Saturday, May 17, 2014

What's growing today looks like although it's mid-May, spring isn't quite over yet. The last couple days we've battled rain and cool temperatures...and last night the temperature dipped down into the 30s! So, I did what any normal front-yard gardener would do...I covered my tomato and pepper plants, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. An inspection this morning revealed no visible damage - in fact, the cool weather crops are really enjoying it!

The sugar snap peas are flowering and producing pods!

My 3'x3' sugar snap pea bed

Radishes are growing!

 Delicious Russian Red Kale - my absolute favorite kale to grow!

Russian Red Kale planted last fall. I'm letting it go to seed so I'll be able to plant lots more kale this fall.

Happy gardening!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Let's talk raised beds...

There are many reasons to grow your garden in a raised can create the perfect soil mixture your plants, alleviating the anguish and inevitable feeling of failure associated with growing in heavy clay or tree root-infested soils (ask me how I know). Raised beds eliminate the need or heavy equipment to till up the soil and you don't have to worry about soil compaction because you're eliminating the need (and ability) to walk directly on the garden. Raised beds allow for soil drainage (a pro and a con), something my heavy clay soil does not do. They warm up quicker to allow for earlier planting in the spring and extended growing in the fall and they just look great, especially when they are loaded with ripe tomatoes, peppers and ground cherries.

Why yes I do have 18 raised beds in my front yard...don't you?

I decided to build raised beds several years ago because the soil at my house is horrible. However, being the frugal person that I am, I did not want to shell out big bucks for cedar 2"x10' I did what any rational person would do...I googled raised beds to see if I could come up with a cheaper alternative. Fortunately, I stumbled across a blog that mentioned using cedar fence posts and I had my eureka moment. I'm not one for following a plan, so I devised my own simple boxes consisting of 6 6' untreated cedar fence posts & 6 12" lengths of 2"x4"s - 2 cedar posts per 6' side (giving it a 12" depth) and 1 cedar post cut in half (3') for each end. I simply used 2"x4"s for the corners and added another for support in the middle and waaaalaaa....a 6'x3'x12" raised bed is born. 

The 5 newest beds are on the left

If you'd prefer working from a plan...check out this site.

Fast forward a couple years and I've got 18 beds in my front yard with plans to expand. From what I've read, these beds should last 4-5 years. I'm only a couple years in, so I should have a few years left. Maybe at that point in time I'll be able to afford cedar 2"x10's...but probably not.

Here they are planted with this year's garden - early May 2014

last year's garden - July 2013

Here's what I'm really looking forward to! This is last year's garden in July 2013. I can almost taste those tomatoes!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Welcome to my front yard garden

Greetings and welcome to my new blog! I started this blog to more or less document all the amazing (and not so amazing) happenings in my Central Indiana front yard garden. My garden initially started out as a 10'x10' plot smack dab in the middle of my front yard. Why the front yard, you might ask?'s really the only place in our entire yard that gets enough sun for a garden to flourish. A couple years ago, I replaced the old 10'x10' plot with cedar raised beds of various sizes...and I haven't looked back since. I added 5 new beds this year and who knows what next year will bring.

Join me as I dig into my 2014 garden. Currently in the ground are...potatoes, cucumber, eggplant, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, sugar snap peas, onions, lettuce, beets, spinach, radishes, rhubarb, tomatoes, basil, ground cherries, tomatillos, kale, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, chard, watermelon, sunflowers, corn, beans, bell pepper, jalepenos and habenaro peppers.