Thursday, August 2, 2012

What We've Learned About Gardening So Far

We knew our first vegetable and flower garden out here would be mainly trial and error. Conditions are much different from our old house in the city, so we didn't expect to see much success in our first year.

Here's a quick rundown of what we've learned:

1) In the beginning, the most important issue was getting enough light into our vegetable garden. We live in the middle of the woods, so we had to just pick a spot and cut some trees down around it so that plenty of sunlight could penetrate through.

2) Cilantro goes to seed way too fast. It's almost not worth planting it when it's so cheap at the store (although when it does get really tall and fern-like it's nice to cut it off and bring inside - makes your house smell fabulous especially when you shake it a little bit).

3) Weeds grow rampant in vegetable beds unless you keep them in check every single day.

4) Basil will try to go to seed when it gets bushy. Just pick off the buds and flowers and new leaves will continue to grow.

5) The biggest threat to our tomato plants is not birds - deer are the enemy! The only permanent solution to this is to build an 8 ft tall fence around the garden.

6) Those $0.20 wildflower mix seed packets? Totally worth it.

7) Canna lillies get incredibly tall.

8) You can easily tame an unruly butterfly bush by pruning. It will bloom again in no time.

Picking off buds and flowers to encourage continued growth.

Severe deer damage to a tomato plant.

Cute wildflower just waiting to be put in a mason jar.

Crazy tall canna lillies.

Butterfly bush post pruning.

Hopefully this year's mistakes will help us make next year's gardens even better. One of these days I know we will work out all the kinks!



  1. Good tips! If we ever have a yard, I'll have to refer back :-). If you do planter containers, I'd love to see a post on that to learn more about! In the meantime, I'll enjoys the pics of the lovely basil and wildflowers!

    1. I have been meaning to put some succulents in planters for our back porch, so if I get around to it I'll do a post on that :) Succulents are great because they don't require hardly any care at all. Even a black thumb couldn't mess them up!


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