My big garden plans for 2021 demand the right supplies and equipment to meet the challenge. It’s been a month of trial and error, but I think I’ve found the right tools for the job. Check out my new gear and see how it’s performing!
For this year’s 2021 garden, I’ve decided to GO BIG! I’m attempting to grow a full-blown kitchen garden and landscape almost my entire suburban yard – by seed! I’m growing hundreds of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs in a limited grow space, and will be building DIY containers, trellises and garden furniture all season long. Can I pull it off?
The summer harvest has ended and the fall clean-up has begun. The bounty of fallen leaves and dead foliage will provide rich compost for next year. Winter is a welcome downtime to plan for the gardening season ahead. Seed catalogs are arriving and the choices seem overwhelming. It will take some discipline to narrow down the list for planting next season. DIY garden projects will occupy the cold months so that they will be ready for planting season. It may be quiet in the garden, but inside, there is no time to rest.
Though the summer garden is winding down, there is still plenty to harvest. Tomatoes continue to ripen on the heirlooms and succession planted determinates. The second wave of bean crops were ready, and the hot peppers hit their peak. Summer herbs are still fresh for picking, while cilantro and parsley are slowly making their return. New fall plantings were late, but worth the experiment. Preparing for winter is a joy in the cool weather. There is much work to be done.
We made an unexpected trip back to Missouri this month to say goodbye to a dear, sweet gardener – my mother-in-law. She represented an era gone by of rural farming during the Great Depression. While away, the garden flourished without me. Fall plantings began to emerge, while some summer crops and flowers found new life once the temperature cooled, bringing my heirloom tomatoes to peak production. Succession planted veggies continue to fill our baskets. I can’t believe how quickly the season went!
Leaving the garden unattended for two weeks while visiting family and friends out of town presented some challenges and opportunities. Pests and diseases left unchecked destroyed some plants, while unharvested crops opened up more seed saving opportunities. Steady rainfall kept the garden well-watered, and overall the garden flourished without me! It was a testament to the power of nature.
Our tomato plants are overflowing their cages and producing a bountiful harvest. Sharing it with family and friends elevates the joy. The onset of summer diseases and pests presented challenges, but they did not outpace the beautiful fruits that came off our vines. While we worked to rid the garden of the destructive insects, we welcomed another in the name of conservation – the monarch butterfly. A second planting of summer veggies and a little DIY kept us busy throughout the month. Never did hard work feel so rewarding!
Spring planting is complete…for now! But the wacky weather presented some unexpected challenges that may force me to replant. Heavy wind and rain and a Mother’s Day weekend frost required some quick, DIY solutions to protect the tender seedlings. Did my excessive “hardening off” save them?
The last frost date has passed and planting has begun! It’s been a busy month of soil preparation, more seed starting experiments, yard clean-up, DIY projects. And already we’ve been harvesting our lettuce and perennial herbs! What a treat to have healthy food right outside our front door.
It’s been a productive two weeks in my garden. Day after day, I’ve been planting more seeds indoors, preparing my food and flower beds outdoors, tending to all the seedlings, and experimenting with the bounds of nature. My body is sore, and my car still smells like cow manure, but the fine spring weather has been a delight in which to toil.