Last Years Garden – aka My First Garden Here

I thought I’d tell you about my current home and garden.

I don’t claim to be a ‘know-it-all’ about gardening.  That is not the reason I write this blog.  I write it because I love to write, I am a social person, I love to share and although I think I may have a few tidbits of knowledge to give, I also learn tons of stuff from networking and would love to connect with like minded people.


We moved into our current house 2 years ago.  It is a ranch style built in the ’50’s, 1300 sq feet of pure efficiency.   I loved this house the minute I saw it.  We were coming from a 2000+ sq.ft. Victorian home in Illinois. standish In the ‘big house’ we mostly lived in one room, the ‘TV’ room as we called it.  We went upstairs to go to bed,  We cooked in the kitchen but ate in the TV room because the dining room was too formal.  We had a formal living room we only used for company.  It was a beautiful house but mostly unused.

Our current house has the tiniest kitchen ever built but it is all we need and perfect for us.  We have a large open living room with a casual dining area between it and the kitchen.  It also has an alcove that used to be a patio area which has been enclosed.  The alcove perfectly holds my entire formal dining room set. (I was sure I would have to get rid of that set when we moved here) Down a hallway are 3 bedrooms, not huge but big enough.  We say that we have all the room we need but not a square inch more!           1

Our lot is an average city lot.  We have neighbors on both sides.  One bit of luck is our backyard backs up to an empty treed lot so in the summer it feels like we have woods behind us.  The treed lot connects to another empty lot which connects to the back of a shopping area.  I can actually walk to the grocery store, my dentist and several other small shops by going a short distance from my back gate!  As you can see we really are very urban!

I did not want to till or do any backbreaking digging and I had been reading up on the benefits of ‘no til’ methods of gardening.  For more information google ‘lasagna gardening’

Here is one of the many great videos on YouTube on the subject:


I prepared my beds that first fall by raking all our leaves onto the 14 by 20 foot area I wanted to use for my vegetable garden.  Then in spring my hubby used some reclaimed wood and made a ‘border’ for my garden.  I didn’t want raised beds exactly but I wanted some definition or boundaries for the garden.

We planted lettuce, onions,  radishes and potatoes.  We bought several bags of topsoil, manure/humus and peat and I mixed equal parts of each in my wheelbarrow for what I call my ‘triple mixture.’  Sometimes I throw in compost or worm castings if I have some handy.  I used this to fill in my planting holes or to make shallow trenches depending on what was being planted.                 agarden1

Later that spring the bean, cucumber and squash seeds went in as well as tomato, pepper, cabbage and Brussels sprout transplants that I had started inside.  For my transplants I would dig a hole much wider and deeper than needed and fill with my triple mixture.  I mulched my plants with straw and also made paths out of straw.

Everythig did well except for the radishes which for some reason never got more than a spindly little root.  Perhaps my soil was missing some necessary nutrients?  I have never had any trouble with radishes before and I planted 3 different varieties and all failed.

If anyone has any idea what went on with my radishes please let me know! 

I will try them again this year.

I also did not call my potatoes a whopping success.  I have never planted them before and perhaps in my impatience I dug them up too soon.  I also will try them again this year.

We got tons of green beans, peppers, cucumbers, summer squash, lettuce, onions and herbs.

I believe that gardens get better over time,  so for a first year this was pretty darn good.

 How big is your garden?  Have you been gardening very long or are you new at it?




6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Steven Criger
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 13:36:46

    great gardening story….this year’s harvest will be something to look forward to



  2. Barbara Faust
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 13:04:55

    Enjoyed all your blogs. You make me feel as if I’m your next door neighbor having a “get to know you” chat over the back fence. Actually i wouldn’t mind being one of your chickens…Barbara in Missouri



  3. azkricket
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 13:04:00

    Getting hungry just reading this and it’s only 6am!
    This year we havr put in an Aquaponics garden. The plants are starting to come up and we are looking forward to lots of veggies for us, the rabbits and,of course, the chickens. I have photos of the gaden on my new site:
    if you are interested.
    Have a great day!



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