My Garden Grows

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Both my mother and father have incredibly green thumbs, so gardening should come very easy to me, right? WRONG!

My mother has been known to pinch a piece off a plant on a walk, while on vacation, stick it in her purse, fly home, stick it in a cup, then in the ground, and viola a giant vine is climbing her rock wall.

My father grows so much produce each summer that after eating nothing but homegrown for months and stuffing two over sized freezers full, he still has boxes and boxes to give away to anyone he knows.

Inspired by them and motivated by a desire to feed Carson the absolute best, I decided to plant a garden last summer. I used cinder blocks to make two 10 foot beds along the side of my Dallas house, filled them with organic soil and bought tons of plants and herbs. At nap time each morning I walked around and watered, watching them grow slowly. The herbs did ok, not great, but the vegetables did nothing.

It was depressing!

Surprisingly I was not deterred. I assume gardening is like most other things, you have to fail a few times first to figure it out? I wondered if it was my insistence on organic fertilizer, it is much weaker then the standard Miracle Grow and such.

I was given this great book called, Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces. I read it cover to cover and decided to give it another go. This time I skipped the beds and avoided the cost by cleaning up a big pot I found in the yard of our rental, used an old bench, and up-cycled
a few tomato cans. I used the same fish emulsion for fertilizer and followed the guidelines from the book on planting things together. I actually started them all in the same big pot and then added the other pots on the bench and moved things around once the tomatoes really started to grow.

It is small, but it has been making me very happy! I water in the morning and fertilize every two weeks. I have split most of the herbs at least two times. I put them in new cans and give them to friends. Now that the tomatoes are growing I have been eating them for breakfast with avocado. The basil plants put out enough to have pesto at least once a week. It has been endlessly satisfying and I can't wait to grow more!

Current Inventory includes:
  • 2 cherry tomato plants
  • 3 banana pepper plants
  • 4 basil
  • 2 rosemary
  • 2 oregano
  • 1 thyme
  • 1 mint
  • 1 chive
This small success is giving me the confidence to plant lots more come fall. I'm hoping that since they are in containers I might even be able to bring them in and keep them growing longer. The rosemary should last all year, I think. Anyone else gardening this summer? Tips?


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