My First Garden

I’ve never had a garden.  The only thing I’ve been able to grow is children, and the jury is still out on how good a job I’ve done with that.

Back in 2009, my wife gave me a garden for my birthday present, whereby she and a friend would transform a hill behind our house into a small, flat plot that gets enough sun over the course of a day to make a viable garden.  Due to some complexities of life, they didn’t actually build the garden until last fall, but it’s been ready for me this spring.  We have a couple of rain barrels nearby, and I was ready to go. We tilled it twice, adding some nice horse manure to the soil, and I started planting seeds a few weeks ago.

I planted turnips, lettuce, beets, carrots, lettuce and cauliflower.  Last Sunday, I planted 7 different heirloom tomato plants (thanks, Matt and Andrea!), a pepper plant, and from seeds, zucchini, cucumbers, watermelon and cantaloupe.

The first plants are doing remarkably well.  I’m amazed at how bright and beautiful the beet leaves and stems are, and the lacy carrot tops are great.  The turnips are thriving, as is the lettuce.  The cauliflower is coming along slowly, but I’m thinking it will do fine.

The weeds are a royal pain, of course, but I really am loving this process.  I check this garden in the morning.  I check it when I come home for lunch and then when I get home at the end of the day, like there might have been a magical growth spurt in the few hours I was gone.

I’m not much of a turnip eater, but I’m almost counting down the days before those suckers will be ready to pull, as they’ll be the first crop to mature.  I know I’ll get some greens before then for salad, when I thin out the crops, but I want the full vegetable.

I love this garden, and I can’t believe it’s taken me 47 years to get one.


7 Responses to My First Garden

  1. Feztooned says:

    “I check it when I come home for lunch and then when I get home at the end of the day, like there might have been a magical growth spurt in the few hours I was gone”.

    Just wait until mid-June! Prepared to be shocked! Moreso by the weed growth or slugs…maybe both! LOL!

    Fortunately, by then you will be so enamored, borderline obsessive, you won’t mind.

    Chances are that by the end of summer, you will start planning fall and winter harvests and you will also start concocting not only what you will grow next summer, but how you can expand the plot you currently have. Gardening is like crack, but only in the guise of a really nice salad.

  2. dmwcpa says:

    Welcome to home gardening. Hopefully, the critters and bugs will leave enough for you to enjoy.

  3. Congratulations!

    We’ve been slowly converting the grass lawn of our yard into raised bed boxes for a few years now. I grew up on a North Carolina farm, but the methods we’re using now are very very different from those days.

    Feel free to contact me if you want any kind of help or advice. We’re at

  4. Gray says:

    Congrats on the garden dean, you are going to love it, mine keeps getting bigger every year. This year I have tomatoes, beets, lettuce, peas, beans, radishes, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, watermelon and summer squash. Keep pulling weeds and it will get a little easier every year. Try to save some seeds for next year, I am thinking about organizing a local group to exchange rare and heirloom seeds for next year, I will keep you informed.

  5. R.B. says:

    I still chuckle over the story of the daycare with a garden that posted the sign “You cannot take your child unless you also take some zucchini.” You will soon understand this.
    But I don’t understand that you haven’t listed any herbs in your garden. The perennial chives and oregano have emerged from their winter slumber in our garden, and the rosemary is verdant year round. The basil, thyme, marjoram, Greek oregano and parsley are in pots on our front steps.
    Our neighbor asked us to bring a muffaletta to her 50th birthday party this weekend. The olive spread will be even more tasty with our fresh homegrown herbs.

  6. Varmint says:

    No herbs this year. I wanted to plant vegetables and some melon to see what would work and what wouldn’t with the limited amount of sun we have. Things are going pretty darned well, so far. I’ll do herbs next year, I suspect.

  7. VaNC says:

    We have no sun for a garden, so feel free to leave any extra zucchini on my front porch.

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