I must admit that I have really enjoyed sharing with you my favorite things…..


Not because I think you are all waiting with baited breath to hear more about what I like, but because when I think of my favorite things, it makes me happy.



My last favorite thing that I would like to share with you is a rather newer interest for me…..


I just love my new vegetable garden!

Now I have grown vegetables in the past.  I had my first vegetable garden in my parent’s backyard and remember growing carrots and broccoli.  But then I turned into a teenager and my budding interest in gardening was forgotten so that I could concentrate on more important things such as clothes, friends and boys 😉

In college, I had to grow vegetables for one of my horticulture classes and I worked hard on my school garden because I wanted to get an ‘A’ in the class.

As a professional, I have worked with clients, teaching them how to grow vegetables and I have also created vegetable gardens for service organizations.
But, I did not really get into vegetables until last year.  It makes me sad to think of how many years I wasted, not experiencing the joy of growing my own vegetables.

But, it is never too late to get started.  So, we selected an area in our back garden that received at least 6 hours of sunlight and then made the trip to our local big box store to get the necessary materials.


The kids were very excited too.

Because vegetables like fertile soil (who doesn’t), we bought bagged compost, aged steer manure, blood meal, bone meal and slow-release fertilizer.

Add some vegetable seeds for our summer garden and we were ready.

Now all we needed was the muscle…..

I’ve said it before and I will say it again….

Nothing says “love” more then a man who will shovel manure for you 😉

He even built the raised bed and fence for our garden.

Why did we need a fence, you may ask?

 
There are two reasons, named Tobey and Missy.

In our first summer vegetable garden, we grew basil, cucumbers, sunflowers, sweet corn, tomatoes and watermelon.

We even grew a pumpkin!



You know how people tell you that nothing beats the taste of vegetables that you grow yourself?  

They are totally right!  Our vegetables were delicious.  I just wished that we had more.

Soon, summer was waning and it was time to plant our winter garden.  So, we added some more bagged compost, a little slow-release fertilizer and we were ready to go…..



Lettuce, broccoli, spinach, bunching onions, carrots and garlic were planted along with companion plants such as Marigolds and Nasturtiums to help repel damaging insects.
It has been so nice to be able to pick my own lettuce instead of buying bagged salad at the grocery store.



We have eaten through the broccoli, lettuce and spinach.  Soon we will be able to harvest our carrots and garlic.


Soon, it will be time to plant my summer garden this March.  I plan to stick with cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, basil and sunflowers.  Growing watermelon and pumpkins was fun, but the vines took up a lot of room.



What about you?  Do you have a vegetable garden?  If so, what do you like to plant?

If you do not have a vegetable garden, why don’t you plant one?  You can dig one in your back garden or build a raised vegetable garden (they are available in kits as well).  

If you do not have much space, how much planting vegetables in a container?  You really can!
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

9 replies
  1. trav4adventures
    trav4adventures says:

    You know, we just chopped down our Chinaberry and mulberry trees and I now have a large sunny patch out back, but, like you, I have 3 large dogs, so I was interested in your fence and gate! Yes, I've had vegetables gardens here. One year, hubby wanted tomatoes, so I just did tomatoes. I've grown onions, peas, beans, but I've never had enough room (until now) for corn! Hmmm…."Oh, honey, I have a job for you!"

    Reply
  2. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    Our baby garden at 4 1/2 months has already given us quite a bit of vegetables. From the kitchen compost we used to plant the new trees and plants we got West Indian pumpkins ( just harvested a 10 pound one), cherry tomatoes and plum tomatoes. Also planted and continue to harvest lots of basil, bottle gourd, arugula and dill. The peppers, radish and some others didn't come up, have to seed for some more starts.
    With 5 puppies and mostly unfenced veggies I am surprised they haven't dug it all up-but maybe its because they grew up with the vegetable beds.
    I plan to try some different summer and winter squashes from hot regions like Thailand and Italy since these grow like wildfire in the new garden.

    Reply
  3. Jenni
    Jenni says:

    Hi Noelle, I couldn't agree with you more about the joy of vegetable gardening! We began last summer and have plants to build raised beds this year and do a better job of amending the soil. I love learning all of this stuff and appreciated some of the things you did to your garden as I didn't think about adding things like bone meal! I'm not sure who in my home is more excited to get the garden going again this year, me or my kids! Cheers, Jenni

    Reply
  4. Balisha
    Balisha says:

    Love seeing those happy faces on your children. They are learning valuable lessons…helping in the garden. I would imagine that they get so much satisfaction…when they eat something they have helped to grow. Have fun…Balisha

    Reply
  5. Abby
    Abby says:

    Vegetable gardening is my favorite too! I was the same way growing up – I remember spending hours outside helping my Mom grow the most plentiful crop of green beans, squash, tomatoes, & cucumbers!

    I love your garden — that is exactly how I envision "My Perfect Garden". Our yard isn't quite big enough for a fence around it…but our next house will definitely NEED to have enough land for that!

    Lovely!

    Reply
  6. Diana Waite
    Diana Waite says:

    OH, I'm SO glad I did it right! 🙂 My daughter and I just planted our garden (spring break) we have corn (never tried that), tomatoes, garlic (in it's own planter.), peppers, cucumber, watermelon, and cantaloupe, we even planted some anti pest flowers! PHew! next year we will start from seeds on most of those things but we figured we needed to start now! I'm glad I gave the fruit some room to grow, sometimes I get a little excited! I agree our Romaine, carrots and snap peas from the garden are AMAZING! Thank you so much for you step by step how to's!

    Reply
  7. Daughter of the King
    Daughter of the King says:

    Noelle,
    I love your little fenced in garden! I've been adding veggies and herbs here and there throughout my yard and have traded some pots of flowers for pots of things to eat. My latest joy is making compost. I wrote more about that adventure today if you care to read. I am also enjoying you Birds and Blooms posts! You are a gifted blogger!
    AKA – Becky

    Reply
  8. Carly Diaz
    Carly Diaz says:

    I have a lot of space in my new backyard and want to do this. I'm new though. Where do I start? What do I do? Is it really as easy as this post sounds? How much and how often do I water? I don't want to kill it once I do it.
    I move in in mid-March. When do you start gardens?

    Reply

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