Thursday, August 11, 2016

This Year's Garden

This is the 9th year we've had a garden in our backyard at our house.  The first 7 years went well, but the 8th year, last summer, was a total bust.  We had soooooo much water that it stunted the growth of the plants and by the end of June had basically killed every plant.  Thus we had nothing!  Over the fall I started adding in more topsoil as the raised garden had dropped a bit over the years.  In the spring I added a few bags of manure and mixed it in with the tiller.  I also tossed some fertilizer in the dirt prior to planting and then added more fertilizer twice before July to promote greater growth.  Last year was definitely a fluke with the tremendous amount of rain we had, but I was paranoid.  I love garden fresh tomatoes and missed out on them last year.  I did not want to miss out two years in a row!  Did our efforts to bring back our garden this year succeed?  I'm happy to report yes!!!

Check out those tomatoes in front!  They are doing wonderfully!  At the time this picture was taken the tomatoes were still green, but there are a ton of them!!! fresh tomatoes!  

Gardening is a great way to teach your kids the basics of growing fruits and vegetables.  Start with tomatoes as they are relatively easy to grow and take care of.  There's no need to have a dedicated garden plot in your backyard such as the one I have.  You can pick up a couple of large pots from the store and plant tomatoes in them.  This is what we did when I was a grad student and we lived in an apartment.  We planted a couple of tomato plants in pots on the balcony.  One tomato per pot!!!  It may look silly when first planted, but tomatoes grow quickly and grow large!  They have a large root system that will fill your pot.  Planting more than one per plot can stunt the growth of all plants.  

Give gardening a shot.  Your kids will learn something and you'll get some yummy fruits/vegetables later in the summer!

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