It’s hard to believe it’s already been a month since we planted our garden. We’ve been weeding, added cages and rods, dealt with some pests, and have little veggies growing! All the work planting the garden is finished, but we still have some things to keep up with as it continues to grow.
It’s the beginning of July?! Geeze oh man, where does time go? Zack and I have been going down to our garden about once a day to make sure everything is going well. Plus, I know it sounds lame, but I just love looking at our plants.
Even though most of the hard work is done (rototilling, raking, planting), we still have to keep up with the garden in different ways. Here’s how:
Caging and Tieing Plants
When plants start to get tall or vine out, it’s important to support them. Zack and I added rods to our tomatoes and tied the trunks with twine and as they continue to grow, we’ve been adding more ties.
We also added cages to the cucumbers, which we haven’t done in the past, but it seems like it’ll work very well! Instead of the plants spreading all over and hiding the cucumbers, they have been growing up and all the little cucumbers are easy to see.
I feel like our garden gets a ridiculous amount of weeds. It’s not a few popping up here or there; it’s like we have a whole layer of green within just a couple of weeks. Weeding can be somewhat therapeutic, but we have spent more than a week weeding and it’s easy to get sick of it (especially because it kills our backs).
After we weeded the whole garden, we covered the ground around the plants with newspapers with straw on top, which is supposed to keep the weeds from popping up everywhere. We had to add some rocks, too, because the wind was blowing the newspapers everywhere. I’m excited to see how much of a difference this makes!
Dealing with pests
Ugh, SQUASH BUGS. These guys are my worst enemy. They look like stink bugs and lay little golden eggs underneath the leaves of our yellow squash and zucchini, then the eggs hatch and there are a ton of baby white squash bugs, until they grow up and lay eggs and the cycle continues. For some reason our garden gets infested with them like crazy, but luckily this year we caught them early.
We garden organically, so instead of adding some type of pesticide, we try to get rid of them in a few different ways. The best way is to just squish the bugs and scrape the eggs off the leaves. This takes the longest time, but makes the most impact. We also tried out some companion planting, which is when you put certain plants near each other. We have both dill and nasturtiums next to our squash, which are supposed to keep the bugs away from the plants. We seem to have it under control for now, but we may try a natural spray if needed.
Our cats can also be considered “pests.” We have quite a few barn cats hanging out around the farm and once the garden is planted, they like to think it’s a big litter box. Usually I just chase them out if I see them, but I also planted some marigolds along the outside, which is supposed to deter different animals from getting in the garden.
The rain has been kind of annoying this summer, but at the same time, we haven’t had to water the garden once. Typically we use a hose, but this year I set a large garbage can outside to use as a rain barrel, so we can reuse water for the plants.
There’s nothing quite as exciting as walking out to the garden and seeing tiny little veggies starting to grow. Although it takes a lot of work to keep up with the garden, it’s 100% worth it when you see those little tomatoes start to ripen or yellow squash get bigger each day.
We start most of the garden with plants we purchased (I talked about picking out plants in this post), but we planted the swiss chard, kale, and spinach from seeds. When plants from these seeds start popping up, it’s even more exciting to me, because all we did was put some little seeds in the ground. It just amazes me how you can get food from something so tiny!
Less than half of the seeds we planted actually sprouted, so I just recently planted some more. These green leafy vegetables don’t take very long to come up, so we’ll have more showing up in no time.
Gardening is a lot of hard work, but I love every minute of it. It gets you outside, forces you to take care of something, is therapeutic, and provides you with fresh vegetables right from your back yard, which tastes better than any vegetable from the store.
I’m excited to see the progress of our garden and even more excited for the many veggies we’ll soon have.
Happy gardening! ♥