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Leftovers in last year’s garden…

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I’ve been gardening since 2006, but I still have an awful lot to learn. Last year I planted my garden in a bad spot – too shady and over black walnut tree roots. My garden did not grow very well and I chose a new spot for this year’s garden.

But even though I knew I wouldn’t be gardening at the old spot last year, I didn’t clear it out after the growing season was over. I wanted to see what would happen – would anything grow back?

Here are some of the things I found out there this week:

Baby lettuce! It’s much bigger than the lettuce in my gutter garden. I let the last bit of lettuce go to seed last year, and I wasn’t too surprised to find this growing. I’ve been waiting…blank

Carrots! I found them in the weeds. My daughter planted ’em last year. I’ve never had good luck growing carrots. These are the biggest carrots I’ve ever found. And they’re still pretty small and pathetic, eh? 😉

Brussel sprouts – they never died this winter. And now they’re flowering. Hmmm.

And here’s a gratuitous picture of me, driving tractor with a sleeping baby:

She was all tired out from helping me install two pea trellises. I love her shirt: Live, Love, Farm. Sounds a bit like my blog name. Looks like I either need to cut her bangs, or start fixing her hair, eh?
blankI’m most curious about the Brussel sprouts. Any experienced gardeners out there know anything about them? And the over-wintered carrots. Have I never harvested carrots before because I pick them too soon? Does anyone have a clue? 🙂

This post is linked at: Monday Barn Hop; Morris Tribe; Fat Tuesday; Frugal Tuesday; Tuesday Garden Party; Simple Lives Thursday;

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankLisa M says

    Jumped over from the barn hop. We are just getting started in this blog world. Love you site and you little ones shirt 🙂

  2. blankJami @ An Oregon Cottage says

    Hey, Michelle! You’ve got such cuties to help you on your farm. 🙂

    The brussels are a cool- weather plant and they often live through the winter- hence I always plant them for my fall garden, and harvest most of the winter. They are now done and going to seed, that’s why they’re flowering. Carrots often overwinter, though they grow more hairy roots and aren’t as lovely. Have you ever tried growing carrots in a raised bed? That’s the only way I’ve gotten long, beautiful carrots- we grow in 10″ high beds with really loose, nice soil and they love it!

    • blankMichelle says

      Thanks, Jami. Normally it’s too cold in Iowa for the brussels to survive the winters here. I was mildly surprised to see them not die – but it was such a warm winter here. Usually the bite the dust before November. 🙂 I have never tried growing carrots in a raised bed. Might have to give that a shot!! Thanks!

  3. blankLexa says

    You have a lovely garden helper! I love her tee shirt. I think you would be much happier if you planted your carrots in a raised bed. They will grow much longer and wider with loose, friable soil in which to grow. This works great for any other root crop like radish, onions, and parsnips too. Happy gardening!

    • blankMichelle says

      Thanks! I’ve been mounding my crops into raised beds of sorts…but I didn’t even try carrots last year. I have some lovely seeds to plant this year! Can’t wait to see if I get anything.

  4. blankzentMRS says

    We have leftovers too – tomatoes and peas. And strawberries. And hot chiles. Some of them may even make it through until next year!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. blankLynne Capra says

    Can I use the carrots and parsnips from last year if there aren’t any “worm holes” etc…They are a root so I’m just not sure…

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