Garden Progress Month by Month 2018

Hi friends! Thanks for all of the love and support on my last post! It meant so much to me to be able to share an exciting event in my life and receive so much kindness back. If you missed my post on finding my half-brother and bio dad, you can read it HERE

Today is the last day of November and the last few days have been a bit dreary, for me. I say "for me" because I have found there are many people who love fog and gray skies and rain, which is obviously fantastic; we can't all be the same. I, on the other hand, prefer blue skies and white puffy clouds. That essentially means that from mid-November through the first of February I am pretty f*ucked. So, in order to beat those winter blues (anyone else feel me?), I have been trying a few new things to get my mind space right. I'll share those deets in my next post. For today, I have been reminiscing on my garden through this past year. Everything out there right now looks like a limp noodle so I think even my winter gardening is officially over (womp, womp). Super sad. So instead of dwelling on that, let's look at the garden from March 2018-November 2018!

March 2018: My sister-in-law visited and helped Tyler and me till the beds and rake up the leaves to add to the beds for some nice compost. The only thing really still "alive" or "awake" at this point was the parsley, which got a nice haircut. You can see the sliver of green to the left of the lamp post. 

April 2018: Now Spring has come! You can see everything is starting to wake up and green up! We planted our frost-friendly seeds (like salad greens and root veggies) and continue to clean up the garden. 

May 2018: April Showers Bring May Flowers! And boy, those poppy flowers are worth waiting for! This month we got the rest of the garden planted and frost became a thing of the past and our heat-loving plants would soon begin to thrive!

June 2018: Bushes, flowers, trees have all bloomed and turned beautifully green now. Our heat-loving friends, e.g. peppers and squash are still growing away but not ready to produce. We have salad greens and root veggies coming out our ears though! Garlic and onions are ready to be harvested by the end of the month so we can get ready for planting some brassilicas AKA cabbage and broccoli. 

July 2018: I was not expecting the Amaranth to get so tall! I knew it would get pretty tall since I planted it to give shade to my leeks and celery planted next to it but, wow! It was impressive! The lavender really took bloom this month, as well as all of my roses, bee balm, beardtongue, borage, and day lilies. We also began to harvest cucumbers and zucchini. 

August 2018: I came back from Montana and immediately took this photo. A week away made me see the garden with new eyes and wow, it took my breath away! Everything has grown so much and is not pushing up against or growing on top of other things. It is messy, yet perfectly planned and so gorgeous. The Amaranth is getting ready to be harvested, the brussel sprouts have gotten huge, the tomatoes are producing, pumpkins and butternut squash are vining all over the place. I think the beginning of August is the peak. 

September 2018: The Amaranth has been harvested and the brussel sprouts continue to grow. The pumpkin has vined all the way around the lavender and mums. The temps have gone down and we have plenty of tomatoes, peppers, squash, greens, beets, cabbage, and flowers to satiate our growing number of bees and lady bugs. I got the garden certified as a Certified Butterfly Garden as well as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. I learned about this through a friend and decided to investigate. We easily met the criteria for both and the cost to certify was fairly inexpensive. I decided to go ahead and certify because 1, I thought it was cool! and 2, I really want to educate the folks who pass by the house. We have many neighbors who stop to look as well as people who just happen to walk or bike on our street. We'll be working in the garden and people will stop to ask us what certain plants are and what kind of work it took for us to build our garden. I love talking about it. It is a real passion of mine. We do not need perfectly manicured lawns. It is not good for water usage, for our eco-system, which includes all of the insects we rely on to help pollinate our food, and it doesn't serve much of a purpose other than to look nice. I do enjoy walking on grass and I think kids love to play on it, which is where parks are such a necessity in our community. We have limited space but if we had more I think we would have a bit more grass, mostly for our dog to play on, which is why we keep it in our back yard. I am not suggesting anyone turns the whole front yard into garden beds but it's not difficult to plant a few flowers that specifically attract butterflies and caterpillars to give them nourishment. Or putting a bird bath in the garden for the bees, butterflies, and birds to get a drink. Or maybe putting one garden bed or a big pot that you grow some herbs. If you want to know more about the Habit Certification, click HERE. If you want to know more about the Butterfly Certification, click HERE

October 2018: A month much like September is terms of the garden. More of the same harvesting, except pumpkins are now ready to come off the vine as well as a few butternut squash. We know our time is limited with the heat-loving plants as the first frost is due any day. 

End of October 2018: The first frost has come and gone, lending to a decent garden clean up. Only the winter veggies (that can handle a bit of frost) are left. This harvest includes all the brassilicas as well as root veggies and greens. Those brussel sprouts that took all season to grow were totally worth the wait! They got pretty buggy but nothing that a good washing couldn't take care of! 

I am so glad I took these photos month by month in relatively the same spot. It's so fun to see the garden change. It makes me happy.

Did you have a garden this year? Or interested in starting on next year? 


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