Flashback 4 few years:
When Shannon and I first embarked on our gardening journey, we knew very little about how much it could mean for our lives as a whole. We had recently moved into a new home, one with a much larger yard than we had before. We decided that picking up on an ongoing hobby would be good for us, and it would be something we could do together. After our first spring/summer adventure, we knew that this could not only keep us busy, but could also present an entire lifestyle change.
After we closed our garden up that first fall, we already knew some of the changes we’d implement. I first built a fence to protect the garden from the variety of critters that roam our neighborhood, and I built some raised beds in order to become better organized in planning our garden. By year two, we had started off more educated, more organized, and more energized for a successful gardening season. Though we were successfully expanding our repertoire, we quickly recognized that just because it was warm outside, didn’t mean that everything we wanted to grow would magically pop out of the ground simply because we were ready for it.
That was when I decided to really branch out and began my riskiest endeavor: building a greenhouse. New Jersey offers an optimal climate to grow a variety of items; however, the seasons here are pretty extreme. Our winters are cold, and our summers can be unbearably hot. The main perk of our greenhouse is to extend our growing season.
This past year, I was able to plant some items in early March, and we were fairly productive through mid-December – long after typical harvesting in New Jersey should have ended. The greenhouse will allow me to plant a larger variety through a longer period of time, increasing our overall success.
Throughout the last few years, Shannon and I have learned innumerable lessons about gardening in northern New Jersey. We have learned to rotate our vegetation for optimal growth. We have learned that it is nearly impossible to purchase live plants during the late summer/early fall months. We have learned where to place our seeds, and even where to purchase seeds for greater success. In 2015, Shannon and I successfully grew nearly thirty varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, mostly from seeds purchased through The Seed Library in New York – which has quickly become our favorite go-to place. As we move forward with planning our 2016 garden, we look forward to learning more, increasing our production, and and more successfully utilizing our new greenhouse.
In just a few weeks, we will be back at in the garden. I hope you are enjoying our Mayernik Garden Blog Series so far....it's just the beginning! Until next time.....