Growing Garden Lessons

Look at how our garden grows! I've learned a few things so far this year, that I need to mark.

1. Use row markers. I will not remember where I planted things. I'm hoping these peas are finished growing by the time the potatoes are ready to harvest. Oops.

2. Start plants on the other side of the garden. The east side is shadowed longer because of the house.

3. We don't need 100 lettuce plants. We just don't. I don't want to dig 100 little holes to transplant 100 little lettuces.

4. I need to either buy potting soil or make our own (like Jenny does at The East Homestead!). Because my broccoli and cauliflower are struggling, have been struggling, and we probably aren't going to get any broccoli or cauliflower. That's sad.

5. I need more wood chips. The weeds are killing me. There's nothing like a day an hour 10 minutes of hoeing to make me realize how out of shape I am.

We keep plugging away at our little garden, though. We have spinach and radishes ready for harvest I think. Everything else seems to be growing well enough. I'm excited, I hope to put up a lot of food this summer. I think I'm going to try my hand at pickles again. (If you missed me last summer, I failed miserably at pickles. A couple of times. Does anyone have a fail-proof dill pickles recipe that tastes really good and doesn't have sugar in it?) I'm getting excited and also trying to clear out space for all the new preserved foods.

Are you ready for the harvest season?


  1. Spinach and radishes already? What a joy! Your garden really does look lovely. I wonder, where you are on a homestead if you have access to straw? Straw is free to us, and wood-chips would be horribly expensive. Or do you have a secret you'd like to share about getting wood-chips? (Because we would love to know how to get some on the cheap.) :-)
    Pickles...oh there are a MILLION recipes out there. We do the large ones and the minis too. I went through the same struggle for such a long time. One day we were cleaning out all the grandparents stuff and found a stack of homestead recipes. Now I can "make them just like Grandma used to." Or at least, I try!

    1. I had my husband call a tree service company and ask if they would dump their wood chips on our land. It was free! The tree service people usually have to pay to dump their wood chips. We've had a tree cut down recently and that guy told us he would bring over a load once his dump truck is full. I can't wait!
      What a blessing to have all those recipes! That must be so fun. My Grandma helped me last year, but she's only made sweet pickles and we figured out that neither one of us can do dill. The problem is that my family loves dill! Speaking of dill, I need to get some growing. I've been trying to make dill pickles for a long time now.

    2. I am so jealous! As long as you know what kind of chips you were getting (like not an overly acidic species), that would be Heaven. I know I'm not the only one jealous of your blessings. Good score!
      The recipes...well...aren't always labeled, and don't have pictures, so I don't always know WHAT they are for. Hehe. It's tricky, but I'm loving that they all have ingredients that are available here on the homestead (before there were stores around), so that makes it easier when I do figure out what I'm supposed to be making.
      Have you tried the dill recipe from the Ball Book?

    3. I have no idea if I've tried that the Ball Book recipe, I've tried several. Most of the really good tasting ones are refrigerator pickles, and I'd like to be able to can them so they last all year rather than 6 months. It kills me. How would I find the Ball Book one?
      And I didn't know what kind of wood chips I was getting, but before I dumped them on the garden, I dumped a whole lot of chicken poop on it. (Back to Eden method) I think I'm happy with the results, we'll see after this year. Are you still covered in snow? Also, I'm going to try to find your email and send you a note. Be on the look out for it!

    4. You can google it, or I can send you mine.

  2. That's great that you are already getting some salad fixings out of your garden! Looks good... it is a wonderful time of year when things start growing like this. :) I hope you have a really good garden year. :)

  3. I'm a newbie gardener too, so I understand how disappointing it can be not to reap what you sow. It'll come with time, we must be patient.
    I make soil mix for our veggie garden and hands-down, it's the best thing I've ever done.

    Baby steps! There are no mistakes, just opportunities to learn.
    Thanks for sharing on The Maple Hill Hop!

    1. You must have a green thumb then, if you're a newbie too! You have a beautiful garden! Thanks for the encouragement, you're right...learning as we go!


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