Let the (Gardening) Games Begin!!!!!

5 Apr

I have my garden! I have my garden!

My dad (Pedro) and I have been plotting (haha) to do some raised beds in our yard, now that some of the trees had to come down and there are a few sunny spots. Last year I did some container gardening in those spots as a sort of reconnaissance mission and this week, Pedro and his buddy, Tommy, put together some raised beds from instructions from Organic Gardening magazine (April/May 2012). I can’t find a link to the instructions right now, but visit their Beginner’s Guide to Organic Farming and poke around in there and you’ll find loads of good info to get started.

So, we made a garden chart and yesterday in went the pea seedlings (I had started some indoors and some outdoors a couple of weeks ago – you’re not supposed to start peas indoors, but we’ve done it before, with good results, plus it helps Leandro follow their progress more easily). The mesclun lettuce and arugula seeds went in also.

Today we’ll be stopping by a local nursery for more seeds, now that we have a plan: spinach, radish, beets, chard, and eggplant. We’ll be buying organic, as I mistrust the whole Genetically Modified thing and the chemical stuff.

My tomato seedlings (seeds saved from last year’s tomatoes, aren’t I the little homesteader?) are looking well, but will stay indoors for now, as will the ají (sweet cooking pepper from P.R.) from my cousin Josie’s garden in Mayagüez. I’m starting basil from seed too – feeling really productive and busy and probably boring the hell out of you with my laundry list of planting, but so be it. I am excited to finally be embarking on a vegetable gardening adventure!

I am eager to know what you all are planting and planning for the summer months…I don’t really know what I am doing, but Pedro and I have agreed that this will be a year of more learning than producing (nice to have the Restoration Farm back-up, no?). Mind you, we are both demanding of ourselves, so that is perhaps not going to work out and we will agonize over every mistake, insect infestation, browned and spotted leaf or low yield…We’ll have to take good notes!

More helpful links:

What to Plant Now zone charts from Mother Earth News (it only considers the Lower 48 – no Puerto Rico either, sorry!)  How-To-Grow primers from Organic Gardening magazine

Find out your growing zone here.

Happy Planting!

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15 Responses to “Let the (Gardening) Games Begin!!!!!”

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  2. kathryningrid April 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    OUTSTANDING!

  3. Karen April 8, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    Congratulations, your raised beds look great. My heirloom tomato seeds have germinated as well as, basil and bush beans and are under a light now.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy April 8, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      Thanks Karen! Just remembered that our hardiness zone last frost is not May 15 but April 15! So I guess I am a bit behind, but trundling well just the same….slow and steady….

      • Karen April 8, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

        I think they say “slow and steady wins the race”.

  4. cookiemomma April 7, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    This is so awesome. We did these this year too, b/c we did not want to till up the land and figured this would be easier. So far we have had great results. Best of luck

  5. Debra April 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    I have had the gardening bug for years. There is nothing better than homegrown and the pride you feel when everyone notices the flavor of your veggies so much better than store bought. I thinks growing in raised beds is so much better. I don’t get as many weeds and bugs. Good luck and happy gardening.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy April 6, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      Thanks so much for the visit and the words of encouragement. We have been active CSA members for years, but this is the first time we are making a serious attempt to cultivate at home. So excited!!!!

  6. Mad Dog April 5, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    Very nice raised beds – the vegetables should thank you 😉

  7. rumpydog April 5, 2012 at 5:47 am #

    Oh we got the gardening bug bad around here too!

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