Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Harvest time ends! How to start a vegetable garden: what worked, what didn't

After the success of our first big garden last year, I wanted to share more about ours this year. I’ve been posting updates throughout the spring and summer (garden plans, starting veggies from seed, planting the starts). But, things are different this year and we’ve had less time to put into it, and it has not been successful! But we’re at my favorite time of year for the garden, tomato season/late summer harvest. It’ll be wrapping up pretty soon so I figured I would share kind of a final update.

End of season harvest

I also love the zucchini and cucumbers that we’ve had, still have a few of those coming up. We only have one plant of each and they have both been super productive and giving us plenty of good ones! I could eat zucchini like every day so actually maybe we should do two plants of those next year, and not much else! It is a really easy one to grow and harvest.
Zucchini plant in the center, bolted lettuce and kale to the left

Something that did not go well: We did not harvest any of our lettuce because we just didn’t have our act together in time early summer (even though it's so easy), so we let it go to seed and might gather those and plant next year. But given our record with garden maintenance this year, I’m not sure that will happen. We did harvest some kale and then it grew some more, which we still haven’t harvested. We also didn't harvest the peas, which just dried up. What a waste.

The middle part of the garden is bare, this was the second year for these strawberries and I guess they just dry up after the second time.

We also grew several tomatillo plants because we have made some delicious tomatillo salsa and frozen some of it the past couple years. Takes all day, roasting them and then cooking and then preserving, but it’s amazing. But this year, combination of the intense heat that we had a couple times, and probably not consistent enough watering… They basically aren’t good. They’re dropping off the plants before turning green and they smelled bad.

Something that went well: We planted several cherry tomatoes and a couple heirloom tomato plants. They are all producing a ton! I think we need bigger tomato cages next year, though. We do have one big cherry tomato in a big pot and it’s done even better. Got taller, and had a taller cage. And it’s easier to harvest them in a raised planter like that. All of them taste SO GOOD. Storebought tomatoes are a disgrace in comparison! 
Picking heirloom tomatoes in a Target sand bucket. Why not

I heard a podcast the other day on tips for quieting your mind and busy-ness of being a parent of young kids, and one was to give yourself permission not to do everything right now. The host's example was vegetable gardening. She loves the idea, but she doesn't have the time to water and harvest in this time of life, and it's okay to not do something all the time/every year. That spoke to me. Tempted to garden less next year, unfortunately. 

We’re considering turning the L-shaped garden by the fence into lawn for next year and then getting some really large planters or raised beds on the chip area by the back of the fence, it gets plenty of sun. Just shrinking the garden area. And will still do the tomatoes in the sunny spot by the garage.

So that's the update. If you're interested in vegetable gardening, do check out my posts for how we got to this point (garden plansstarting veggies from seedplanting the starts) and I wish you luck!

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