My First Serious Attempt at a Vegetable Garden

Pardon the brief diversion from the usual format, but since I have a bully pulpit…plus, its ultimately food related, so this isn’t too tangential.

So now that I live in North Carolina, a state known for agriculture (long days, long growing season, large variety of things that can be grown here, etc), I thought it was about time that I get serious about that vegetable garden I’ve been talking about for a few years now. I’ve made some pitiful attempts in the past (a patio with about 20 different potted plants all crammed next to one another in pots that were way too small), but I thought I’d try to do things right this year. Its still early, but we shall see–I have high hopes for eating something from my backyard this year…hopefully its one of the plants I put in the ground and not a rabbit trying to get to them before I do.

Early in March, I cleared a 10×10 patch of land and tilled the dirt. I use the term “tilled” loosely–anyone else would have done the smart thing and used an appropriate tool to do the job…not a shovel and a pick. While the end result was just as good, when it comes to the effort expended, I’ll just say “lesson learned.” After working in a good bit of compost, peat moss, good top soil, and a bit of 10-10-10, it was time to get some plants in the ground.

Since I was a bit late for the season here (I should have started mid-February), I went with starter plants instead of seeds (mostly). I’m sure it will be a bumpy road with this being my first attempt and all, but we’ll see where the rest of the season takes me. If there’s some success and I don’t somehow kill everything in the garden, I’ll post a periodic update. Plus, if I screw up, there are several mini-growing seasons, so I’ll have the opportunity to rip things out and keep trying (can’t wait for tomato and pepper season–coming soon!). Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing how this goes.

As of mid-March/early-April, the garden contains the following (laid out as follows…each row being roughly 2 feet tall):

Herbs: rosemary, parsley, chives, cilantro, thyme, sage, mint
Radish (seed)
Kale, Fennel Beets (seed), Swiss Chard
Leaf lettuces Rocket, Arugula, Purple Mizuna
Leeks Cauliflower, Broccoli

Shortly after taking these photos, I put up a tall mesh fence around the plot which is stapled into the ground. Here’s hoping that fends off any hungry critters that wander through my backyard. If not, maybe my next post will be about catching local game, lol.

Anyways, here’s to hoping there will be a follow-up post in the coming weeks/months with a bountiful crop. Anyone else out there have grand plans for a garden this season? I’m in that new hobby, learn-like-a-sponge stage, so please, post your plans/experiences below. I’m all ears.

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8 Responses to “My First Serious Attempt at a Vegetable Garden”

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  2. Manggy Says:

    Good luck Mike! I’ll be looking forward to the tobacco plants too, haha :)

  3. Teak Garden Furniture Porch Says:

    Gosh, this motivates me to transition from my 10 (not 20) crammed pots on my patio to an actual garden plot! You made it look so easy.

  4. nina Says:

    Nothing in this world beats picking and cooking from your own garden. I cannot wait to see what new recipes will come from this garden!!

  5. Gertie Says:

    I applaud you on several fronts. Getting my garden started has kept me from blogging, so I applaud you keeping up with yours for one. It’s not really the garden so much as the browsing online and dreaming of that perfect garden. Secondly I applaud you for just getting out there and doing it. Being this is my first year getting serious about gardening since I have lived here, I know how hard it can be to JUST GET GOING! haha! :)

  6. Dana Zia Says:

    Hey looks like your doing a good job to me! Once you start eating out of the baby garden you will wonder why you have never done this before. Then next year, you will be expanding. We just had some tender greens out of our green house for dinner tonight and it was wonderful! Good luck.

  7. Shere Says:

    Mike, the best and easiest way to garden, I promise, is to use a raised bed. No tilling , you can put in the best soil, just makes things so much easier and more enjoyable. try it.

  8. Anali Says:

    Congratulations on the garden! It looks great. You must be getting ready to harvest soon.

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