I used the word ‘gardening’ very loosely when referring to my dealings with plants, both outside and inside the house. My track record is not very good with plants. (Don’t ask me about the fiddle leaf fig plant I bought last year.)
The fact of the matter is that with a toddler and a newborn, two things hold true. One: I would not be gardening this year if my awesome Mom hadn’t planted one for me. Two: It needs to be as low maintenance as a garden can be, which means a daily watering and trying to keep away pests.
The house we live in came with a raised bed already in the yard, which made the task of actually having a garden 100x easier. It does slope down a bit, so there’s that but I’m not a gardening professional so it doesn’t bother me much.
I gathered all the pictures I’ve taken along the way so far, which makes a photo timeline with some commentary the easiest way to share my progress.
March 19 – My mom did all the prepping and planting. She is such a super woman! She prepped the area with 8 bags of potting soil and some leaves thrown in for good measure. The back corner (top right of picture) is a small area for composting, which just means throwing the compostable stuff on top. There are 3 varieties of tomato plants, 20 marigold plants, mint, lemon thyme, 3 varieties of bell peppers, and jalapeños.
April 1 – I added more leaves from the yard on top of the soil. The weather is still fairly cold at night and not too hot during the day, but nothing has died yet. I have to water it daily because the heavy rains haven’t started at this point. I notice the marigold plant leaves are being chewed on. My suspicion lies with the pill bugs, which are looking mighty cozy under all the leaves.
April 7 – In just a week, most of the marigolds are headed for their fate. It’s definitely the pill bugs. It seems like the leaves are actually making the pill bug problem worse, so I rake them all up. Still no tomatoes or peppers, but the plants are doing well and there are blooms.
April 12 – The first lone tomato has emerged. This is on the Husky Cherry tomato plant. The other blooms might yield fruit, but it’s too early to tell. You can see the marigolds are still alive in the background, but they only last another week before the pill bugs eat through them. Sad day.
May 2 – The worst of the tomato plant leaves, looking very yellow. I do some research and ask my mom for pointers. The conclusion is likely the pill bugs, which I really don’t know how to get rid of them. They are all over the garden – thousands of them. I rake around the soil and make sure the leaves on top of the soil are all gone.
May 11 – First bell pepper sighting! It’s pretty small but I don’t think it’ll be as big as the grocery store ones. Our son picks this one off a few weeks later, before it’s gotten much bigger. It goes on top of homemade pizza.
The Husky Cherry tomatoes seem to finally be bursting with life. I’m excited to finally have a decent amount of (hopefully) ripe ones to eat in salads.
May 14 – The first Pink Marglobe Heirloom tomato has survived. Little did I know that it would only survive a few weeks. In an unfortunate moment of me not paying attention, the toddler picked it off the plant when it was slightly larger and well before it was ripe. It was a sad day.
Husky Cherry tomatoes still on the plant, not done ripening except for that one in the middle. Strange. Also, some slight yellowing of the leaves on the bottom, which I pick off.
May 23 – The tomatoes finally all ripened! Our son pretty much ate all of them singlehandedly. They didn’t even make it inside the house. At this rate, I won’t be having a delicious salad with garden tomatoes.
June 3 – Summer weather is finally here. The heavy rains from the past month have let up and it’s hot outside. Watering twice a day now. I need to add more soil (roots are starting to be exposed – not good!) and possibly fertilize the ground. The peppers seem to be growing slowly. Tomato plants are looking rather puny. No more tomatoes have emerged and some of the blooms have turned black. That doesn’t seem like a good thing.
That’s the current state of the garden. The marigold plants (all but one) have sadly met their demise long ago. The peppers are still hanging on. The mint is thriving, but then again when does it not. The lemon thyme is looking good and I discovered there were chives in there as well, probably from the previous tenants. The tomato plants will be getting some extra care in the next few days, because I want tomatoes already gosh darn it.