Here we are, almost to June, and we are just getting around to planting our backyard garden. It seems like it’s taken forever for our temperatures to warm up enough to allow for planting anything.
And have you ever seen the movie Peter Rabbit? Those beautiful English gardens are enough to make anyone want to move to the countryside and become a farmer!
I’m certainly no expert when it comes to this department, but my husband and I have a greenish thumb when it comes to gardening.
We used to have a raised garden bed in our yard that sat off to the side of a willow tree that was planted as a sapling immediately after we built our home.
Fast forward 10 years later and that sapling is now Hulk-sized and taking up a large amount of yard space. A year or two ago we noticed that this gigantic tree was causing far too much shade in the area where we were trying to grow our veggies each summer.
Unfortunately, we had to remove the bed and haven’t had much of a garden since, with the exception of growing a few tomato plants and herbs.
This year we decided we were ready to get a backyard garden going again, with the intent of rebuilding some raised beds on the sunnier side of our property.
We debated back and forth about whether we should go with galvanized tubs or wooden beds, but ultimately decided on these which were a good size and price. We also liked the fact that you can add onto the beds with an additional kit if you ever wanted to increase the size of the garden.
They were fairly easy to assemble and lay out in the space we wanted in the yard. A few bags of dirt in each section, mixed in with some of the chicken manure that was leftover from our flock last fall, and we were ready for planting.
We have a nice compost pile in the back of our property where we dump old coop shavings, straw, manure and other grass clippings or plant waste.
I should point out that aged chicken waste is recommended when using as a fertilizer. Experts recommend waiting 4-6 months before using it on gardens, allowing the manure time to dry out, stop producing pathogens and lose its “hot” nitrogen that can actually burn plants.
Once the garden beds were prepped, we were ready for planting. But what to grow?
We opted for the vegetables we know we will eat and benefit the most as fresh varieties over the summer months: lettuce, sugar snap peas, radishes, zucchini and onions. We also have a few tomato and pepper plants growing in a separate area away from this location. Should make for some awesome salsa come fall.
We decided to try our hand at a few fruit options this year as well — although technically, the tomato is considered a fruit (never will understand that one) — and saved a section of our garden beds for strawberries. Paired with the rhubarb patch that we also have growing behind our fence, we could have some very tasty pies this summer.
And did you know that lavender is a natural bug repellent? Moths, flies, fleas and mosquitoes actually hate it. My husband and I wanted to grow some to cut and hang in bunches around our pergola to help repel those unwanted pests.
A raspberry bush will also be planted along the back of the garden beds, in hopes it will take off and start producing some tasty berries, although it will take about a year for that to happen.
Aren’t these little popsicle stick stakes that my daughter made for the garden cute? She’s my crafty-creative kiddo and loved coming up with a unique way to label what we’re growing.
So hopefully with a little luck we’ll have some delicious, fresh fruits and veggies to enjoy this summer and fall. As long as the rabbits don’t get too hungry!