K and J Garden: Early July 2016

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Gardening has quickly become one of the most consistent stress relievers in my life. J and I started with our garden last year as a way to do something with our overwhelming back lawn. The growing season in Mid-Michigan is not as long as it is in in most of the country, but the temperate summer weather makes for some absolutely killer crops later on.

This year we’re growing lots of herbs, a few different types of berries, and a ton of vegetables, with a big focus on tomatoes. Taking care of these plants has become a part of my daily life, and I feel like I’m learning so many new things each day. It’s just so absolutely fascinating to watch these little things grow.

Gardening in Mid Michigan

This year, we expanded our garden — a little bit more than double the size of last year. We’re using a mixture of containers and planter beds to house our plants. We didn’t have enough time to build as many planter beds as we needed for this year’s plants, so I opted for a bunch of different containers instead. I’d like to build a few more planter beds before the end of the summer and get them ready for next year. But, I’m thrilled with the containers, and I’m definitely going to continue to use a mixture of containers and planter beds in the future.

What we’re growing this season:

Herbs

  • Lemongrass
  • Cilantro
  • Golden Lemon Thyme
  • French Tarragon
  • Basil (Large-Leaf, Genovese, Lime, Holy, & Thai)

The herbs are all housed in this awesome plant container stand that I picked up from Ikea. I put my herbs in small metal planters (holes drilled in the bottom for drainage). This gives them a good amount of room to grow and makes it super easy to water every day.

Berries

  • Strawberries (two varieties)
  • Blueberries (two varieties)
  • Black Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cherry Tree (it’s tiny)

Peppers

  • Thai Peppers
  • Seranno Peppers
  • Bell Peppers
  • Hungarian Peppers

Tomatoes

  • Twelve different varieties of heirloom tomatoes from Michigan Heirlooms. Some early, some late, some big, some tiny. I went with a wide variety this year so I could figure out which ones we like and use the most.
  • Tomatillos
  • Purple Tomatillos

We’re also growing eggplant and broccoli in our back planter. We had the first eggplant of the season over the weekend and it just makes me even more excited for the rest of this year’s harvest.

I’m new to writing about gardening, growing, and the rest of the at home stuff. I really have no idea what I’m doing — both with writing about the garden, as well as taking care of the garden itself. The entire process is trial and error. The best I can do is read and research what’s worked in the past and try to apply that to what’s going on here in my yard. Thanks for joining me on this #kandjgarden journey.

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