Looking back, it all began.......July 17, 2008
Garden Diary 2008
I’ve gardened for all of my married life until 2004, when I was diagnosed with colon cancer and had to have abdominal surgery. I’d felt so ill that spring that I tore out my lovely little garden, which was right outside the kitchen door, and planted grass. For the next three years I pouted about not having my vegetable garden, but didn’t feel well enough to tackle it until spring of 2008. I started small, just a three-foot wide strip next to the fence at the east side of our property, and a small space next to the fence on the west side, next to my two blueberry bushes. I planted three "Celebrity" tomatoes, two red bell peppers (six more went into flower gardens in the front yard), a double row of Burpee bush beans, each row about 8’ in length and planted three more rows, each two weeks apart, using leftover seed from 2004. I also planted one hill (4 seeds) of yellow crookneck squash, one hill (4 seeds) of zucchini, and a tiny two-square-feet patch of mixed lettuce for the pet rabbit. In the blueberry bed I planted two cherry tomatoes and two pots of bush cucumbers.
Everything was growing well, although I lost a few of the large bean plants and half of the squash seedlings to cutworms. I protected two of each squash plants with cutworm collars made of toilet tissue rolls, and never saw any more damage. Then, on July 1, we had a couple of very strong wind gusts that split our large maple tree in half, and the entire east garden was crushed under a huge branch.
I immediately purchased new fencing (under $100 for materials) and moved it further into the yard to give me space for some raised beds. I had quite a bit of lumber in the garage, saved from several years ago when we removed a deck from the back of our house. It was good redwood, 2x6 lumber, and enough to build four 4’x4’x12” deep beds and one 3‘x4‘x6“-deep bed that I‘ll use for shallow rooted greens. I purchased a yard of top soil for $18 and a yard of “leaf and twig” composted steer manure for $20. That was a good buy, as I had asked for regular compost but they were out, so they gave me the more expensive blend at the same price.
I had planned on leaving the beds empty until next spring, adding lots of chopped up leaves and more compost later this fall. But…I couldn’t resist. So here is a diary of my garden, my very first summer planted garden. I’m hoping I have a harvest before winter.
I purchased 50' of wire fence and 8 metal fence posts to keep the puppies out of the garden, as they are loving to dig in the new beds of compost. Hopefully we'll get the fence up soon.