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Backyard Gardeners

I grew up on a farm in West Texas. I rode the tractor with my dad and helped where I could, so you would think, I would know a lot about gardening, right? Growing fruits and vegetables on a smaller scale in your backyard is a little different. We lived 30 miles from a grocery store so my Momo (grandmother) always had a big vegetable garden and until recently I don’t think I appreciated it. That’s probably because I live less than 5 miles from a grocery store ever since I left West Texas. Being thirty miles from a grocery store, my Momo always had fresh produce right in her backyard! I always loved to help her water and pick the vegetables and fruit! She always wore a big homemade bonnet to protect her skin from the West Texas sun (Another thing I should’ve paid attention to sooner! Haha!), and that is the reason for our big hats! Pro tip: make sure your sunscreen has zinc in it. I use Sun Bum Sunscreen. But at any rate I think she would be proud of my little Urban garden.

Anyway, as a lot of people did this March due to our mandatory vacation, we started a garden. We began by getting some indoor seeds started by using the Jiffy brand indoor seed starter kit and then chose what we wanted to plant based on what grew best in our area for the current season. Meanwhile, we started building the boxes, and by we, I mean my husband! Our yard is on a slope so I can’t link the exact plans but I can link some similar raised boxes. We owe some of the credit to how well everything grew this season to a couple of things. One…we brought manure enriched soil from the barn that my horse Izzy boards at. If you live close to any equestrian centers or horse/livestock facilities, it couldn’t hurt to ask for some “super” dirt! Our friend Eddy even joked that we would be able to grow “Jack’s beanstalk!” Wow! He wasn’t kidding. Our zucchini shot up in no time. It took over a whole 4×6 foot box from two plants! Also, did you know zucchini is a vine and can climb? I didn’t! Next season I’ll give it a trellis to provide more space for other things. Second…my husband ran a simple irrigation drip line system for the garden. He’s pretty handy, but this even impressed me. It’s set up on timer and waters 10 min in the morning and 10 at night for the first few weeks and then was adjusted to just once a day. It gets hot here in the Hill Country so on those 100+ days I will hand water occasionally when needed. That paired with an occasional organic spray for pests makes it all pretty easy. I find myself out in the yard staring at the garden just waiting to harvest the next thing that is ready. I’ve also been fortunate enough to make a lot of Addison’s baby food with things that we have grown, so that puts an extra sense of worth attached to our little garden, or you could say “fruits of our labor”! Stay tuned for a blog post about her homemade purées. I hope you enjoyed this post about our beginner gardening. Happy Gardening y’all!!

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