When we were looking for a new house last fall, one of the things I looked for was a backyard that got a significant amount of sun. I wanted a garden because it is the only solution to my food dilemma that I have found. It can keep costs for organic foods down, the food doesn’t travel miles and miles to get to your tummy, and you have the satisfaction of growing it yourself.
This past weekend, I finally installed a little garden patch. It’s a 4’x4′ square because I figured I should start small and then add on if this one is successful (which I’m hoping will mean another square in the fall, and then another for next spring). I ended up going with a kit that I got at lowe’s because it was becoming obvious to me that we weren’t going to have the time or energy to build it from scratch. This kit was super easy to put together. You just slide the brackets together and you’re done. No screwing anything in, or nailing. . . The wood is cedar, which is naturally longer lasting and repels bugs. We dug a little trench about 2″ deep to set the frame into, pulled up some grass, laid down some cardboard and then put down weed barrier fabric. You can see how we wrapped the fabric up the sides and stapled it in place in the picture below. We still need to get a few more bags of compost to fill the garden up.
I also decided to try and sprout a few plants from seed to see if I could get anything to grow. I’m trying my hand at jalapenos, brandywine heirloom tomatoes, banana peppers, chives, bell peppers, bibb lettuce, thyme, basil, sage, squash and pickling cucumbers.We’ll see what decides to sprout and go from there!
A while back, Jason had sent me an article that showcased this idea of growing your herbs vertically. I thought it was a fantastic idea to maximize your gardening area! Instead of planting herbs in my square foot garden, I decided to put them in this canvas shoe organizer (the four blank ones are waiting for the chives to sprout). I love that the water just drains down from the top through each plant down to the bottom, watering each level. You can’t see it in this picture, but there’s a trough at the bottom with basil planted to catch the very last little drips. Another thing I like about it is that the awning of our house shades the top, but the rest get full sun, which means I can plant mint (part-shade) at the top and then have full sun herbs at the bottom.
I have cilantro, parsley, thyme, lemon thyme, salad greens, dill, sage, mint, basil, oregano and hopefully soon, chives! So exciting that I can just grab fresh herbs from my patio now! Let’s hope that my garden will produce some vegetables to go with those herbs!