Yes, my family has a garden in our backyard. I live in Chicago, so the summers here have been known to kill our garden. We typically grow tomatos, zucchini, squash, and peppers. Those veggies always seem to make it through the heat and the invasion of rabbits and other little critters. We’ve tried growing carrots and peas, neither of which we had any success with. I think it’s pretty easy to maintain our garden; we water when necessary and use lots of garden soil and humus. The most challenging part is keeping them alive through the heat and sunlight as well as the animals trying to eat them. My dogs just love to go over to the garden for an afternoon snack. I’ve heard great things about the Topsy Turvy. We sell them where I work and I have never had any complaints. They require a lot of water, but they are an easy way to grow tomatos, strawberries, etc.
We have a backyard garden in southern Chile using the bio-intensive gardening style of Emilia Hazelip: raised beds, cardboard, straw, and wool or shredded newspaper mulch, companion planting, and no weeding. We have the plumbing rigged so the grey water is cleaned by going through a filter system of rocks and plants before being deposited into the garden. So every time we take a shower, wash the dishes, or wash our clothes we are also watering the garden. The garden’s not difficult to maintain; the hardest work was setting everything up.
We grow the following fruits, herbs, legumes, and vegetables: peas, pumpkins, lettuce, chard, onions, garlic, white beans, lima beans, cabbage, mint, oregano, cilantro, chamomile, tomatoes, potatoes, raspberries, and strawberries. We have a lemon tree that yields year-round, cherry trees, pear trees, plum trees, peach trees, and apple trees dotted throughout the garden. We also disperse marigolds, sunflowers, and roses throughout the garden to help attract pollinators and have recently built a Perone top-bar beehive in the garden in order to have our own honey in addition to creating a habitat for bees.
I live in Southern California and used to have a garden growing in my backyard. Over time it became too hard to maintain and keep healthy, so we ended up getting rid of it sadly. The vegetables had a hard time surviving the long heat waves that we get and required a lot of watering/care. We now have a garden but there are no vegetables in it, and this garden consists of plants native to California.
What vegetables you should grow definitely depends on where you live, and may be trial-and-error. My family from the Midwest said that rhubarb was really easy to grow, but I tended mine constantly for several months while it slowly wilted. However, I’ve found that kale and chard take off like weeds!
I like perennial plants best because you don’t need to dig them up each year. Herbs are really handy to have on-hand. I have rosemary, sage, and oregano in my back yard. I tried to grow thyme, but that didn’t work. Fruit trees are also great to have. I have a persimmon tree in my back yard, and the persimmons are in-season right now. My parents have orange, lemon, and apple trees.
So, my best recommendation is to start digging, plant whatever sounds yummy to you, and see what happens! Personally, I like gardening with a friend or family member rather than doing it alone. However, it can be a great way to meditate or take a few hours to reflect on life. Once you get the soil all broken up, it doesn’t take much maintenance except a little water every morning. If you have rainy (not snowy) winters like I do in Davis, you may not need to water it at all if you plant a winter garden.
You might want to check to see if your town has a gardening club because they may know more about what grows well in your soil. They may also be able to supply you with seeds from plants that they have been doing well in their gardens for years. A good place to find out if your town has a gardening club would be city hall or the library. Look on the bulletin boards there and ask the people who are at the desks 🙂
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There are tens of thousands of people in the online community who can help if you have questions.
My family has a home garden in Western Washington and it does not require much attention. The drier summer months are the only time that the garden becomes more work intensive. We grow potatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots. Tomatoes and cucumbers need the most water. Potatoes, on the other hand, pretty much grow themselves; they require little maintenance. We supplement our soil with compost from food scraps and most of the time the weather provides the rain we need to water the garden. Also, in drier times we have a rain barrel that provides any additional water.
My husband and I have been dabbling in gardening, but we live in Arizona, so the gardening season is a little different out here. Because of the brutal summer months, it is recommended that you start a garden in the fall and harvest it in the spring. That may not work where you are located if the weather is really cold and you get snow during the winter months. We have a backyard patio that gets alot of shade so green leafy vegetables and herbs do very well for us. It is alot of upkeep with making sure that they have enough water, are pruned, and do not get mutilated by the bugs. Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with vegetables that are grown for their fruit because our yard does not provide enough sunlight. Good luck and please check out the link below for more information.
I am an avid gardener and am lucky to have the space to grow a variety of crops in my backyard garden. I do grow edible plants including tomatoes, peas, strawberries, onions, herbs and citrus fruit, to name a few. Some herbs found in my backyard include basil, rosemary, chamomile, lavender, feverfew and oregano. All of these plants are easy to grow given rich soil and enough water and sunlight.
During the summertime, it’s best to grow plants like tomatoes, beans, squash, okra, beans and corn.
Maintaining a garden can be done with ease as long as you devote some time to the initial setup. A raised garden requires some labor and construction work, but helps prevent diseases and weeds from spoiling your lovely crops, so it can save you time on maintenance in the long run. Planting directly in the natural soil is also a good option because you don’t need to import as much soil, and it offers some helpful microbes. But it can also be laborious to break up the natural soil, especially clay soil, at a sufficient death (I suggest deep beds down to 12 inches, though some gardeners suggest 6 to 8 inches are all that’s necessary in good soil.)
An irrigation system is another way to avoid constant maintenance. Otherwise, you will probably need to water your plants throughout the week.
Weeding is another important one. If you let your plants get choked by weeds, their roots can be severely effected.
I hope this has helped! I’m starting a blog with more of my Backyard Garden Tips so feel free to visit and ask any questions.
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