Here's Freja helping mommy garden.  Please excuse the smudge on my lens.

Here’s Freja helping mommy garden. Please excuse the smudge on my lens.

Well, our garden is in and like every year gardening, I’m learning a lot. We have 13 tomato plants (I think), 7 peppers, carrots, radish, lettuce, kale, spinach, 5 or 6 zucchinis, 3 spaghetti squash, 3 watermelon, 1 cantaloupe, 3 summer squash, 18 or so strawberries, herbs, and two pumpkins (just for S’s and G’s). I never ended up getting my cucumbers in and at this point I’m just going to have to live with that.

I have learned, much to my surprise, that greens do not do well in my shady front yard, but radishes do. Meanwhile, radishes do poorly in pots, but kale does great in them.

Seed starting is not my strength, but next year I will sow my seeds into bigger pots so they won’t get all root bound and gross by the time I’m planting them. And I won’t bother planting zucchini and summer squash ahead of time, I’ll sow those seeds directly in the ground around Mother’s Day.

I needed to start soil amendment much earlier. Next year that will start in the first nice days of February, if possible. On the subject of soil care, my compost needs to be turned several times a week all year, and right now I need to get as much out as I can so we have room for new stuff. If I have to buy compost (or soil) it is much, much cheaper to buy in bulk. We are lucky to have a truck, but if you don’t, it’s worth borrowing one.

My local grocery store carries potted vegetables longer than anyone else, in case I kill something. Or something else kills something.

What kind of sick bastard does this?!?!

What kind of sick bastard does this?!?!

My vertical planters need to be watered much more frequently than my other pots, and I need to leave them horizontal longer, so I don’t wash all the dirt out. That, however, will be a big challenge in our limited space, and makes me wonder if they will be worth it next year.

This year is the first year we’ve tried growing anything along the back fence, so here’s hoping it’s a success. Jeremy made some trellises out of branches from a tree he trimmed, and I just love them. Resourceful to the max! Let’s see if I can get my melons to climb them.

Our back fence veggie bed.

Our back fence veggie bed.

Of course the big plan this year was to add some food producing animals to our little homestead, and we haven’t done so hot with that. We have our home for the quail, we have our food and feeders, but our efforts at incubating our first batch of eggs went awry. Hopefully we can manage to do better with the next set.

There's our little apartment for quail, if we can get any incubated properly.

There’s our little apartment for quail, if we can get any incubated properly.

I have been so busy in the garden and with other work and social stuff (lots of weddings, fundraisers, parties, and getting ready to start back to school), I have hardly written about the homesteading I’ve been doing! I will try to keep you all better updated throughout the summer! ┬áIn the mean time, here’s some more pictures so you can see everything we have going on!

A view of our patio garden.

A view of our patio garden.

Row of tomatoes and onions.

Row of tomatoes and onions.

My vertical planter filled with sad herbs.

My vertical planter filled with sad herbs.

Another vertical planter with strawberries.  What do you guys think, is the painted one better than the other one?  I didn't think so at first, but now I maybe do.

Another vertical planter with strawberries. What do you guys think, is the painted one better than the other one? I didn’t think so at first, but now I maybe do.

Peppers, potatoes, carrots, and greens.

Peppers, potatoes, carrots, and greens.

Pumpkin blossom.

Pumpkin blossom.

Zucchini sprouts.

Zucchini sprouts.

Watermelon reaching for their trellis.

Watermelon reaching for their trellis.

Peppers and lettuce.

Peppers and lettuce.

Front yard radish.

Front yard radish.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Freja helping to water

Freja helping to water

Freja helping to water.

Freja helping to water.

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