Saturday, June 3, 2017

Growing Granola

I had been looking forward to growing a vegetable garden all year. Outdoor skills are not plentiful on my resume, so I knew this was going to be a great learning experience for all of us. It's fun to take on a project where everyone is a beginner and can learn from each other. I love how a garden can ensnare your senses and provide so many opportunities for hands on learning. So our gardening journey begins!

In March, I started herbs from seed in pots and the window box on my shed. Only the cilantro has grown in both, though squirrels ravaged the other 3 pots multiple times. 

In April, I built a garden box and planted radish, carrot, and green onion plentifully around a couple of broccoli and cauliflower seeds. Squirrels have been constantly digging up this raised bed, despite multiple attempts to deter them. After a few weeks, nothing had sprouted and my mom brought be some strawberry and hula berry plants, so we added them to that bed. We also transplanted my withering blueberries, hoping to revive them. A few days later, radishes started to pop up. In the weeks since, I have tried replanting carrot seeds, which may now be starting to sprout (unless they are just weeds.) I also added marigolds and a tarragon plant to deter pests. The radishes seem to be thriving and the berries have started to flower and fruit. My rather dead blueberry plant now looks green and healthy, although the larger pink lemonade variety has not shown much change. 

The squirrels have been digging up this bed so much and I am often having to replant the radishes. Besides the squirrels, my biggest concern for the plants in this bed are ants feasting on the radishes and critters eating up the strawberries. Spreading coffee grounds seems to have helped with the ants and pepper seemed to hold off the squirrels for a few days, but I'd love a long term solution, as they are planting peanuts in here, which our little one is deathly allergic to. 

My parents brought me some of their old raised beds that they weren't using and filled them with compost for us. They are filled with the bulk of our plants so far. The left is filled with herbs, squash, and cucumbers, while the right has tomatoes, spinach, peppers, and brussel sprouts, and pole beans. I have also planted some carrot seeds in the right bed, although none have sprouted. Both now have marigolds in them too. Cucumbers and beans line the inside length of the beds, and I am currently working on building a trellis that will meet in the middle for them to grow up. Ideally, it will form a little fort for the kids and make it easier to harvest. 

I also planted sunflowers and wildflowers along the side of our house. This spot is going to be bursting with color later this summer! 

That's a large extent of my growing projects so far. Some days it seems like I bit off a little more than I can chew, but maybe that's all part of the experience. I have a few starts growing inside from the seeds that didn't want to grow outside, so I will probably add a couple to the pots that didn't make it when they get a bit bigger. We also have a ton of wood from our demolished deck that I'd like to make a couple more raised beds out of.