Sunday, July 21, 2013

I Heart Urban Gardening

Growing up, my grandfather had a backyard garden that he was so proud of. He'd run into the house, carrying cucumbers, zucchini and tomatoes and then proceed to grab a knife and cut off a piece of cuke (as he called it) and urge me to try it. "Have you ever had anything so good?" he'd ask. I was around six years old and remember being in awe of what he had grown. It was so fresh tasting, so juicy and just sooo good.  

Years later, once we bought our house, I looked at our backyard and thought of the possibilities.  I then purchased a few books to research backyard gardening.  I loved reading about containers and raised beds and decided to try it. My handy hubby built a few raised beds using cedar and  I purchased a few large containers.  In our first year, we had many tomatoes, zucchini, beans and a failed attempt at cucumbers. We also had a large rhubarb patch at the back of the yard.  Year two, we added a few more raised beds and a cover for one of them to help extend the growing year.  Year three and four, we kept adding.  We're at the point now where we have 14 various-shaped raised beds and I couldn't be happier. 

I'm growing various heirloom varieties of tomatoes, have lots of different beans and peas, finally succeeded with cukes and Swiss chard, and am growing hot peppers. I also added an apple tree, cherry tree and peach tree to our backyard. I also can't forget to mention our adventures in garlic. Last year, we successfully grew about 20 plants and this year we're up to 75! It's amazing to watch them grow. 

Below are photos from our adventures- I'll commit to keeping the blog updated with our progress and will share tips and tricks as I discover them. 

Don't be afraid to give it a try- even the smallest of balconies can support a pot of tomatoes or beans.  It's super easy and very rewarding to dig in!

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