June Showers Bring July….

…Gardens? Sorry for my lack of rhyming but it’s the truth at least for our case. After a steady set of summer rain storms during the month of June here we are on July 7th with a thriving vegetable garden. I’ve heard others say the rain has actually hindered their crops and made things too wet. So who knows. I’m still a newcomer when it comes to the successes and failures of the elusive backyard vegetable garden. Right now though we seem to be riding on success so I’ll take it after the ups and downs of my past attempts.

With the positive swing on rain for us, there may also be some other factors playing into our 2013 green thumbs as well. One being brand new custom built raised garden beds the second being a top notch soil blend and lastly enthusiasm.

Ben amazed me this Spring by putting his techie brain to work in his handy skills. He built me three raised garden beds as well as a picnic table! They turned out amazing and our backyard has really come alive. We adorned our backyard with tiki torches, outdoor garden lights that were leftover from the wedding, a fancy umbrella for the picnic table and adirondack chairs. It’s become a little oasis among the brick row homes.

With the excess depth of the garden beds we decided to purchase soil in bulk from a local nursery and boy am I glad we did. Not only was it extremely cheap compared to buying multiple bags from Home Depot, it is so easy to work with my hands are grateful. The other bonus is the plants really seem to love it.

A year or so ago I received this book as a Christmas gift but never got around to really reading it. I of course intended to this year but we got a late start on planting due to so many other home projects I never took the time to sit down and line up the planting plans with the book. Maybe next year…

With the late start on the garden we didn’t plant any early Spring options like we did two years ago. No brussels sprouts, spinach, or lettuce. Instead we went straight into green and yellow squash, string beans, cucumbers, as well as a variety of tomatoes and peppers. The third raised bed Ben made me was built on a smaller scale specifically for strawberries. Since strawberry plants require maturing before bearing fruit we don’t have any actual fruit for our labors yet. Next year though, May/June should show some signs of effort.

Today I will be picking 3 green squash and a handful of string beans to accompany dinner. I’m crossing my fingers our tomato plants keep up the good work since I’ve never had much success in the pasts with tomatoes. If all goes as I hope we may have enough to preserve some with the pressure cooker and canning supplies we received as a wedding shower gift. I may even pick a few early for some delicious fried green tomatoes.

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