Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Family's Garden

Jana here with a look into something my family enjoys doing together....gardening!  We aren't experts, by any means, but it's something the whole family can get involved with.  Our children are young (turning 2 and 4 this summer), but they have had eager hands to help with the preparation, seed planting, watering, and harvesting!  My husband and I have had a garden for 4 years, and each year we try to grow things better than the previous year, and learn from our mistakes. 

 As far as the structure of the garden, my husband used 1x6 deck planks this year to build basic garden boxes.  This was an inexpensive, quick way to make our garden look cohesive. We lined the boxes with newspaper, then filled them with top soil and other nutrients before planting.  We also used straw this year for our walkways.  We have used mulch in the past, but it can get very costly. The straw was also much quicker to spread out on the ground compared to the mulch.  We do have weed fabric underneath, making the number of weeds we have had to deal with extremely minimal.  The garden beds themselves have had a few weeds, but nothing major.  Now that we have these garden boxes in place, they will last for many garden seasons!

Another cost saving thing we have done is to make our own rain barrel.  It's actually a 275 gallon container that we bought for a great price.  We put it under one of the gutters on our house, and it only takes a short time of rain to fill it completely!  That amount of water will last us a couple of weeks if we are going through a dry spell.  My husband attached our hose to the rain barrel, so we are able to water our garden as if it were coming from the spigot, only it's free!

The things we are growing in our garden this year are: Green Beans, Cucumbers, Leaf Lettuce, Tomatoes, Peppers, Pumpkins, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Okra, and Corn.  So far, we have harvested lettuce, squash, and peppers.  It won't be long before the other vegetables are ready also! 

I am planning to continue garden updates throughout the summer; recipes we use, how we store the vegetables that we don't quickly eat, etc.  If you have a garden, I would love to hear what you're growing, and any tips you have!


  1. Your garden is what I hope to have in a few years. This will be my first year planting a garden and I am super excited. I am sure I will make mistakes, but each year I hope to improve. My husband and I built four garden boxes this year, two measuring 4ftx8ft and two at 2ftx4ft. I planted tomatoes, beets, onions, spaghetti squash, yellow crooked neck squash, zucchini, romain lettuce, leaf lettuce, spinach, carrots, celery and cucumbers. I fear that I may have planted too many items in my boxes, but we will see in a few months.
    Thank you for your blog and I look forward to future posts.

  2. I'm growing 4 different varieties of tomatoes, a couple of bell peppers, zucchini, strawberries (done for the year) and some herbs. The squash are what I always have problems with, and I probably only try every couple of years - because the squash vine borers get me every time. I'd love to find an easy way to deal with them!

  3. Jana, your garden looks amazing!

  4. a tip i once read about was an organic way to keep bugs from eating your plants was the take an old tin can, paint it yellow and red(half and half) then cover it with vaseline. the bugs are attracted to the colors but then get stuck in the vasoline and die, after a few months you wipe it off then add more vaseline and place it back. works great on fence posts, good luck!