating the garden.

3. Maintain the garden.
Living in Oregon, this was the easy part up until late July, early August.  Thankfully we had the great sprinkler system that covered the area of the garden pretty well, and then for some of our more particular plants we used a watering can.  This also included thinning out the radishes and keeping an eye on any plants being attacked by slugs and bugs.

4. Enjoy the produce.
This was of course the most rewarding and exciting part. We were blessed with an abundance of produce.  It was the most rewarding thing to come home from work, go to the garden and pick the vegetables that would dictate dinner.  I will share my favorite garden recipes in a future post.

I also took many instagram pictures. I was proud, if you couldn't tell.

All of that reflecting aside, we are excited to get an earlier start this year, be more strategic in where we plant and how we label, and also have a better plan for what to do with the produce.  Last year we had more than we could eat at one time, so this year I want to be more strategic with our produce.

Here's to happy gardening!

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