One of the low-effort outdoor activities I do during the summer season here is grow an organic fruit and vegetable garden. This year has been my best year yet, but I know it could have been better as I still have a lot to learn when it comes to gardening. In this post I’ll talk a little bit about my garden, and what I have growing around the house, I’ll also be talking about how it is doing so far this year.
Every year my garden grows a little more, and this year was no exception. I have not added any more fruit even though I planned on adding some gooseberries and grapes. This spring I pulled out 3 of my 4×8 square foot garden boxes and replaced them with a more traditional style garden. Now I have an 8’x24′ traditional style garden, three 4’x8′ square foot gardens and 4 2’x8′ gardens in my main ‘garden’ area. Aside from this, I have a garden with domestic raspberries that are spreading nicely and have been providing lots of raspberries so far this year. I also have two 5 in 1 pear trees, two different varieties of peach trees, one Italian plum tree and one 4 in 1 cherry tree. We are also fortunate enough to have somewhere between 20 – 30 old growth apple trees along the side of our property in the ‘bush’ section which takes up about 1/2 an acre. I’ve been slowly pruning a section of these apple trees to bring them back to proper fruiting proportions, but it is a multi-year project where this was the third year of working on them.
My one biggest disappointment with my gardens this year is with all of my fruit trees, I had little to no flowers on any of the trees this spring. I believe this is due to the abnormal winter / spring that we have had, so where I normally have more apples then I know what to do with, I don’t have a single fruit growing on any of my trees this year! I am just fortunately that I don’t rely on these trees for a source of income, and I feel for the farmers in our area that have suffered the same fate.
When I say that my gardens are all organic, it’s because I do not add any chemicals / sprays etc. to them. This is partly because of the health benefits of going “au natrual”. But it is also largely to do with my laziness, as it seems like a lot of work to be fussing with pests and proper fertilization etc. I am sure my gardens would do better if I took the extra time, but they produce enough for our needs now, and I have been lucky enough to not have any damage done by pests (except for one nasty crow in the spring… )
Currently we have a few Vegetables that are producing. Our lettuce, Spinach and Kale have been going well for quite a while now. We’ve been very lucky with our Raspberry bushes, as we’ve had the best year yet for them. We’ve pulled a couple zucchini’s out and have an acorn squash ready to be picked. There is also a cucumber that will be ready within a day or two. We’ve had a couple meals of sugar snap peas, and the pod peas are starting to get to the right thickness too. Beans are ready to be picked, I’ve just been lazy and haven’t collected them up yet. Our tomatoe plants are pretty big with lots of green tomatoes, but unfortunately none have turned red yet. There are a few other squashes (spaghetti and buttercup) that are growing well but not quite ready. Our blueberry bushes aren’t doing as well as they did last year, and we’ve only been able to get a couple ripe ones before the birds get them. The wild raspberries on our property seem to have finished, and the wild black raspberries are still going well (only a couple plants) We have quite a few other vegetables growing too, but not close enough for harvest yet. I’ll definitely make sure to keep you posted on how its going.
If you have any thoughts on our garden or on gardening in general, please share in the comment section below.