If you are new to this series, you might want to begin with our first part here.
I am very excited to share our garden map-- this is what works best for us (or what we have planned will work best for us) and obviously your plan would be tailored to your families yard layout and your vegetable preference. I highly recommend taking an evening to sit down with your seeds and just draw out a map as this is great for referencing when more than one person is working at a time and that way when you are planting you won't need to stop and see what is a good companion or bad companion pairing.
Also, we had the sweet pleasure of swapping some seeds with some fellow gardeners and we are excited to add arugula, a vine spinach (sounds very intriguing and is supposed to be extremely productive), and a bean bush plant. They also suggested we begin keeping our seeds stored in the fridge to ensure viability for years to come. And now, I am pleased to show you how well our cabbage is doing:
They are doing so well and its hard to believe that just last month they were little teenier sproutlets!
Our spinach is also flourishing. I will say again, DO NOT start your plants in egg cartons-- the cartons suck up all the water and we have to water these plants the most frequently. The recycled plastic containers that you see all of the other plants growing in have all been performing ten times better!
Thankfully the sun showed up today for these pictures and for us to get a lot of much needed work done! In the back left of the picture you'll see our artichokes which are very thick sprouts. We are skeptically optimistic about growing these as they can be a bit tricky, but they are a perennial. To the right of those are some tall thin sprouts which are our broccoli. I only have two of these going as they will be a much better fall crop so we will probably plant the bulk of our broccoli in early summer to reap the harvest in fall. The other teeny sprouts are our winter thyme. I just love saying their name-- it always makes me smile!
Don't you love that little meatball who snuck in the pictures? Our countertop corner is being overcome by seedlings and we are actually loving it. The kids love turning them and checking their leaf and root progress. Since we are studying botany this year its been a great hands on learning time.
Because a lot of our peppers will be in containers, we just brought the containers in and have started them inside in their pots. This is making me a little nervous as the kids can get to the pots and knock them over-- also it seems like such a big space for such tiny seeds, but we have a few sprouts and I have a few seeds started in containers still just in case. And now, FINALLY.. we go outside!!!!!
The older kids helped dad with a foundation for our pole bean trellis. They loved using the saw and doing the math to see where the middle of the beam was. Our ten month old was just happy to be outside-- I hear ya buddy!
After we sawed the beam, we needed our galoshes or rubbers or rain boots or gardening boots-- however you say it our yard has a ton of mud and so we considered it a worthwhile investment to head to Wal-Mart the other day and pick a pair up for everyone. We got standard black so we can just pass them on from kid to kid as they grow. I love seeing all our boots all lined up and muddy and together and just representation of us all doing this together! What a blessing that our kids are loving this just as much as we are!
Okay the next project kind of evolved as the day went on. We have 2x1 beams which I will get back to, but under the wood beams along the left of the walkway you'll notice its lined with bricks. We decided to pull the bricks out so as to increase our growing area along the path as we plan to grow our peas there. Once we saw how many bricks came out of the ground (seriously it did not seem like that much when they were all lined up but when we piled them up- phew! quite a bunch) we thought they might make a nice raised bed. So a fast trip the hardware store for some mortar and we were ready to make our little raised bed for just the price of the mortar bag which was 6 dollars! My older children and I decided we had read three little pigs enough and my husband graciously gave the three of us the green light to try our hand while he completed the pea trellises. So, I wouldn't say its the most aesthetic job around, but Im pretty sure it will hold and best part, the kids did it with me. I did the mortar and they laid the bricks. They loved it! I mean seriously, they loved it so much and we still have more bricks left that they asked if we could do another one! I think next time I'll even let them have a go at the mortar (and yes don't worry, we had gloves, safety equipment, etc.). Now, back to my husband's pea trellis...
We still need to add the twine between the two beams, but if you look closely you can see screws lined up where we will tie lines so we can grow our peas. The funny thing is that our neighbor on that side of the fence hates just grass so much she filled her yard with stones. A complete yard of stones next to a yard that will be producing food for a big family-- I hate to say it but I see one of these yards as a big waste of space and resources. Okay, off my soapbox and moving on just a few more shots from our productive and bountiful day...
We have still been collecting and saving our egg shells. Our bounty is growing that's for sure! We also picked up this nice mid size wheel barrel and it came in handy almost immediately! One day during school our Bible lesson included a passage from Psalm 65 and it has become our prayer for our garden:
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy.
You care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.[d]
You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
Have a wonderful week and we'd love to hear how you are getting ready for this years garden, what you're growing, or if you have any questions, please ask :)