Beginner Gardeners – Harvesting with Plans to Expand

Here we are with a few tips for new and beginner gardeners.  I must admit my garden has been slow going this year.  With all the rain I wasn’t sure if I should even continue planting.

Instead I scaled back and earlier this week harvested Italian Beans. These happen to be my favorite and a family tradition.  It also looks like there will be zucchini ready before the weekend arrives.

Harvesting

Harvesting is my least favorite part of gardening, it sounds crazy because this is the reward.  It’s possible I become overwhelmed with the abundance of food.

When you’re a new gardener, harvesting is exciting; serving fresh vegetables from garden to table is a wonderful experience and the nutrients are superior.

If you find you have an abundance of food growing you have the options to freeze, can, dehydrate or giveaway the additional.  I normally choose to freeze and giveaway.  I’m not a big fan of canned food because I prefer bright colorful meals.

When harvesting arrives don’t get overwhelmed. This time of year can sometime cause burnout due to the additional workload.  If canning is of interest visit Tracy at Our Simple Homestead.

For many gardeners that first harvest excites beginners to expand their planting space.

Plans to Expand

Are you inspired by your harvest and happy with the results? It might be time to ask yourself if you’re ready to expand the size of your garden.

In Texas we’re blessed with two planting seasons and now is the time to plan and add additional beds if you’re thinking of a fall garden.

If your goal is to continue planting but you want to stay small there are a few things to consider.

Planning for Fall and Staying Small

You can plant in your existing beds but there are a few things you need to do prior to fall planting.

Remember most spring plants will begin to die off around the end of July and August; they look crisp and their growth has slowed down.   I normally trim back my plants like tomatoes in July.  Everything else I begin to pull up if it’s finished.

Once the bed is cleaned up then it’s time to get nutrients back into the soil.  Apply the method of direct composting, this will get your soil working for you.  Include food waste from the table and any harvesting waste can be added back into the soil.

If you have access to animal fertilizer like llama, sheep, goat, and rabbit you can also blend it in the mix.

Caring for your soil is what gardening is all about. I will elaborate more on this in the future. In the meantime Keep reading about the soil.

Planning for Fall to Expand

If your plans are to expand the garden before fall then adding one or two additional raised beds is efficient.  Look at the covered raised bed, this bed allows opportunity to extend the fall growing season.  You cover the top with a tarp during freezing temps and enjoy veggies up through the holidays.

Prepping a raised bed is pretty simple, read establishing a raised bed for details. In July I’ll be sharing cool crops, this will be helpful for fall planting.  Remember plant what you enjoy eating.

It’s my hope your garden has become a place you can be proud of.  Enjoy your harvest this is the reward and take pictures so you have a memory to share with family and friends.

Beginner Gardeners tips, Harvesting with plans to expand

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