This year, I decided to keep the garden simple. I have been overwhelmed over the years with too many plants, too many weeds, and not enough motivation to spend time out in the garden giving it the care and attention it needs to thrive. My goal this year was to spend less than $50 on the garden, and to attempt to grow my garden in pallets we had picked up for free.
I will tell you that so far, I am really enjoying the pallet garden. We had to get four times the amount of soil we needed because the nursery did not have the type of soil we wanted - we had to make our own. Instead of getting just a ½ cu ft of soil, we ended up having to get 2 cu ft! The price for that alone was $31.03! I ended up using much less soil than expected in the pallets so we decided to use the rest of the soil to fill in low spots in our yard. Waste not – want not.
This is what the pallet garden looks like (after 3 straight days of rain and no time to mow the lawn!)
The zucchini and summer squash were planted by seed and took off almost instantly after I planted them mid-May. I have 4 pallets of zucchini and summer squash planted.
I also planted yard-long green beans and cucumbers. They have taken off as well! (the are the ones closest to us in this picture.)
I have 1 ½ pallets full of cucumbers planted – I am going to have to add a pallet tee-pee for the cucumbers to start climbing soon.
I gave a friend several packs of Roma tomato seeds last year that I wasn’t going to use and this spring, she gave me several seedlings! Unfortunately, the cats decided to use the pallets as a litter box and killed many of the seedlings before they could get established, but I have at least 4 Roma tomato plants that are difficult to see in this picture but believe me, they are there.
If I were to do the pallet garden again, I would put all the pallets together. I did not space them to give enough room for the lawn mower to go through, so every month I have to take hedge clippers and cut in between the pallets when the weeds get too tall! Also, if I decide to do a pallet garden again next year, I will be putting cardboard or weedblock under the pallets. I still get weeds though they nothing compared to our garden last year.
Total cost of the vegetable garden in 2014: $38.88.
This includes the price of soil and the cost of the seeds.
Now onto the fruits around our property.
I have no idea how to take care of concord grape vines, but I trimmed them back pretty far this spring. Other people leave their vines as they are and new growth comes in each year. I can see where the grapes will start to produce on the vines, and the vines have taken off like crazy since mid-May! I joke with Todd that I can sit on the front porch and watch them grow. I am hoping to propagate several of the vines to take over to the house next door to get established before we hit the road full time in the RV. Plus, I don’t believe you can ever have too many concord grapes– they are probably my favorite fruit!
For the first time since we purchased the pear trees (5 years ago, I think it’s been), we finally have pears growing! There are 5 of them! I am beyond thrilled about this!
We purchased a blackberry plant last year at a flea market and it has just taken off! We have a lot of these beautiful white flowers and I look forward to those plump, juicy sweet berries in the next few months!
I neglect our red raspberries every single year, but without fail, they always produce for me. I didn’t even trim the red raspberry plants from last year and they are taking off! It looks like we will have a bumper crop this year from the canes I transplanted two years ago.
These are our cherry trees – we bought one along with the blackberry bush last year and we’ve had the other in the ground for a couple of years now. It does not appear we will be getting cherries this year, but hopefully next year! These are rainier cherries which are yellow and red in color and so sweet!
There you have it.
This is what our vegetation looks like so far this year, and we’re just getting started! It amazes me how things grow from seed and how quickly!
How is your garden doing this year?