Our Home Garden in Southeast Tennessee

Like everyone else and their mother, we started a home garden during the COVID-19 quarantine. I’m not one to jump on bandwagons, but we’d been talking about it for some time, and with food shortages and other concerns during the pandemic, we decided to go for it!

Gardening is foreign to me. Thankfully, Jimmy’s family are big on gardening. His brother, Brian, has successfully used the Back to Eden garden method. He even  started a Youtube channel about it. I might be his biggest fan, because I love the adorable debuts of my nieces! Jimmy’s dad used to be a pro composter. The dogs always loved their backyard, ha! But because of my BAD track record with plants, I wanted a small, waist-height bed. We later decided that since Beckett isn’t tall enough to enjoy a garden at that heigh quite yet, we’d put the garden in the ground.

Making Our Garden

On the big day, Jimmy got to work with Beckett in the yard while I was inside editing photos (per usual). On a break, I went out to check on them and saw just how large Jimmy made our home garden. To be quite honest, I was flustered, because I did NOT want that amount of responsibility and pressure. As much as Jimmy says that the garden is “his” responsibility, I know, ahem, how this is going to go. (Any other women hear me on this?!) But what was done was done. The grass was already gone.

We used left over fence pickets as the barrier, chemical-free cypress mulch, seeds, and some already-grown plants.We already had started a compost pile in a corner of our yard, so we used some of that soil in the garden bed. I stained the pickets with Valspar one-coat stain in semi-transparent Wellington Brown. I found the “Welcome to Our Garden” sign on clearance at Hobby Lobby, and for whatever reason, it brings me so much joy! I’m looking forward to staining our fence and decorating the inside of it as if it were an accent wall inside a home. I’m waiting for my budget to agree to that, ha!

Our Garden Goals

Our goal is to be somewhat self-sustaining with the veggies and fruits we use most often. We find ourselves eating a lot of greens, tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, avocados, onions, beans, and sweet potatoes. I included what we’re currently growing in the captions of the pictures below. We intended to do the Back to Eden method, but to be honest, we ended up being a bit hasty. Lots of other events and needs started popping up and our focus got put elsewhere. Once this mulch breaks down, I intend on utilizing this method and use the compost we’ve begun making.

Got tips?

I STILL FEEL LIKE WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE’RE DOING! It bugs me to death to have started something that I wasn’t able to thoroughly research beforehand! I look at it almost every day while I water it wondering what on earth I should be doing to help this garden thrive. So, your tips and feedback are welcomed! Also, if you have any free newspaper, we’d love to have it!

No matter how successful we are, it has been fun having something to check-in on and do with Beckett in the afternoons when the sun is lower. He loves to play in it and excitedly shows me each plant as if he’d never seen it before. I can hear his voice plain as day, “See?!” He also runs his trucks along the pickets and makes them “fly” over the plants as if they’re planes.

So, our home garden brings me joy, even if it doesn’t bring me food. That’s good enough, I suppose! 🙂