Friday, April 22, 2016

Our garden

Last year, we put in our backyard, then promptly went out of town for two weeks. When we got back, it was June and blisteringly hot, but we decided to try out a garden any way. The basil grew like you wouldn't believe. The carrots didn't do so hot. The pumpkin vine appeared to be doing fantastically well, but never actually sprouted any pumpkins. When we finally took the vine out, we realized the root had withered (scriptural reference?).

This year, we decided to attempt our garden a bit sooner! The kids and I went to Star Nursery one night and debated over what we should plant. In the end, we decided on the following:
1. Strawberries, because strawberries
2. Zucchini, because in the boys' words, "A lot of zucchini means a lot of zucchini bread!" (I've taught them well.)
3. Basil, because it grew so well last year
4. Oregano, because I'll actually use that
5. Tomatoes, because we grew the largest tomato plant in the world when we accidentally let our garden grow wild in St. George the summer I was pregnant (it wasn't standing, but stretched out it was literally about 5 feet tall)--anyway, this year I knew I could do better and I knew tomatoes could grow in the desert! Also, the kids were quite impressed with the tomato cage. We needed to own one.

The next day, we prepped the soil, figured out the drip system again, and planted! The oregano, tomato, and strawberries we bought as plants already. The zucchini and basil were seeds. The kids were super pumped. Of course, the next few weeks got cold again (at least cold for Vegas) and I realized after about 10 days that our drip system was running way too long and literally flooding the plants each time it watered. The plants were looking a little worse for the wear. I think we may have washed away the seeds we planted. And I was pretty sure we were going to lose the tomato plant. But I adjusted the drip settings, then hoped the weather would be kind. We also re-planted our zucchini and basil since they'd never sprouted.

Then one day, I realized that the garden looked great. Three zucchini plants sprouted. What is either basil or a weed that looks suspiciously like basil sprouted (it's growing slowly, so the jury is still out on that one). The strawberry plant grew two strawberries, which the kids literally checked on multiple times each day until ready to pick. (We've now harvested a total of FOUR strawberries. They were quite tasty.) And the tomato plant IS GROWING A TOMATO. I seriously yelled in elation when I discovered the tomato. IT IS SO DANG CUTE. And, as I loaded the pictures for this post--they were taken when we planted--I realized that our garden has grown quite a lot! I knew the tomato plant had gotten a little bigger, but in actuality it is way bigger. We are turning into gardners!

Now let's see how long we can keep everything alive.

Planting day: March 18, 2016
Oregano on the far left side, tomato in the cage, strawberry plants on the right

Today: April 22, 2016
Oregano not pictured (sorry oregano), tomato in the cage, strawberries next to the tomato, three zucchini plants in foreground!
 Today (April 22, 2016)--to make up for the oregano being cut off :) If you look exceedingly closely, you can see a tiny basil sprout in the loop of that dripper in the back.

See my tomato?

Flat Stanley was with us when we planted, and his picture is what made me realize just how much our garden has grown! Tomato 3/18/16

And tomato 4/22/16:

Our first two strawberries!

Also, I feel like shots of the garden are not complete without shots of the other half of the "garden." Last year, this is where we planted our pumpkin. This year, we decided to leave it empty and turn off the drippers so the kids could play in it. They love digging and have spent a lot of time out here--I didn't want to take that away from them! They tend to climb right up inside the dirt and sit in it while they play, so they always end up ridiculously dirty--but they have so much fun getting to that point that I'm totally okay with the dirt.


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