Our 2020 Quarantine Garden | Modern Day “Victory Garden”
I had planned on possibly planting some stuff this year. But because of the quarantine/shutdown, we had plenty of time to go big. So we did. (Well, big for us anyway). We cleared about 3oo sq feet of our backyard and planted … corn, tomatoes, peas, beans, peppers, okra, squash, cucumbers and more.
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We bought some things as plants from local nurseries but we also planted a lot from seed. Cost wise – it is far more efficient to plant from seed because you can get a lot more bang for your buck. But if you missed the seed window for certain things you want to grow, purchasing plants locally is the way to go.
We still have some more space we want to clear. I saved some seeds back for a second wave of planting to prolong our yield. Plus, I’m still waiting for it to be the right time to plant Sweet Potatoes! We’re lucky to have the back yard space to do this!
Having the backyard space has also kept our cost down. We didn’t need any materials to build a raised bed, we didn’t need any soil. The soil in our backyard is very good! So we just dug up and planted!
It was a lot of work that first week getting the ground cleared and those first things planted but G is 11 and this was a great way for him to spend a week. And he gets as excited about the growth of it as I do. He goes out with me every morning before breakfast to look things over and again in the evenings if we need to water it. Lots of life skills are being worked on. It’s good for boys to work hard and get dirty!
Those first teeny tiny bean sprouts were so exciting!
The last thing we learned about in school this year in history were the World Wars. We spent several weeks going into all the details of the World Wars so when we were working on the garden, G said, “This is a lot like those Victory Gardens they planted during the war.” I couldn’t disagree with him. It does feel a little bit like that.
One thing that is important when having a vegetable garden is to make sure you’re attracting pollinators. G picked out some beautiful pansies (you can see them in the picture above next to the tomato plant!) and they’re doing a great job! I also planted a couple lantana bushes around the garden area and a pot of celosia. We also started some sunflowers from seeds – those were G’s idea and he’s excited for them!
Our corn is coming up nicely. One good tip to keep your garden costs down is to sow your peas and beans with your corn – or in a close row to your corn. Peas and beans need something to climb – if you sow it close to your corn it means you won’t have to buy trellises for your beans and peas – they can use the corn stalks for climbing!
When it came to herbs, I tried to reign myself in just a little. Several years ago when I last had a small garden, I went overkill on the herbs. There’s still a corner of my yard overrun with oregano from that endeavor! But I did plant cilantro – because we will use it! And rosemary just because I love how it smells!
Herb gardens are great for small spaces – they don’t take up a lot of room and can easily be grown in pots and containers in small spaces!