Learning to garden

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I give myself a C- for past gardening efforts. I do my research, plan well, construct beds and pots, and plant little green plants in the ground. But then when something goes wrong I am at a loss as to how to fix it, get frustrated, and then don’t have the yield I had hoped for. I exhaust myself.

My parents had a garden in Connecticut and I remember tons of zucchini, jalapeno peppers, mint, rhubarb, and lots of leafy green vegetables. So, you’d think I’d be able to do a little better than a C- since I did help them. But with Alaska’s odd growing conditions I could never seem to make anything grow as well as what I remember my parents being able to do.

The Earthship has a fantastic built-in garden with enough edibles to be able to feed a family of four. Wow. I am motivated to make the most of what I have.

Mmmm, swiss chard.

I do have:

1) a large sunny backyard

2) a large shady front yard

3) a sunny side yard

4) one raised bed in back

5) room for hanging baskets in the front and off the back deck

6) a good-sized deck

7) thriving rhubarb and raspberry patches

8) newly-planted blueberry bushes

This season I am armed with a new book, Gaia’s Garden, and a new class, The Green Thumb Food Gardening Course offered by a local at Red Edge Design. The class is two hours long, and meets every other week for six months. This week we learned about seeds for Alaska, our local growing season, and planted a flat of cells with cruciferous vegetables.

I’m going to put my gardening goals out here and you all can follow my progress this summer.

1) add an herb garden to the deck, like this one from a kate offering:

a kate offering's deck herb garden

I love this herb garden! But, would my boys try to climb it?

2) add two more raised beds, both to the side yard – I have a bunch of plans and ideas pinned in Pinterest – I really like the fence in this Better Homes and Gardens picture and would like to do a version of it for the raised beds out front.

Oh, I love these bright colors and I bet my kids would too!

3) install a couple of rain barrels – I’m going to take another Red Edge class

4) install some trellises in the gardens for vegetables to grow UP

5) make the garden flourish!

I’ll decide what to do with all of it once I can actually grow it. Here is my progress from the other day’s gardening class.

selecting seeds

selecting seeds

starting seeds

Starting seeds in early April! I already learned something new.


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