Vegetable Gardening the First Year
Sweet Success and Bitter Failures
In the 4 years we have owned Honey Hen Farms we have had four very different vegetable gardening seasons. Every year our successful crops increase and our crops that flop are reduced. Gardening is a wonderful way to spend some time out in the fresh air. There is also the added benefit of growing your own healthy and clean produce. We look forward to every spring when we get to turn the soil for the first time and regain that connection to the earth itself that only gardening can provide.
The first year at Honey Hen Farm much of our summer was spent getting the property into working order. This put gardening mostly to the back burner. We did have a small garden that successfully grew a plentiful crop of potatoes but the rest was a huge failure.
Our failure was a hard pill to swallow. I had grown up gardening with my parents and I saw how successful their gardens were. I figured I could just throw some seeds in the ground and they would come up wonderfully and provide us with fresh veggies all summer long. Because I have seen many successful gardens I thought it was extremely easy. As a result I didn’t do my research regarding what would grow where I live and when to plant. This was a fatal mistake.
Vegetable Gardening: Know Your Growth Medium
I live only a few miles from my parents but our farm is in a valley that holds cold air. This causes our soil to warm a week or two slower than theirs does. I planted too early and watered too sporadically during my first year at Honey Hen Farm. There are many tricks and tips that can only come with experience. Vegetable gardening is not always difficult and knowing what grows best in your area helps set you up for success.
We are planning on performing a soil test at our farm to better understand what we can do to improve the quality of the soil. If soils are deficient in key minerals there can be dire consequences to the quality of vegetables grown. Since we want to have the happiest, healthiest garden possible a soil test will be essential.
Check back soon as I discuss soil tests and how they are done.
What was your first experience with your own gardens?