Monday, April 4, 2011

Our first garden

Gr0wing up, my parents always had tomatoes growing in the backyard. The difference in taste between homegrown and store bought tomatoes is kind of like the difference between a Honda Civic and a Mercedes CL65 AMG . Yes, they're both technically cars, but its hard to enjoy the Civic after driving the AMG. I feel the same way about tomatoes. Yes, what you buy in the store is technically a tomato....but it doesn't compare to the taste of homegrown.

With that in mind, we put in a garden this year to the house we purchased last year.

Because central Texas soil in our area is about 99.9999% pure clay, we chose to build a couple of raised beds for our garden and bring in garden quality composted soil.

We decided on 2 4x8 foot beds built with 2x6 boards, one for tomatoes and one for peppers and squash. After laying boards down in the approximate location, I put out some sand to mix in with the clay for better drainage and turned the soil to a depth of about 6".

The next fun task was filling the newly built raised beds with a cubic yard of composted soil. After many lemonade breaks and with my muscles promising a fun morning, we finally got it all put together.

Now it was time to plant! After an always amusing Wal Mart trip (If you don't think Wally World visits are fun, I recommend you check this site out: ) , we returned home with our retinas thankfully intact and 8 tomato plants, 7 pepper plants and 3 squash plants in tow.

Our tomato varieties: 2 Celebrity, 2 Grape tomato, Better Bush, Better Boy, German Queen, and Superfantastic. The peppers consist of 1 each green, yellow and red bell peppers, 2 jalepeno peppers, 1 serrano, and 1 anaheim pepper plants.

As they were planted, Tomato bed first, then peppers and squash:
Now that its 3 weeks later and I'm finally blogging, the tomatoes are showing tremendous growth. The peppers are looking pretty decent as well, and the squash are busy trying to die on me, because I've been essentially waterboarding them. (Hint: squash don't need as much water as tomatoes do). I also got drip irrigation installed, and we have our first tiny green tomato.

So far, our German Queen is looking the best, with strong stalks and nice big leaves.

This is the Better Boy tomato variety. Ironically, it is our sorriest looking plant, which just a week ago would have received my prestigious Most likely to Die First in my Garden award, was the first to produce a tomato, and has passed on the crown of Most Likely to Die First to the terrorist squash I've been waterboarding.

Until next time, Shoot safe, grill weekly, and go have fun in the garden!

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