First Year Of Gardening

The title says it all. I have never had a garden. I have always liked the idea of it but I never pursued the hobby. Due to several friends having a garden and enjoying fresh produce, I decided that I wanted to attempt the project. So here is the story my amateur gardening process.

119I enjoy having indoor plants and I generally keep plants that survive my stupidity of forgetting to water. I even transported several of my plants all the way from North Dakota to New Mexico during freezing temperatures and most of them survived! They are now thriving in our new home.

Step One: As soon as we moved into our home in December, I bought an outdoor garbage can with a lid and had Shane drill holes all over it. This was the start of my composting attempt. We put some dirt and all of the kitchen scraps we saved over the course of several months. I turned it frequently and kept it from being too dry or too moist.

Step Two: Shane bought lumber from Lowes, stained it, and built me a garden box.

Step Three: Although my compost was not completely ready, I decided to dump the majority of my compost into the bottom of my garden box. We added several bags of gardening soil and raked through to mix the compost and the soil. Then we added a couple bags of gardening soil over the top. This filled the box about 1/2 way.

Step Four: I went to Walmart and bought a seed pod starter kit and several packs of seeds including: tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, green beans, and broccoli. They started growing quickly and after several weeks I planted them in the garden box.

113The plants started doing very well but while they were still trying to get established, my dog ran through the garden and kicked up most of the plants. This pretty much destroyed the garden.

Step Five: A couple of the green beans, peppers, and broccoli plants were ok. So I carefully removed all of the destroyed plants and raked through the soil. I also planted some pumpkins! Several of the plants still died off but I had a few plants that were really getting established! I decided to keep the few good ones that I had and hope for the best. I had a friend (who has a large garden) come over and see how my garden was doing. She pointed to three plants and said that they were tomatoes. These were in places that I had NOT planted tomatoes! So we assumed that they were coming from my compost!

11On July 3rd, our area of New Mexico got a major hail storm. From a distance, it looked like it had snowed. Our yard was covered in hail and cold water. My plants took a beating and I did not think that they would survive. The following week, I had my friend come and check the garden again (Her garden was not hit by the hail!). She said that some of the plants looked like they would make it. So I did not remove any of them in hopes that would come back.


We are now in the beginning of August and my garden is looking well! All of the plants shredded by hail came back except for the green beans. The pumpkin plants which were shredded the most are now overtaking the garden and look beautiful every morning with the orange blossoms! A few days ago, I moved the longer pumpkin vines so they run over the edge of the garden box and into the grass. I can see one pumpkin starting to grow! Several more compost tomato plants popped up to the point that I had to remove the smaller ones so that they didn’t overrun the garden. There are a few green tomatoes starting to grow and it looks like they are cherry tomatoes! I also planted several cantaloupe seeds in an area that didn’t have any established plants. They popped up very quickly and I have been thinning them out every few days so that hopefully we will get 2-3 really good plants out of the cluster.


I am really pleased with my garden so far! I cannot wait until I can start harvesting vegetables!

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