Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Garden Week 2

Garden Week 2
Can you see the deer?
On Mother's Day, we planted our garden, a new tradition that we started last year. Except this year's garden is a much better attempt than ever before! We've come a long way from the small container garden we had on our Chicago condo balcony! Aaron built a raised bed and we filled it with rich top soil earlier in the month. We grew many plants from seed and then last weekend picked up some starter plants too. Last weekend, we put the seedlings and starters in the new bed. I have big plans for our garden yields including salsa, pepper sauces, homemade stocks with amazing herbs, and lots of salads!

What's Growing in the Berkey Garden? 

From seed: a variety of 12 kitchen herbs, spinach, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, and romaine lettuce. Our cucumber plants was damaged by the recent storms so I started another two more to be safe. The romaine lettuce was obliterated from the heavy rain storms too. I started more seeds today, but we may need to get some starter plants. Our beets haven't even sprouted. The carrots are tiny, but are doing really well in the garden. Aaron shielded them with a bit of straw. My basil sprouted, but it's not looking good so we'll see what happens. The sage looks great.

From starter plants: strawberries, mint, rosemary, several varieties of peppers (Jalapeno, Poblano, and Bell), 2 varieties of tomatoes (early girl and roma), butternut squash, green beans, and cauliflower. The green beans are already climbing on the trellis.

We have deer that live in our woods. They walk right up to our front porch or anywhere that we have succulent plants. Here's a picture of one that I scared off from the front porch when it was getting close to the lilies. Aaron put netting around the entire raised bed so it's about 5 feet high. The deer are supposed to be held off because they don't like the netting on their face. I hope it works! Last year, they ate our garden like a big salad bowl! On top of last year's drought, we had barely any yield. But this year, I'm excited for food we'll be able to grow.

Compost is piling up!

We're composting now too. We have a large compost bin with yard clippings, coffee grounds, used tea leaves, droopy fresh cut flowers, rinsed and crushed egg shells, and all the cuttings leftover from cooking. The bugs are going to town! We have a compost container under the kitchen sink and I take it out to the compost bin about every 4-5 days. It's covered so it doesn't smell. We're using biodegradable compost bags for our container under the sink, but they are for commercial composting so I'm not throwing those in our bin.

This weekend, I'm going to do some weeding. I'll keep you all updated!

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