spring fever

Today is apparently the first day of Spring, although it’s still freezing on the east coast. There’s even threats of snow showers in the coming week! Even though it’s too soon to pack away my sweaters and cozy socks, I still like to think that it’ll be warm soon. I love that I’ve been waking up to birds chirping in the morning, and that it’s staying light out past 7pm.

Now that everyone’s been talking about my favorite season, it’s lit a fire inside of me that is making me think about gardening nonstop. Last year I planted my very first garden, although I never actually posted progress photos. Better late than never…? Most people recommend keeping a journal, but instead I emailed myself photos of the progress so I could visually see what to do or what not to do this year.

Last year I planted way too much: 6 cherry tomatoes, 4 plum tomatoes, 2 beefsteak tomatoes, about 12 pepper plants, eggplant, carrots, garlic, cucumber, basil, parsley, string beans, and three kinds of lettuce. I went crazy. I planted everything way too close, even though the packages had direct instructions. I mean, how can a tiny little seed grow into a 10′ tomato plant?! This year I created a profile on Smart Gardener that I will actually stick to.  Like a lot of things in my life, I found the site through Pinterest and so far it’s amazing! You can put in the size of your garden, what you’d like to plant and it suggests a garden plan (much like my beloved floor plans). It even emails you when you should be planting, watering, and harvesting!

It’s fun to look back on how much Ryan and I have actually done to this house. No surface was untouched, including the garden. The first two photos below are what the yard looked like when we moved in. I don’t understand why you would have an amazing garden plot but then cover it with paving stones around plastic planters. And check out that little jungle on the right! Unfortunately that blacktop is still there but we’ve covered a good portion of it with a fun outdoor rug. (I’m sure I’ll be taking pictures this Spring to show you!) We also got rid of that terrible rusty swing too.

BEFORE:

Vegetable Garden NJ

Vegetable Garden NJ

Our first Summer here, in 2011, I removed all of those paving stones and prepped the plot for a garden. There was SO much sand here because it used to be a sandbox at some point. I also had to remove a ridiculously heavy amount of rocks so the roots had room to grow.

Vegetable Garden NJ

Vegetable Garden NJ

The above photo is where the “jungle” was. Ryan used grass and weed killer to get rid of all of the unwanted wildflowers and planted new seed grass seed since this photo was taken.

Vegetable Garden NJ

photo8

Vegetable Garden NJ

Vegetable Garden NJ

Vegetable Garden NJ

Below is my Smart Gardener plan for this upcoming year. As you may have noticed, I’ve simplified everything quite a bit. I need to allow the plants to have room to grow, and also so I can have room to walk around them to pick my harvest.

garden

Looking at these pictures gets me so excited for the upcoming season! It’s so nice to have a hobby that is creative but allows me to focus my energy on something other than interior design. Do you plant a garden? Do you have any tips? I especially love this book because it gives you gardening advice and also has delicious recipes to make with your veggies.

 

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