Sean digging post-holes. That's my neighbor's garden spot behind ours - competition! :-)
We started by finding the right spot, borrowing and renting a tiller, Sean did his best to dig down into the lovely red, clay dirt with all those nice white rocks (we have quite the pile!). Because of the abundance of deer in our neighborhood, we decided to put in a fence as well, something more permanent than netting. Sean labored for a whole weekend and the result was gorgeous. We found the white garden gate on clearance down at the home improvement store and Sean "rabbit-proofed" it with netting.
I made an awesome Aragula Pesto from Farmgirl Susan's blog.
See link in my favorite blogs section.
They lasted into the Christmas holidays!
Sliced with fresh mozzarella cheese, some basil leaves, balsamic vinegar,
salt and pepper......
So what did not work so good? Well, the carrots only grew to be about 1 inch long. They were good, but tiny. :-) The corn crop was not great. We only ended up with a dozen or so good ears, the rest were dry. But we heard that many local corn growers had the same problem. Many of the tomatoes developed blossom end rot. Feeding them fish emulsion and kelp helped some. Our neighbors completely gave up on their tomatoes. The lettuce was too hot and did not develop. The peppers did the same (to Sean's disappointment), but we will definitely try peppers again this year and work more on improving soil conditions. The broccoli grew but did not develop heads.
Here are some good books I have and some good links for research if you're a southern vegetable gardener like me. I'd love to hear from you, please share your experiences in gardening!
Home and Garden Info Center at Clemson University - lots of great info on how to grow things in the area where I live (South Carolina)
Organic Plant Healthcare - Billy Styles and his associates in Matthews, NC provide organic based products for soil, grass and turf improvement. We used their Urban Soil Conditioner when we tilled and then the Garden and Flower blend while planting.
Great Garden Companions by Sally Jean Cunningham
The new Seed-Starters Handbook by Nancy Bubel
The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control by Barbara Ellis and Fern Marshall Bradley
We now also have our own composting pile enclosure and mom and I both have compost containers on our kitchen counters (complete with carbon filters!) to capture food scraps, tea leaves and coffee grounds. This is very exciting and I really hope we get good use out of this in the coming years. It feels so much better to not just throw it down the drain (and into my septic tank!).