A Peak at Our Garden

For the first time since moving here almost four years ago, we will not be gone for months this summer. For some reason, gardens don’t do very well when you entirely neglect them for the months of June, July and/or August. Odd, isn’t it?

Though we are moving in August, the chance to have a garden and actually be here for much of the growing season was too tempting.

Even if things don’t grow, what could be more fun when you’re two than digging in the dirt, with Mama’s full blessing?

Joshua made three little garden boxes for me when we first moved, but so far all gardening efforts have “failed.” I’m hoping to prove the failure was due to the fact of my absence, not presence. (I have had a successful garden in the past!)

Knowing what a temptation seed catalogs can be, I made out a very specific list of what I wanted before looking through the seed catalog. That helped fight the temptation to order half a dozen interesting vegetables that we probably wouldn’t eat.

Plus, as I kept telling myself, when you properly store heirloom seeds, you can use them for years. (If your property manager doesn’t accidentally throw them away–but that’s a long story.) Next year I can add to my collection and buy those pretty zucchini squash seeds.

I ordered beans, cucumber, yellow squash, basil, and spinach seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. (Their heirloom seeds are very affordable and they’ve got great selection and customer service!)

We also walked to a local gardening store to pick up four pepper and cherry tomato plants. While there, we noticed a bin of clearanced herb and flower seeds. They were old, but for 20 cents a packet worth trying. The kids had lots of fun picking out a packet (and I ended up getting to satisfy my “I want to buy lots of seeds” urge for less than $2.)

I used this companion plant listing to plan the garden.

In the first box we planted

  • Four bell pepper plants
  • Three almost cherry tomato plants
  • Lots of garlic (to help with pest control)
  • 20 cent Calendula/marigold seeds (also to help with pest control and make homemade lotion!)
  • Basil
  • Oregano

The second box has

I’m waiting to plant the final box til we get more compost. Dear friends gave us mint and lemon balm plants, which (following your suggestions!) are planted outside the garden boxes.

Baker Creek Seeds sent a free packet of lettuce seeds with our order! It’s already fairly hot down here, so those are inside.

So far, even the old, clearance seeds have sprouted! Now if only my little helpers and I can avoid drowning the plants and keep a scorge of lubber grasshoppers at bay, maybe we’ll actually have a garden this year.

Are you planting a garden? If so, what are you most excited about growing? 


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  1. says

    That sounds like fun. We haven’t done a thing with our garden this year. It is usually Dad who does it and he has been busy. I’m guessing we’ll have tomatoes and green beans. Not sure what else. We’ll be gone off an one this month and some in May and June helping with conventions for Light of Faith. I hope your garden grows well. 🙂 Enjoy it!

  2. says

    Anna…I love it! This year I am growing my first garden (helping mom with her previous gardens doesn’t count, lol). I am planting a lot of the same things you are with the addition of a handful more herbs, cabbage, kale, garlic and onions! Yum…fresh veggies! Up here the weather has been such a challenge… 70’s in March and 30’s in April with no rain. This should be an interesting adventure! I hope your garden (and mine) does well! 🙂

    • anna says

      Wow! What a wide swing! That’s crazy.

      The bugs here have been crazy. I’m hoping the garden makes it. I’ve already stopped on dozens and dozens of lubber grasshoppers, but they seem to keep popping up. It makes me even more grateful that we always have food. I really hope both of our gardens do well, but I’m grateful it’s not all we have to eat. 🙂

  3. says

    I think I’m most excited about the tomato plants – I ordered a lot of seeds from Baker Creek too (and I do mean a lot – if you ever want me to send you any, I can give you a list!) I started them about six weeks ago and it’s amazing that they are already five or six inches tall and growing almost a half an inch a day, and that’s in my basement! I just gave a friend some seedlings and felt like I was sending off some of my children to college, almost wanting to tell them that they needed to grow up and do what they were intended to do :).

    • anna says

      Haha! The pictures of your tomatoes are amazing–no wonder you’re attached to them. 🙂

      And thanks! What a sweet offer! I wish we lived closer and I could just pop over for a visit! We’re keeping the garden really simple this year since we have to move the end of July/beginning of August. Next year I have big dreams though!

  4. says

    This is great, I hope your garden blossoms for you and your family! We are moving this weekend and I hope to start a garden next year, if not this year. I’m excited to grow veggies that we use a lot of- especially those we use in juicing and my smoothies- we will save a lot!

    • anna says

      Happy moving! We’ve got a move coming up the end of July/beginning of August. I’m hoping the veggies arrive before we have to leave. 🙂

  5. Ema Shekarchi says

    I planted banana peppers last year which grew very well. I took seeds from the peppers, dried them and tried planting those seeds that I harvested this year. My problem is that every single seed I tried never grew or sprouted. What did I do wrong…they never even sprouted in the pot. I used miracle grow potting mix for vegetables, I kept them watered (moist not drenched) and nothing.

    • anna says

      Awww, bummer! I wish I knew what went wrong. I’m afraid I’ve not planted saved seeds before (at least not by myself… I remember planting some in my grandma’s garden a decade or two ago!) Did you store them in an airtight container?

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