Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Garden Update

I know I've written a lot about our garden, but it is very cool to have a garden that grows something besides radishes and weeds.

It seems that Arizona gardens need a lot of water. As long as I water every day, the plants do great. If I forget, the plants go all wilted and the chard leaves go crispy on the edges. I water late Saturday evening and on Monday morning to keep the garden alive over Sunday. I might be over-watering some of the plants, but watering six days a week seems to keep them alive.

We are estimating that this garden costs about $18 a month to water daily. It should be an accurate estimate, since the only change to our water use in February and March was to add the garden. So, if you exclude the cost of the bricks and dirt, the garden is very economical. We definitely eat more than $18 worth of vegetables from the garden every month. It may take a couple of years to recover the cost of the building materials, but the garden is already worth it just for the experience of building it together as a family and the excitement the children feel as they pick (and eat) the vegetables.

The garden is doing great. We planted a pack of six zucchini starts from a nursery, and so we have a few more zucchini than we can eat at a time. I have been freezing bags of squash for later on. As good as Mom's recipe is, a double batch of zucchini bread is about all we can eat before everyone is tired of it for a week or so.

Now, if you lose track for a couple of days, the zucchini will be enormous. Here is a cool picture of the two oldest children holding the biggest zucchini they had ever seen. It was, however, not the biggest for long! We have had several even bigger that got turned into zucchini bread. Now I won't let them get that big anymore.

So here's a picture of our twenty-foot long butternut squash vine. We were wishing it was a watermelon or cantaloupe, but we didn't plant those this season! When the plant sprouted, I just directed the vine over the edge of the garden, and kept re-directing it every day as I watered the garden. Now it borders one entire side of the garden.

1 comment:

  1. It's looking great! I'm sure it's satisfying to have it do so well. Our tomatoes and zucchini are still small--they'll get big in another month or so.