Kieklak Garden 2015

 photo kieklak garden 2015_zps4jmrwxwm.pngYou might remember my limited success (i.e. compete failure) with gardening last year. That was partly due to my own laziness and partly to a severe lack of planning. It was essentially an afterthought one weekend in May.

 photo kieklak garden 2015 5_zpssckcjyaz.pngThis year, determined to have better success, I started planning in January. I thought I’d write out my planning process for any other first-time gardeners who might be looking for some starter ideas.

 photo kieklak garden 2015 6_zpsfzfnms3u.pngI signed up for the Farmer’s Almanac’s garden planner free trial & decided all the fruits and veggies that I wanted to grow. It was helpful for planning out how much space each plant was going to take up and also when to start seeds inside, transplant them, and when to expect to harvest. The free trial was only 30 days, but that was more than enough time to plan out my garden and print out the plan and plant list.

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I started planting seeds inside in January with a seed starter kit. It was very easy, and fun to watch the little seeds get bigger. Once the roots started growing out of the starter pod, I potted them up into Solo cups (with holes poked in the bottom for watering).  photo Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 6.25.46 PM_zpsop5drhtd.png

I started a spreadsheet to keep track of planting and germination dates & any other information I might want to remember for planning next year’s garden.

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Above you can see Nike next to the garden I dug up last year. Originally, I was going to start with a smaller plot this year, but I ended up dreaming a little bigger. Ok, a lot bigger.

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My finished garden plot is about 20′ x 15′. I covered the dirt with a weed blocker fabric and topped that off with a few inches of mulch. Weeds were the worst last year, so I brought out the big guns from the beginning this time.

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Before planting my veggies in the ground, I set them outside for increasing increments of time over a few days to harden them off.

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Then, into the ground they went! I had yellow & green onions, broccoli, peppers, and one tomato to plant. I also planted a row of carrots and some okra straight into the ground, since it wasn’t recommended to start them inside and transplant.

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The okra and carrots have yet to germinate (it’s been a week since I planted them) and my smallest broccoli plant was eaten by something, but everything else seems to be going well.

I’ve started my ‘hill’ seeds inside now, and I’ll transplant them once they’re big enough. The squash and zucchini have germinated, but I’m still waiting on the melons and pumpkins.

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I just started more broccoli and tomato seeds on Sunday (I’ve been planting on Sundays), so hopefully that broccoli will fare better than the one that got eaten…

Anyway, I’ll keep you guys updated on how things are growing! Hopefully this year will turn out better than last year.

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Lisa Kieklak

Co-Founder at The Helpmates
Explorer & adventurer - mostly through scratches of ink on a page - I enjoy my husband, our twin boys, our boisterous German shepherd, and strive to live for the glory of God.

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