Garden update!

Remember this post?

This:

Turned into this:

Pretty awesome, huh? And this is after I pulled a few things, too — like the green beans, which were taken over by ants. Grr. But I did get a bunch of them blanched and frozen first.

In my little 8×4′ garden I grew:

  • Brandywine tomatoes x2
  • Early girl tomatoes
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Green beans
  • Cayenne peppers
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Bell peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Onions
  • Carrots

Pretty impressive for such a little space, huh?  And the majority of it was grown from seeds, so I spent very little on the actual plants, and ate ridiculously good food all summer long. I highly recommend the Square Foot Gardening book! This is good stuff. And easy. This was my first garden beyond tomatoes, so imagine what I could do if I actually knew what I was doing!

You see that I had to add chicken wire. We have a plentiful bunny population around here, and they were enjoying the fruits of my labor a bit too much. Unfortunately chicken wire is merely a ladder to this guy — I have named him Vinny:

Some of Vinny’s handiwork:

I thought this one was particularly lovely. I watched him carry my tomato up to the top of my 6′ fence. He munched a while, then left, leaving the tomato there. To taunt me. Apparently came back and got it later. I am currently accepting applications for squirrel hit men. Don’t tell Vinny.

I did get hit with some tomato blight this month, but it wasn’t awful. I had to pull one Brandywine and cut back the giant Roma, but nothing tragic.

How did everyone else do? What did you grow? What did you eat?

How does your garden grow?

Wanna know how much The Yankee rocks? A LOT.

He built this:

And, because that line in Rocky Top about the dirt being too rocky by far is all true, we filled the raised bed with this:

Saturday morning we headed out to Home Depot with The Kiddo. We checked out all our options, lumber-wise: we didn’t want pressure treated lumber because we didn’t want the chemicals from it to make its way into our garden. Then cedar was suggested as an option: the Home Depot guy said, “Oh you could use cedar! It would do great. I mean, you’d have to build a new one every season, though.”

After a few seconds of blinking and telepathic communication, we did not pass go, but went directly to the Trex. This was more our style! More sturdy than anything else in the store, and safe to use around food.

“Oh yeah,” says Home Depot guy, “You could eat off it.”

Uh, okay.

All told, it cost $93 for the supplies to build this garden (not including the fill dirt), which is eight feet by four feet. Expensive? Sure, a little. But we have to do it only once. And we used screws to assemble it, so we could theoretically take it apart and reassemble it every year. But smart money is on me leaving it there. 😉

So far The Kiddo and I have planted four tomato plants (because, really, what’s the point of a garden without the prospect of tomato sandwiches?), two pepper plants, some cilantro, some basil and some strawberries. I’d love to add onions and carrots and green beans.  This nifty online planner shows how many of what you can plant in a square foot (thus my semi-obsessive square foot markers… made from The Kiddo’s yarn), then gives instructions for each plant you picked. How great is that?

So tell me! Do you garden? Do you have any advice, this being my first raised-bed garden? Any thoughts on how to keep away bunnies and other unwanted guests at the salad bar? Lay ’em on me!