Planting a Backyard Garden was a breeze this year! This is the third year since tilling and establishing the little plot. By adding lots of peat moss and other composting material to condition the soil, there was no tilling this year. Here I am back in March. (not sure why I have one glove on). You can see the Orange Day-Lilies are up and the Bearded Iris are on their way. The garden is completely covered in chopped up leaves from the fall. The ground underneath is moist and very workable. While tilling is a must for starting a garden here in Rocky Top, it also mixes the roots and bulbs of perennial weeds into the garden. Over time, less tilling and more mulching will mean less weeds. So, it is time to plant some spring garden goodness. Lettuce, mixed greens and radishes are my favorite. I also love to grow Sugar Snap Peas and Snow Peas from time to time. You can also grow broccoli, onions, carrots and spinach in the spring while it is cool. As the weather permits, I start planting my summer crops. In order to save space, I have planted a row of bell peppers between the lettuce. The lettuce will not last all summer,but the peppers thrive in hot weather. I also planted some peppers in with the radishes because they are a cool weather crop as well.
Another first is a row of strawberries that I bought at my local greenhouse. Since they are perennials I planted them on end row. These are little spice jars turned upside down on a wooden rod for row marking. I am growing some new varieties of tomatoes and peppers and I want to remember what they are. Here is a row of tomatoes directly after planting. All I had to do was to dig a hole, add a little Miracle Gro Organic Choice and plant. You can see how soft and workable the soil is. Tomatoes like to be planted deep, up to that first row of leaves. Like strawberry, they also enjoy mulching. I have planted this row of tomatoes next to the row of strawberries and added extra peat moss. This year I am trying something new with tee pees built from old tobacco sticks. This is a squash plant in the center and around the diameter I have planted green bean seeds which will climb up the sticks. I also planted my cucumber and cherry tomatoes under a tee pee. I am excited to see how this works out! Follow my garden progression this year by subscribing to our email list. Salad anyone? Here is the harvest on May 1st! Wild huh? Are you planting a backyard garden big or small? We would love to hear about your gardening adventures! Now for our contest!