Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Good Luck Garden

Hello Fellow Gardeners and Wannabe Gardeners.  I am so happy to be able to participate in this blog from the Tasteful Garden.  This should be a fun summer project.  

I've been gardening with varying degrees of success for about ten years.  It's great to be able to share a little of the hard won knowledge from those past years.  Having not grown up in a gardening family (which I am trying to change with my own kids), I went through a lot of trial and error.  Who knew you have to grow vegetables in the sun?!  Lots of people I'm sure, but not me.  Well, I finally figured out some things after a couple of years and have had lots of successes, and still a few failures.

This picture is of my garden now.  I was looking through the other blogger's sites and saw one patch of bare dirt that made me green with envy.  And here is mine with tomato cages and their dead tomato carcasses hanging from them.  Like a botanical crime scene photo.  Many of the green things in the front bed are herbs and not weeds, so I'm proud of that.   Some were hard to tell...tarragon looks a lot like bermuda grass when it's little, so weeding can be a challenge.  My poor garden goes completely feral about midway through the summer.  To make it worse, the veggie garden is about 8 feet from my pool.  Hmm...pull weeds or go for a swim?  Last fall, I didn't even clean it out at the end of the year.  Which explains the weeds and tomato cages that you see in this picture.  New gardeners should know that this is not a good practice.  It could spread diseases among your plants for the next season.  Do as I say, not as I do!

I have high hopes that keeping up with the blog this year will also force me to keep up the garden.  When it's 98 degrees in the shade, it's all I can do to crawl out there and pick my tomatoes, much less pull weeds and pinch back and all that.   I also have a number of other beds for flowers, a shade garden, etc.  None of them are more rewarding than the vegetable garden.

Currently I have two raised beds for veggies (that I built with my own two hands, so I'm not a total slacker).  The back one is for tomatoes, peppers and basil.  Sometimes cucumbers.  The front bed is for herbs, onions and whatever I am experimenting with.   I try to grow something every year that I haven't grown before.  One year was watermelon.  Disaster.  They needed much more room that I gave them and were inches away from growing into the pool!  Although I did harvest one from under a lounge chair that was, no lie, fifty pounds.  Last year I tried potatoes for the first time.  I found true love.  Fluffy, delicious freshly dug potatoes.  Mmmm.  I am finding as much room as possible for them this year.  I am also going to put in a new little patch for blueberries.  We'll see how that goes.  

My Tasteful Garden order is sitting on the back porch acclimatizing, and waiting for me to clear enough weeds to plant them.  I am a fanatic for heirloom tomatoes.  In my opinion, you cannot do better than a Black Krim for slicing and eating.  Every day of the summer I can eat a sandwich of whole wheat toast, thick slices of black krim and sharp cheddar cheese.  If that was the only thing I grew, it would be more than worth the effort.  My favorite cherry tomato is the Sungold.  I am trying the Persimmon tomato and the Granny Smith for the first time this year.  We'll learn together how well it goes.  I am also trying some beans (Edamame and French Filet) which I have had varying degrees of success with in the past.  

Now it's time to do the walk of shame out to garden and get to work. 

Oh, and why is my garden the "Good Luck" garden?  Because, even though I try to give my plants the best possible start, I put them in the ground and say "Good Luck".  Anything that needs tons of babying, pruning, de-bugging, etc. isn't going to make it and will be replaced by something else that is less needy.

And Good Luck to all you gardeners out there.  Spring is here.  Ready. Set. Plant!



  1. I like the unusual layout of your beds. So is that a fence they're up against?

  2. Lori, I am sooo with you on the heirloom tomatoes! I'm growing 12 varieties this year (including Black Krim and Sungold!), and I am so excited. The seedlings are up and rockin' under the growlights (one of the Black Krim's has already been transplanted to a 4" CowPot and is waving happily under my skylight). Mmmm ... heirloom tomatoes sandwiches ....

  3. Hi Jenny. The beds are curvy to match the curve of the pool, which is just out of view of the camera. The back of the back bed sits about a foot off the fence behind it. By the way, your bed is just gorgeous. I really like the black fence around it. Just because vegetable gardens are useful, doesn't mean that they can't also be beautiful, right?

  4. Hi Karen. I am so impressed that you are starting your own tomatoes from seeds! The couple of times I tried it, I ended up with sad, leggy little things. Of course, that was back in the days when I knew absolutely nothing about gardening. Maybe I would have more luck now. Unfortunately, I am so spoiled by being able to get them from the tasteful garden and here locally. We have a wonderful Botanical Garden here in Huntsville and it has a huge plant sale every year. It was this past weekend. They have a big tent just dedicated to vegetables and they always have a great selection of heirlooms. What else are you growing?

  5. Hi Lori. I've got the lighting set up to handle seedlings - otherwise, I would just buy the starts, too. Plus, by the time February hits, I'm about jumping out of my skin to do something gardening-related, so starting seeds keeps me, well, inside my skin, while the snow falls outside. :) This year, I'm also growing onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, celery, carrots, arugula, cukes, lemongrass, edamame, rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, and lots and lots of peppers. A crazy, insane amount of peppers. Both sweet and hot. I was such the sucker for all of those seed catalog photos ....