Last summer I decided that it would be fun to have a small container garden. I thankfully realized it was not the right time for me to try it out since I was expecting Michael to arrive in the middle of August. I kept the thought planted in my mind (pun intended) and talked about it occasionally during the winter with Steve.
I have never considered myself to have a green thumb or to really enjoy digging in the dirt. However, I decided to try a garden for a few reasons. The first is that I do think it is important that my children understand how we really get our food. It doesn’t just magically appear in a grocery store. I wanted to see if it would be more economical for me to grow some of my favorite summer produce like yellow squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. I don’t like tomatoes, but I do have a tomato plant and two grape tomato plants for Steve and the girls to enjoy. I also thought it would be a fun project for the girls and I to have this summer. The girls love the PBS Show Sid the Science Kid and are always talking about making scientific observations. What better way to make observations than to watch our seeds grow, our plants produce fruits and vegetables, and to harvest them ourselves.
I did some on-line research and talked to several people about what I should try to plant and the best approach. We decided on three 3X3X12 planters. We went to Lowe’s and had them cut the wood. Steve put them together for me. We bought the soil at Lowe’s because they had a special on it that weekend and the plants at Strange’s, a local greenhouse and garden center. We also bought two large pots to place on our patio.
This is what it looked like when we planted everything last Saturday (with a special thanks to my photographer Natalie):
One of our planter boxes. The area that they are in has a slope so we made an attempt to level the ground out underneath them as much as possible.
We filled them about 3/4 of the way with topsoil then covered them with landscape cloth to try to keep “critters” from coming up and getting our plants. (We probably should have used a layer of wire mesh at the bottom but we didn’t. I think the squirrels are going to be more of a problem. Any tips?)
I cut out areas to plant the plants through the landscape cloth. This bed has yellow squash and the holes are where I planted seeds for butternut squash. We did cover the cloth with a very light layer of soil. (My photographer had gotten bored at that point and I didn’t get a picture.)
My strawberry plants in a pot. They have produced a few berries, but I think either squirrels or birds are eating them. Any advice?
The final census of what we planted in our garden are 7 cucumber plants, 8 zucchini plants, 8 yellow squash plants, 4 banana pepper plants, 1 tomato plant, 2 grape tomato plants, 2 strawberry plants, and seeds for at least 3 butternut squash.
I’ll try my best to keep you posted on my progress and the trial and error of attempting my first garden.