Kim’s Journal Entry: May 13, 2011
I’ve been gardening in Germantown for three years now and I’ve had a tough time bringing in a substantial harvest. Last year all my squash and zucchini plants died when I mulched with pine straw (too much acid) and my tomatoes stopped producing during the drought because I had a poor irrigation system. I’ve had to deal with squash worms and aphids too. I really believe that companion planting and using rabbit and chicken manure along with worm castings is really making a difference for me this year. But the biggest change that I’ve made is planting in raised beds. I LOVE raised beds! Creating my own nutritious soil mix without having to till and work our clay soil has been a huge plus. The beds keep the rabbits away and make it easy to attach trellises, netting and connect hoop houses for winter crops. Weeding is also much easier to do with raised beds. The floods and strong winds this spring would normally have hurt my garden but with raised beds every plant fared well.
Over the past three weeks I’ve added five new chicks and four bunny rabbits to my homestead experiment. I also planted a small orchard in the back yard and built a chicken fence. I planted peach and apple trees in my orchard and built a small grape trellis. All my raised beds are finally planted and I’ve been harvesting fresh, organic spinach, kale and romaine lettuce for two weeks now. We are finally picking ripe strawberries too. The girls like to help pick leafy greens for salads and pizzas. It’s so much fun to eat this way! I love the cut and come again romaine lettuce and spinach plants. YUM!
Here’s a list of the plants that I’m growing this year:
Vegetables: spinach, lettuce (romaine and loose leaf), kale, broccoli, onions, garlic, potatoes, green beans, squash, zucchini, cucumber, eggplant, green, purple, red and yellow bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, carrots, corn, celery, tomatoes, okra, lima beans, black beans, alfalfa.
Fruit: grapes, peaches, tangerines, apples, lemons, strawberries, blueberries, oranges (I’m hoping to plant cantaloupe, watermelon and pumpkins soon).
Companion Flowers: nasturtiums, marigolds, pansies.
Herbs: basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, cilantro, lemon balm, chocolate mint, lavender, dill, mint, sorrel, stevia, apple mint, rosemary.
Here’s my latest photo gallery: