A Brand New Gardener! :)

A Brand New Gardener! :)

Hi everyone!

I'm brand new at gardening, and I'm telling ya, I think I'm addicted!

I recently moved from Florida to Indiana (I was born and raised in Indiana but moved to FL for 10 years) as of Halloween Day 2008. I live so far out in the country and my neighbor is an honest to goodness farmer. I guess I got his spirit, because as of the end of May (late frosts! ewww), I planted my garden! :)

gardening experience...">I've grown a few things before, but never a garden like this. In fact, the last time I grew any veggies was when I was eight years old. Otherwise, I cared for a pineapple plant in my yard down in FL and cared for the exotic flowers. I *adore* landscaping, so I tinkered with the beautiful plants in FL. Now, I'm in Indiana. Holy crap... the soil here is incredible. It's like Miracle Gro. LOL I have a 3-acre yard and there was a garden space prior to me moving into this house (which is a 150+-year-old farmhouse... it's *gorgeous*). My neighor, the farmer, has all his animals out grazing, which I can watch as I garden. I love watching the baby horses and goats play around and the chickens running around the yard. :) I love watching the tractors plant corn, soy, and wheat. I love rarely hearing music (except that the farmer plays as he works) and car horns. I love the crop dusters and hearing the roosters crow. I love living so far out from civilization! So, one day, I had my family come over and help till up the garden space. I couldn't do it! :) That tiller was dragging me around like I was being walked by a Great Dane. LOL I'm a 120-pound, 27-year-old chick. Me + Tiller = Comedy. I'd say my garden space is about 25 feet by 15 feet.... maybe 30 by 20.

This is what I decided to plant this year: Beefsteak tomatoes, red pear (type of cherry) tomatoes, broccoli, green peppers, romaine lettuce, Great Lakes lettuce, mesclun, pumpkins, peas (little marvel), green beans, radishes, sweet yellow onions, kohl rabi, scarlet nantes carrots, strawberries, cantaloupe, and watermelon.

Big, eh? :) At first, I thought I bit off more than I could chew, especially for pretty much a first-time gardener. LOL About 8 or 9 days after I planted, I went outside to check on my garden. When I went outside, it was like Christmas morning. My cantaloupe were the first to sprout! I was so excited that I started talking to the sprouts and welcoming them to the world like the eccentric kook I am. :) Then, my pumpkins sprouted, my tomatoes sprouted, my carrots, peas, radishes, green beans... they all sprouted! Oh man, what an incredible feeling!

Well, then some bad stuff happens. My lawn guy decides that when he cuts the grass next to the garden, that he'll blow all the grass clippings into the garden. Now, I know leaves can make good mulch, but grass clippings? LOL Well, now my once-perfectly-tilled garden is now INFESTED with grass and all sorts of weird weeds! I literally mean COVERED. It's like veggies and fruits growing in the middle of my lawn. :(

So, for the past week, I've been on my hands and knees pulling out every blade of grass and every weed. I've been hoeing and digging up the grass and weeds. I've got it about 75% done now. LOL What a lot of hard work. However, the longer I'm out there, the more addicted to it I become. In fact, I love to just go outside and sit in my garden. I love to be around my plants. Looking at my plants grow is just amazing. I truly see why so many people love gardening. It's such a wonderful feeling. :) Everyday when I wake up, I run out to my garden to see how my special babies are doing and how much they've grown overnight. They grow so fast!!! Today, one of my cantaloupe vines got SO big that it's start to spill over the hill! I found a second pumpkin vine that has sprouted (I thought only one vine sprouted in the hill.... my other two pumpkin hills got crushed... I *think* by the lawn guy). My green bean leaves are so gigantic and I found more tomato sprouts as I weeded that area today! My pea plants now have tendrils shooting off in every direction and my radishes have such large leaves. :) I just can't believe I helped nature grow this... I can't believe I get to EAT all of this! LOL Especially the tomatoes and melons, two of my favorite things!

I'm going to have way too much food. Good! :) It means I have more I can share with people. I'll give food to my family, my landlord (whom I adore... but he's Amish, I'm sure he has a garden of his own LOL), my neighbors, people I don't know, my friends, etc. I am having a few problems though.

1. My green peppers haven't sprouted. :( At all. I'm thinking of just going to the grocery store and buying some green pepper plants that are already well-established. :)
2. Cherry tomatoes haven't sprouted yet, either. I'll buy some plants at the store when I get my peppers. My beefsteaks are doing great, though! Also, no kohl rabi or broccoli. I figured the broccoli wouldn't come up since it's a cool weather veggie, as well as the kohl rabi.
3. I *think* my lettuce came up... I think. I don't know if that is lettuce or a weed! LOL It's about 8 inches tall now. It can be hard to know what's a plant and what's a weed sometimes. Does this look like lettuce or a weed? http://s15.photobucket.com/albums/a383/spiritcreations/Junk/?action=view&current=Picture025.jpg

Want to see something scary? This was my garden PRIOR to being de-grassed! See that brown patch? That was when I first started weeding. LOL That's all I could get done that day. :) Now, 75% of my garden is weed and grass-free! The TALL weeds on the right... ugh. I have to cut those down by hand tomorrow.
http://s15.photobucket.com/albums/a383/spiritcreations/Junk/?action=view&current=Picture015.jpg

In fact, I have lots of pics so far in my Junk folder.
http://s15.photobucket.com/albums/a383/spiritcreations/Junk/

Well, I'm off to get some rest. I want to finish the weeding so I can get my chicken wire fence and tomato cages put up! :)

Wish me luck

Wish me luck

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