Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Garden Lessons 2014

As summer is coming to end (sad face :( ), so is my garden.... The leaves are starting to turn brown and there aren't many new vegetables growing. I thought I would do a post on the garden Do's and Don'ts from my own personal experience this year. I am not a garden professional and I am only offering my opinions. This year I planted zucchinis, carrots, spinach, long beans, hot pepper, sweet bell pepper, tomatoes, pumpkin, basil, chives and parsley. I got at least one of each vegetable except long beans or pumpkin. Not sure as to why those did not grow, however I definitely ended up growing a lot of tomatoes! I got so many that I had to give away to family and friends. 

Garden Do's
  • Aerate your soil.
  • Buy fresh soil and mix with existing soil.
  • Use tomato cages. It helps for the tomatoes to grow strong. Plus, the cage will keep the plant upright when it starts to tilt due to the weight of the tomatoes.
  • Start planting seeds in containers before the warm weather starts. This will give the plant a head start on growing. Then you can transfer the plant to your garden when the weather is warm. 
  • Water everyday when there is not a significant amount of rainfall. The summer months can be very hot and dry. It's important that they get a lot of water. 
  • Take out the weeds. They hinder the growth of the plants. 
  • Use eggshells. I used this to keep away snails as our backyard had tons of them. I also used it as a natural fertilizer to the garden. 
  • Use coffee grinds for natural fertilization. It also gives the plants a boost due to the caffeine. 
  • Put your garden in a spot where there will be enough sunshine.

My garden

Tomatoes with the tomato cage

Garden Don'ts
  • Don't crowd your plants! I thought I spaced out my plants when I planted the seeds. However, when the plants grew to their full size, my garden was simply not big enough. I had my zucchini leaves growing on top of my carrots and spinach. This really hindered some of the growth in my garden this year. At least for next year I know what kind of plants need space and I can plan this accordingly. 
  • When I first planted seeds back in May I planted carrot, spinach and long green bean seeds. I simply dug a hole and sprinkled some seeds in it, covered the hole and watered. Simple enough. So you think. When the plants grew to their full size, I found they were all bunched up together that this hindered their growth a lot! I didn't expect for every seed that I 'sprinkled' to grow into a plant. Now I know for next year that 1 seed =1 plant. I will definitely be taking more precaution in this area.
  • You're making a mistake by not planting a garden. Plant a garden! There are so many benefits!

Baby sweet bell pepper that is still growing! I only got one for the entire season...

Overgrown and crowded zucchini plants taking over my carrots and spinach.


Gardening was a great experience overall. I found it very therapeutic and relaxing. I also found myself becoming very excited to see the fruits of my labour grow every day! Picking the ripe vegetables is truly rewarding and fulfilling. Another rewarding and fulfilling moment is using your vegetables to cook with. There is definitely satisfaction in this. I also learned something new and I gained some new skills! I would go even as far to say that these are lifelong skills. 

If you haven't tried gardening or your nervous about starting one, make it a goal for next year and just do it! You really can't go wrong with it and even if it doesn't go according to what you thought, at least you tried! Or you can always start small by planting your favorite herbs in a pot and go from there.

Herb pot with most of the basil already picked.

What vegetables did you plant in your garden this summer?


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