Lush and Green Kitchen Garden

How Does My Garden Grow? - Part 6

Lush and Green Kitchen Garden



So this is my first garden that I started planning last fall, and I think it's safe to say that I'm a gardener now for sure! So how does my garden grow?  It has been about two months since I planted, and the growth has simply amazed me! The composted raised beds have certainly carried their weight in contributing to a lush and green garden. The organic composted materials have provided the essential nutrients needed for plants to grow large, strong, and healthy. (The power of composted chicken manure!!) I had said when I first started this adventure, that I would "show and tell" no matter how my garden turned out.  I am so excited (and relieved) to show you the results. No embarrassing apologies here. I must say that the square foot and vertical gardening seems to be working out really well!

About a month after planting, everything was growing steadily, and I was excited to see changes just about every day.  I enjoy taking my morning coffee down to the garden to see what is happening. The Chickie-Babes were excited to see all that green stuff, too, but their scratching in the garden beds ended the day the plants and seeds went into the ground! They are such good garden workers.  They provided the fertilizer, and the tilling (their scratching turned the compost over), and their egg shells were used in the garden beds for added calcium and to deter slugs and snails.  But for now, the garden door will be closed to them. 


We had a fair amount of rain this summer, and I only had to bring the hose to the garden three times so far! That has certainly made my first gardening experience much easier!


We also had a good many warm and sunny days, and we have friends in our garden . . . beneficial workers like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds that pollinate the blossoms, and lovely little wrens and toads who eat the harmful insects!


Once everything was a few inches above ground, we added a 2-inch layer of composted mushroom manure as a mulch.  This gave the vegetable plants some added nutrients, helped to hold the moisture in the soil, and kept the weeds down.  As a result, I haven't had to spend too much time weeding my garden.


Everything has been growing great, and before long we started harvesting some lettuces and herbs from our garden. And now, we're beginning to enjoy our first tomatoes and peppers! The heirloom varieties are just wonderful!

  











And now you see for yourself. . .  that's how my garden grows! I'd say it is a success. I'm very pleased with it and would highly recommend a square foot, vertical, organic heirloom garden (and especially the chicken manure. . . what a fertilizer! Everything in my garden seems to be giant-sized.)








The garden is fun for the whole family.  I enjoy working in the garden, we all enjoy the fresh and wholesome table food, and my grandchildren love to play in the garden.  To them, it's a jungle!



I thank my husband for his support and for building the garden structures.  I thank you for following along on my garden story. And I thank and praise God for His amazing design in creation.



More articles from this series.

Take a walk inside my garden:




Visit Maple Grove on Facebook and Pinterest.

31 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, that has to be one of the most beautiful gardens I have seen lately! The bonus is that it is productive! I love the gate - your husband did a wonderful job. And so did the chickens! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

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    1. Thank you so much Vickie. Every aspect of this has worked out beautifully. What blessings! I appreciate your comments. ~Katie

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  2. Wow! Mine is growing and producing, just not as lush as your's. Your garden is beautiful. I will have to go back through your series and get some pointer's. Thank's for the tour and happy gardening!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Janice. I really love gardening with the raised beds, vertical and square foot gardening and companion planting. Chris McLaughlin's books were a tremendous guide to me! Happy gardening to you too! ~Katie

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  3. Oh gosh, it's absolutely beautiful! I love the little garden shed.

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    1. Thank you Mary Ann. When I get the final touches down inside the Potting Shed I'm going to post some photos of it too! ~Katie

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  4. Katie,
    I am so impressed! Not only is your garden healthy and productive, but it is beeeeeutiful! What a testimony to your methods, your diligence, and to God's faithfulness!

    The photographs of your talented space planning and building of beds and structures, your grandchildren, and your produce glistening with raindrops are all so beautiful.

    You and hubby are such an inspiration!

    Well done!

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    1. Thank you Becky. You are one of my great inspirations and encouragers. I so appreciate you. Thanks for visiting and for your lovely comments. ~Katie

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  5. love, Love, LOVE that gate! I showed it to my husband and said we have to have something similar for our garden. :D I didn't see these pics on your pinterest page. Are you going to add them? Hope so. You have a lovely place!

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    1. Cheryl, feel free to copy the gate. That's the whole reason I post on the blog and facebook . . to exchange ideas. Thanks for the reminder to pin them to pinterest. I will do that. I appreciate you coming by and offering your support. ~Katie

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    1. Thank you Gretchen. Thanks for coming by! ~Katie

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  7. Your garden has come through some changes from snow to bountiful, thank you for sharing

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    1. Thank you Julie~ I appreciate your visit and your comment! ~Katie

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  8. You have a very beautiful garden.

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    1. Thanks so much Shannon. I appreciate your comment. ~Katie

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  9. Well, I love your garden, too! It's so fun for me to see a garden that is actually green right now. We've had to pull the waterhose out every week this summer and I'm still having trouble getting everything watered. I love your arch, I'm going to see if I can convince my hubby that I need one, too!

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    1. Thank you Angi. You know, I honestly have to say that God grew this garden, not me. I planted the seeds and He watered them and made them grow. I just literally watched. I love the garden gate trellis too. I think it really enhances the garden's appearance. Thank you for coming by and commenting! ~Katie

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  10. Hi Katie,

    Your garden is absolutely gorgeous. It's an inspiration to those of us who have been hesitating to grow much else beyond a couple of tomato plants.

    One question I have is how you keep the grass paths at bay? I wonder if using a string trimmer or mower doesn't throw grass clippings into the beds that might sprout causing you to have to weed more in the beds. I love the idea of a grass path, but I don't know if it works well. What is your experience?

    Thanks much.

    Diane in North Carolina

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    1. Hi Diane. Thanks so much for your lovely compliment! I went round and round about what to do for the paths. I thought pea gravel would look so nice, and I also considered wood chips. People I talked to told me to expect to have to weed the paths if I used one of those. So I went with grass. I'm really glad I did. It is so easy to maintain. I have an old fashioned rotary lawn mower that I keep in the little lean-to on the shed. I use it because it is fun, but it doesn't get close to the edges of the raised bed. So I also have to use a weed-wacker to trim along the edges. Sometimes my husband does it for me, and he uses just the weed-wacker. It doesn't take long; it keeps it neat; and there's no weeding involved on the paths. The clippings do go flying, but there aren't that many, and the cut grass clippings just add nitrogen to the bed soil. No harm. Thanks for coming by, and best wishes with your garden!

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  11. Hello Katie. Your project is wonderful. I can understand how it grows. My garden; on a old barnyard site, has been incredible this year. We've had a cooler summer with rain almost every weekend. I can see that you had that kind of weather as well. Old manure is like magic. Do not use cattle manure because you risk portulaca. We did that once, on another site, and the miserable weed just kept on growing, no matter how much I weeded. Thank you for inspiring others. Your site is really nice.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by and your kind comments! I really feel like it was God who grew this garden, and I just watched. I planted the seeds that He designed so amazingly complex and perfect! Then He did all the watering this summer. It was just an easy, perfect summer for gardening here. I used our chicken manure in our own compost. I did use a manure compost as a mulch. I bought it locally. It may have some horse or cow manure in it, but I've used it for years on my flower beds and have never had any problem. I'm glad you had a good garden season too. Best wishes! ~Katie

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    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate your comment.

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  13. Katie--your garden is stunning! I love the structure--the gate and fence are just great, and your plants look amazing! What a beautiful garden!

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    1. Thanks Julie! That means a lot to me coming from someone with your expertise! You were there when I first started asking "How?" Your input was very valuable to me. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting! ~Katie

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  14. Sheesh I love your garden too! This is a dream garden for sure and the builder of it is quite talented! :)

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    1. Thanks Debra. You're so kind. I really think I just watched God do His thing! ~Katie

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  15. How do you keep that grass in the paths from taking over? How do you mow it?

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    1. Hi! Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment/question. When we were planning our garden, I considered having pea gravel or wood chip paths, but several people cautioned me that I would always be weeding them. So I decided to just have grass paths.

      We made sure the raised beds were spaced so that our rotary push mower would fit in between. We find it just as easy to use our weed trimmer, but I do enjoy pushing that little rotary mower.

      The boards we used to build our raised beds are 8" high, We didn't lift the sod inside the beds; we laid heavy cardboard down on top of the grass and then layered it with newspaper, straw from our hen house, fallen leaves, wood ash and top soil. The grass inside the beds was smothered and died. The grass does not grow through from the paths into the deep beds.

      After our seedlings were tall enough, we added a thick layer of mulch on top of the soil. We hardly had to weed at all. Everything worked out great; I wouldn't do it differently if I was doing it again. Best wishes! ~Katie

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