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Growing Greener: Container Gardening

June 8, 2011

Lately I’ve been thinking about my granddad’s garden. He had the most amazing garden, and when I was a little girl I would wander between the rows, and eat cherry tomatoes right off the vines, or pick strawberries for my grandma when she wanted to make us strawberry shortcake. That garden had it all: Sunflowers, corn, tomatoes, melons, beans, zucchini, and berries. I should have known then that I was destined to have my own garden, but until my own children were born it wasn’t something I thought much about.

Now that my babies aren’t babies anymore, I decided the time is right to start a garden. Oh, and to give you all a bit of insight to my personality, it would be an understatement to say I have a bit of on obsessive personality. I tend to throw myself 1000% into whatever I’m into at the moment. Sometimes I’m successful, but often I crash and burn! Just a few months ago I decided that I wanted to learn how to sew so that we would never have to buy sweatshop, child labor clothing again. My hubby’s aunt gave me a little sewing machine, and I immediately went to YouTube to learn how to make cloth napkins. It was a disaster – I’m clueless when it comes to sewing, and I certainly don’t know my way around a sewing machine. I found a woman in town who gives sewing lessons, but since I’m at home with the kids during the day, and at work in the evenings, sewing lessons just aren’t possible right now. Sewing will have to wait.

My first instinct with the garden was to till up a big chunk of our yard, bring in an expensive pile of garden soil and compost, and get to work on a huge garden. Somehow, the voice of reason spoke loud enough to tell me to “simmer down,” and start with a manageable garden. I decided to do a bit of container gardening on the deck, to see if my thumb is green or black. So far, I have 2 varieties of pepper plants, 2 varieties of tomato plants, a mix of leaf lettuces, and some herbs (cilantro, rosemary, & mint). My mom has quite the green thumb, so she started the pepper & tomato seedlings in her window; and I found the herb & lettuce seedlings at the farmers market. I also got some cilantro & lettuce seeds, and have planted them as well, with hopes to prolong my harvest. The herbs are doing well, and it’s really fun to go snip some of my own cilantro when I’m making guacamole, or add sprigs of mint to my water anytime I’m feeling froggy. I’ve been harvesting lettuce for a few weeks now, and its delicious.  It has been really hot here, so I’m not sure how the newest lettuce seeds I started will do. If they don’t thrive, I’ll try again late summer for some fall mixes.

Be sure to allow for good drainage!

The seedlings weeks ago.

Herbs & Dalias growing vertically!*

*I have to mention that I got this garden gate for free on Freecycle! Someone was willing to part with it, and now it’s enjoying a new home in my front flower bed. I have veggies out the back door, and herbs out the front. It’s great!

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