The Matthews back yard garden is starting to produce fruit in the way of tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. Below are some pictures of the progress. We are still waiting on the zucchini and green beans to start fruiting. Not pictured below are the bell peppers which are starting to change from green to red, and now have a purple tone to them.
Over the past couple of weeks I have added some growing structures for the tomatoes, squash & cucumbers.
I have harvested lots of strawberries, but for most of them a slug has been getting to them first. I added some natural wood charcoal ash around the raised beds as well as epson salt around the plants which will hopefully take care of the slugs.
I added some stakes to the pole beans, cucumbers & tomatoes and all seem to be shooting up as a result. The blueberries are starting to get their color which has the kids really excited, hopefully they will be ready to go soon.
At Matthews Farm, 2016 will be the year that I defeat the squirrels and chipmunks. Each year my garden has grown bigger and bigger, and each year more critters come out to enjoy the harvests the night before I come out to pick the fruits of my labor.
This offseason I decided to build real cages around each raised bed, and my strawberry & carrot bed has a hinged top as well. The other bed cages will be organic, as in they will grow with the crops as needed. I plan to build trellis’s for the tomatoes, cucumbers & squash, and keeping those caged in will be an ongoing process.
Below are lots of pictures of the evolution of the garden, the planted crops, and some early seed bloomers (pole beans) that will grow in a bamboo teepee. I am also quite proud of the set of sawhorses that I built thanks to direction from familyhandyman.com.
I’m looking forward to a summer full of fruits and veggies from the back yard!
Here is a photo update of my back yard raised garden beds. Everything is growing like crazy, the most fun to see progress for me personally are the cantaloupe, cucumbers, strawberries and pole beans. Earlier this week I built a structure out of bamboo for the cantaloupe to grow up and spread out. We will see how that fills out.
Henry and I tried the first strawberry last night, and while a tad sour, it was still very tasty. We are looking forward to many more. My ultimate goal is to make my smoothie with all ingredients from the garden. On that day I will celebrate!
Here are some pictures of the progress:
Many years ago my friend and Atlanta home builder Stuart Grubb and I went and disassembled a play set in someones yard and reassembled it in my yard. Over the winter I convinced the boys that it was time to say goodbye to the play set and recover some of the back yard. In doing so I set out to build raised garden beds from the lumber. You can see the play set in the background of this picture.
It took a couple of tries to find the right combination, but I was able to come up with a prototype. Here is a picture of the first attempt… it wasn’t perfect so I broke it down and started over.
Here is what it looked like after redoing the side boards:
Not knowing exactly what kind of wood it was I did a lot of research and came up with a plan to make sure nothing was leaking into our food as it was growing. I sanded all of the surfaces, sealed it with MINWAX Helmsman Spar Urethane, and wrapped the interior surfaces of the wood with black landscaping plastic. Here is what they looked like once complete and filled with garden soil.
Once I had them all completed I planned out each garden with an online garden planner. Between Pike Nursery and Lowes I was able to get all of the fruits and vegetables I needed to complete my gardens.
Below are some pictures of the blooming fruits including tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, and cantaloupe.
Now that the fruits are blooming I have installed a netting layer over the gardens to keep critters and other animals out.
This will be a fun year of gardening with hopes of supplying most of the ingredients for my daily smoothie. Keep posted as the garden continues to grow!