The decision on whether or not to plant my raised bed garden this year was a difficult one. It was a garden that was built by my dad and was our thing. He would put as much love and work into growing the tomatoes as I did but now that he’s gone, it’s a constant reminder of what I don’t have anymore. I can’t even walk into the backyard without holding back tears. But at the same time, it’s one of the few things I have left from him. The thought of tearing it down hurts as much as seeing it every day.
Since tearing it down just isn’t an option the best thing I can think to do is keep using it, like he would have wanted me to.
After a long winter and a slow to warm up spring, the garden was looking more like a small jungle. Many of the herbs from last year came back and we even found a few stray pieces of garlic but it started out as more grass and weeds than anything else.
It took some time but eventually when we had a few dry days and I got my hubby to rent the tiller so we could get the garden ready for planting.
A few days later my mom and I went out shopping for veggie plants.
In years’ past we stuffed about 8 to 10 tomato plants in this space and despite staking them, they still turned into a tangled mess. This year I decided to scale back a bit and only planted 5 tomato plants (Big Boy and Better Boy) and 2 grape tomato plants.
I don’t know why I keep trying but I can’t grow a green bell pepper to save my life. I’ve tried probably 4 or 5 times and they either don’t produce or they do produce and rot before growing half the size they should be. But I’m a persistent little thing and added 4 pepper plants, one of which got hit by a football and snapped in half. But the remaining plants are doing surprisingly well. Our first pepper didn’t develop well and died on the stalk but the second pepper came out looking really healthy, about the size of my thumb.
As of today, this little guy, affectionately named Pepé, he’s now about the size of my fist and just beautiful!
Every time I go into the back yard I’m shocked. The tomatoes are growing faster than the weeds (which I’m horrible about pulling). They grew so fast that some of them had even fallen over. I rushed out to Lowe’s to get some wooden stakes to get them back upright.
The grape tomatoes are already showing up in clusters. It won’t be long before I can start dicing those up into salads.
THE CUCUMBERS AND WATERMELON
And trying something new, I picked out a cucumber plant. I thought maybe I would make pickles since I don’t even like cucumbers but it turns out only certain varieties are good for pickling. Of course I picked out the wrong one and bought the Straight 8 variety which is supposedly better for fresh eating. I guess I need to find someone that likes them.
And lastly, the poor watermelon plant. I put one in for the kids but somehow, it disappeared. One of two things happened. 1) a rabbit may have gotten it or 2) I accidentally pulled it out thinking it was a weed.
Are you growing a garden this year?