Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekend Cooking: My New Vegetable Garden ... or, Where the Hell Do I Start With This?!

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.
So, now that it is officially ours, I feel that I can post photos of the vegetable garden plot that I've acquired with the purchase of our new house. 

We're not talking a small patch of ground, people. This is ... well, here's how it appeared in the real estate listing. 

Clearly, my sellers knew a  thing or two about what they were doing. This being the early spring months and me not having a green thumb NOR a clue, the garden currently looks like this: 

Actually, those two photos above were taken on March 31, so the area is now much more overgrown than that now.  To say I don't know where to start is kind of an understatement. (I'm serious. I couldn't even figure out how to get INTO the garden until this evening. What I thought was the gate wasn't.)

The sellers have told us that "asparagus should be coming up soon" but other than that, I don't know if anything else is planted. There isn't any sign of any asparagus so far. I found a Burpee tag with "GREEN PEPPERS" written on it near where the bushes to the left are, and another one with "CELEBRITY" written on it a little further down.

As much as The Husband has tried to convince me that we would be better off filling in this space by creating a synthetic hockey rink (as if we Flyers fans are raising Stanley Cup champions here in land of the Penguins), I've decided that I want to try my hand at this vegetable gardening thing, even though I don't know what I'm doing (that's what blogs and Pinterest are for).  At least for this first year, our garden will be on a smaller scale than that of the previous owners of this house.  And that's OK.

Right now, there are a lot of sticks and twigs and stuff in the garden. It looks like it could use some spring cleaning. I'm thinking of starting with that this weekend, as well as trying to make a raised bed. Last weekend I bought some vegetable seeds, including these Organic Laxtons Progress #9 Shell Peas, and I really want to get those planted this weekend.  From what I've read, this is probably the last chance for the peas, and we're expected to have a good weekend weather-wise for it.

So. What would you do if you just acquired this as your new vegetable garden?

(A hockey rink is not an option. Not even if my Flyers win the playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins.)

copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Book Dragon said...

Looks like a great space for....a library or a horse corral... okay, it looks like a garden ;-)

Wish I could pop over and help but my gardening skills are not super good. Good Luck and have fun with it and I hope you take pictures!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I would soooooo plant it!!! The first year I gardened I was just really playing around...I ended up with enough tomatoes for my family to eat fresh tomato based sauces, soups etc. for almost the entire winter...we are now tomato snobs (even the youngest). Asparagus takes 2 years to grow so if you have some already coming up, I'd find it first, especially if you like asparagus.
Don't feel like you have to plant the entire plot...just pick out a small area (around the asparagus, of course) and plant a few things that your family enjoys. You'll be hooked.

Linda said...

Fun! I hope to have a place someday with enough room to have a garden. Have fun.

Melissa said...

I am *so.freaking.jealous* of that space!!

Personally, I'd till the entire plot and have trucked in a few cubic tons of mixed soil and compost (a nursery will be able to tell you how much you need for that size of garden). Don't forget to test the PH levels and adjust accordingly to what you're growing. Then, if you don't have much experience, start small - maybe 1/4 of the plot, and plant a cover crop in the extra. Read, read, read up on keeping a garden! Once you start, you'll be hooked.

I'm just doing container gardens this year on my back porch instead of in the raised beds. I need to completely overhaul my dirt (it's old, and it got infected last year with an icky virus). Also, we have plans to build a small greenhouse, so I've got to funnel money to that project.

PS - Gardening can be just as expensive as it is addictive. ;-)

Lisa Gradess Weinstein said...

Have fun with it Melissa! I have always wanted to plant a garden but I'm afraid of little critters eating everything!

Beth F said...

Herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, peas, spinach, peppers, beans, greens ... I miss having a garden. Our trees have gotten so big, they shade the old vegetable garden, which is now a wildflower patch.

Libby Rodriguez said...

Ok - You have already done step 1 and found the gate - yay!

Step 2 - go to the library and get a book on square foot gardening or lasagna gardening, since you have a raised bed.

BTW, someone planted celebrities? Cool! Let us know what comes up there!

Carole said...

Good luck. Looks like a major undertaking.

Joy Weese Moll said...

Wow, that looks like a terrific garden! I think your instinct is right that it needs spring cleaning. Is there anyone you can ask for help? Probably you mostly have weeds there and just need to hoe, pull, or cultivate to clean up. But it would be a shame to pull out anything perennial -- like asparagus or some herbs.

Let me know if I can offer any help. I don't feel like an expert, but I have about four growing seasons more experience than you do :-)

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

I congratulate you on your endeavor, and wish you the best of luck.

Heather said...

Great garden area. Mine is filled with raspberry roots. Berrys never grew on the plants so I keep cutting them off at ground level with intent dig the roots out. Well, still lots of roots, but I still want to keep working at it. I'll be looking forward to updates and photos.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I'd go to the local extension office with pictures and say, here's what I've got. Help! There might even be a class you can take. Or a local farmers market with people in it who can help you. If it was me I'd take a stab at growing maybe half a row of everything, see how it goes.