At the beginning of summer I was inspired to jump into the gardening game. I really like the idea of having a garden with fresh veggies that fit into my fitness and nutriton plan. Buying clean and organic are ideal, but there’s something special about food coming straight from your garden. This year, we planted a few basics in our garden, just to get the feelers out and so far, so good – here’s the post where I shared the beginnings of the garden. We’ve already been talking about more updates we can make to the yard to optimize our gardening space – not only for vegetables but also for some added plants.
When we started out our garden this summer, we already had rhubarb and a rose bush growing. The rose bush ended up being beautiful this year and had a full bloom! It was gorgeous for about a week in early June with at least 20 roses. To start our small vegetable and fruit garden, we planted two cucumber plants, a tomato plant, a pumpkin plant, strawberries, cilantro, chives, and green onions. We also added a marigold and a few additional plants Jake’s mom gave us. I liked the idea of having fresh grown cucumbers because I throw them into all my salads, snack on them during the day, and they’re just a favorite in the house. Tomatoes because tomatoes goes well in a garden. Chives and cilantro for herbs. And the pumpkin was all Jake’s idea. The green onions were straight from the grocery store – we just transplanted them into our garden.
When we went a away for vacationt the cilantro had grown enough to start harvesting leaves, but everything else was still in their beginnings. We didn’t add trellises to the cucumbers or tomato at this point because they were so small still, and our one pumpkin didn’t look like it was going to make it. I asked my dad to water our garden while we we on vacation for a week in June, and when we returned everything had flourished! The cucumber vines were crawling on the sidewalk. Our tomato plant was nearly two feet tall. I was very happy to see that our pumpkin had survived whatever illness it had and the flowers on it had bloomed. We even had a little strawberry growing – the only one that’s shown up so far thanks to the bunny brigade in our neighborhood. I was even more surprised to see that my dad had taken it upon himself to mow our lawn – thanks dad! That’s one of my least favorite chores I’ve had to learn living in a house.
At this point is when we put up trellises for the cucumbers and tomato, though it was a bit too late for the cucumbers. Since then we’ve had to move and mangle the vines to get the cucumber to grow in the direction that we want. Next year, if we choose cucumbers again we’ll definitely put a trellis up at the time of planting and I think it might even be better to have tall wooden trellis opposed the metal round ones we’re using now. The tomato has grown in its trellis beautifully and we have a ton of green mini-tomatoes growing in.
As for our herbs, the cilantro has not grown in like I thought it would. The cilantro quickly turned to coriander which has quickly started to flower, and at this point I’ve basically given up on it. I was so excited to have cilantro growing in our garden, because I love to cook with it as much as possible – especially on tacos which we eat at least once a week. The chives are still growing quite nicely in a strawberry pot along the side of the house, though I keep forgetting to chop them up and add them into some recipes. The green onions are probably the favorite out of everything so far. I love that I can easily go outside and snip off a few inches once a week and keep them in the fridge for recipes. I’ve used them in salmon patties, fried “rice” (cauliflower – recipe coming soon!), and salads.
I’m happy we decided to give the garden a go, but I still have a lot of improving and learning. My biggest downfall when it comes to gardening is weeding. I don’t do it. I really need to make a habit of doing it once a week, maybe on Sunday mornings. I’d also love to expand the garden to a larger area of the yard, put up some small fencing to keep animals out, and probably not grow cilantro again.