Garden Update – My So. California Backyard Veggie Garden

Sometimes I feel like the garden is the only place where I feel completely at peace.  There is so much turmoil in our world today that I tend to get overwhelmed and feel like I am drowning in problems by evening.  Spending a few minutes in the garden right when I come home from work is often the best part of my day.  The plants suck the stress and annoyance from my body.  Sometimes I wonder if I should go on one of those long media fasts where I avoid the internet, social media, the news, everything for a period of time.  I wonder how I would feel after a week of no internet.  Probably more connected to what I really want and less confused by the coulds and shoulds of the social media world.  Until I am ready to cut myself off, I have my garden.  My tiny little piece of quiet heaven.

All the pictures in this post come from my old iPhone 6s so please bear with it today.  I’d much rather use my DSLR but it’s been so long since I posted that I figured done is better than perfect.  Single moms pretty much have to live by that motto, I have found.

Anyway, currently the garden has several varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peas, zucchini, spinach, chard, spicy pepper, strawberries, basil and… I think that’s it.

Gavin and I built this raised bed in less than 15 minutes.  It cost about $20 including cuts at Lowes.   All you need is 5 fence boards, one 2×4 and some screws.  If you guys want a more detailed tutorial on this just let me know and I’ll make one. I would like to build another bed or two anyway.

The Early Girl tomatoes are already popping out all over the place.  They seem to be really healthy.  I just tied these ones up to the fence a couple days ago.  I am waiting for it to start getting really warm then they will start to grow super fast.

The newest addition to the garden are some Tri-Color Beans.  These are growing great and I actually really love growing in these cardboard boxes.  The cardboard retains so much water which is super important for desert gardening.  I didn’t even cut the bottoms to allow for drainage because in the summer it gets so hot that the plants will want a lot of water retention to combat evaporation.  It probably also helps increase the humidity around the plants a bit too.  In most places humidity would increase the chance for disease but here we rarely go above 20% humidity, especially in the summer.  It’s super hot and super dry.  This is the desert.

Some concerns I have so far, I am afraid I planted too much in the big box.  I really need to make sure I am fertilizing and pruning effectively to make sure everything grows well.  I planted this zucchini right by the tomatoes, right now it’s not causing any problems but when it’s full grown it may crowd my tomato plants and block a lot of light.  I am kinda counting on these indeterminate tomatoes to grow up the fence so they also have plenty of sun.

Our first harvest of the year was last week!  I harvested the broccolini, some chard, and some spinach.  The chard and spinach immediately went into an omelet.  The broccolini is in my fridge waiting to be sauteed up for my salad this weekend.  I document a lot of my garden adventures on Instagram.  If you want to follow along on what I am doing be sure to follow me there. You can find me here!

What is going on in your Spring Garden?  Leave a comment letting me know what you are growing and harvesting right now.  Also, what tips do you have for retaining water in your garden beds during the hot summer months?