See how her garden grows

This year, while it’s been very warm and dry, has been a fantastic year for my garden.

I took last year off from gardening, except for a few volunteer tomatoes that popped up, but the years before that I always seemed to be fighting off bugs and disease. And this year?

So far so good.

I have had to water at least every other day, which in past years I’ve only done once a week or so, and not all of my seeds have come up, but I’m hopeful that this year will be a banner year.

I currently have three 4′ x 8′ raised beds and a 24′ x 24′ fenced in area for a garden. (fenced because we have deer and rabbits that will eat everything)

grand rapids garden

In my first raised bed I have amish paste tomatoes, lemon basil, parsley, banana peppers, and anaheim peppers along with a few marigolds to help keep out animals.

Both of the tomatoes are volunteer self seedlings from my crop last year, so I’m kind of guessing at what type they are – I’ll only know for sure when they begin to bear fruit.

grand rapids garden

My second raised bed, also with drip irrigation, contains the same tomatoes, jalapeno, chives (two purchased, one transplanted from my mom’s garden), and a few onion. The onions being one of the seeds that did not come up, with only about 10% breaking through the soil.

As you can see, I’ve started to put up chicken wire around the raised beds so that I can let my chickens out to free range in the yard, but I happened to run out about halfway through.

grand rapids garden

The third bed has lettuce, black turtle beans, four stalks of corn (most seeds did not sprout – I’m not holding my breath on these producing…..) and marigolds, all from seed.

This bed is a lot of fun as my children are allowed to snack on the lettuce anytime they wish. They won’t eat salads, but they sure will eat a bowlfulls worth when they go out to play!

grand rapids garden

Inside my garden I’m trying out a few new things this year, one of which is allowing the cucumbers to grow up the fence as well as the tomato plants.

In this area I have broccoli (the first year I’ve ever had nice broccoli plants!) in front and the cucumber behind. And of course my feathery girls looking on.

grand rapids garden

Further down the row I have four tomato plants, the only ones I grew from seed indoors, basil, asparagus, and a small blueberry bush. And a pot of mint.

grand rapids gardens

In the middle I have bell peppers, chives, a trellis with peas growing up one side and cucumbers on the other, a giant oregano bush, and a butterfly bush at the very back. And of course a volunteer tomato that popped up right in front of the peppers. And one that is doing insane;y well off to the side – it was just to big to pull it up so I let it grow. Pretty sure it’s a cherry tomato.

grand rapids gardens

On the south side of the garden I have peas growing up the east fence (not shown) a bit of cilantro, five volunteer tomato plants with marigolds and cinnamon basil interspersed between them.

The second row we have eggplant, transplanted strawberries (my chickens ate my plants last year) and green beans and radishes. Sage at the end of both, one purple, one green.


grand rapids garden

We then have cabbage, dill, beets, cauliflower, and more dill in the row on the right and zucchini and butternut squash to the left.


grand rapids garden

And to finish it off we have four pumpkin plants (3 for baking, one for carving) a watermelon (which is now much bigger only two days later, and a couple of honeydew melon plants.

The only “problem” I’ve been having this year is the rogue tomato plants that pop up all over, these heirloom plants self seed very well!

Are you gardening this year? What are you growing?

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About donielle

Donielle is a natural momma of two, lover of real foods, and owner and editor of Grand Rapids Natural Living and Naturally Knocked Up. You can usually find her in the kitchen whipping up some nourishing foods, cuddled on the couch reading books to the littles, avoiding the laundry and Mt. Saint Dishes, or tapping away on the laptop. Her husband puts up with her sometimes crazy "hippie" ways, but loves her regardless. Welcome to my home away from home.