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!)
The second box has
- Green beans
- Nasturtiums (a beautiful, edible flower that Rose picked out.)
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?