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Garden Post #1

April 26, 2010

We’re two weeks into creating our very own vegetable garden, and so far, so good. We dabbled in gardening the summer that we lived in Minneapolis (2008), and are pretty excited to give it another shot – especially now that we’ve got plenty of room to play around with.

I’ve been hoarding plastic containers since February, and decided to use those as seed planters instead of the fancy schmancy little containers that you can plant directly into the ground.  I did this mostly because I’m cheap, but also because I have a weird obsession with hoarders.  I know.  It’s nuts. For the record, though, I did splurge on the $4 bag of special seed-growing soil.

green onions… possibly planted too close together.

We had actually stored and packed (and moved?) the seeds we bought in ’08. I totally do NOT remember doing this, so when I found them in a box with a few clay pots, I shrugged and said game on little seeds.  I didn’t think they’d be good after hiding out in a box for 2 years, but so far, they seem okay.


I’ve planted 4 varieties of peppers, tomato, and green onion.  The tomato & green onion have sprouted, but I haven’t seen much action from the peppers yet.  I’m also looking forward to planting pumpkins this year – especially since the pumpkins I planted in Minneapolis took over our backyard and I haven’t heard the end of it from J.  Yep, two years later, he’s still all why on earth did you plant those?! And then I’m all, why did I marry you?!

We also were lucky to be asked to try out seeds from Annie’s Heirloom Seeds, a semi-local farm that is just starting a seed business.  Of the seeds that the kind folks at Annie’s sent to us, we’ve planted the tomatoes & cucumbers and both are growing wonderfully.  (The lettuce & radishes – two types of each – will be planted after May 15th).

tomatoes & cucumbers (below) from Annie’s

So we’ve only invested in 5 packets of seeds: beans, onions, cilantro, basil, and oregano (total cost: $5).  All except the beans have been planted.

the herbs are growing in clay pots so that I can keep them in the kitchen year-round

Grand total for phase 1 of our gardening plan (i.e., the planting seeds phase): $9.  (I’m going to try to keep track of our spending on this project so that I can determine how much money we save (if any) by growing our own food.  I should note that our main objective in this is to have fresh food – and to have fun – not necessarily to save money.  But if I save money along the way, you can bet I’ll be *thrilled*).

Is anyone else planning a fruit/veggie garden this year?  Do you have any tips for me?  I’m totally a gardening newbee (and still just amazed that I was able to get seeds to sprout…)

15 Comments leave one →
  1. GpaGG permalink
    April 26, 2010 12:42 pm

    Good Morning country kid . . . . . .
    You should really have fun with the garden. We had one when we were flying the missionary plane in nw ontairo in the mid 80’s. I’d come home and grandma would stick her head out the window and say “what do ya want for dinner? Pick it when you come in”.
    We really had fun with patatos. We had both red and white and they grew all summer.we just started digging at the end of the row and took as many fresh ones as we needed at that moment.
    I think we just cut the eyes out of some store patatos and planted ’em. (don’t even think we had to start them in any way).
    Any way, have fun with your endevor.May fly over for dinner this summer some time.

  2. April 26, 2010 1:31 pm

    Well the “fancy” seed starting soil was a good idea! It is a must according to my local garden club. I’m a gardening newbie too but I’m focusing on perennial flower beds right now. We have so much fresh veggies grown in both of our families we can’t eat everything fast enough. Can’t wait to see how your garden turns out. Hope you don’t have problems with the dogs or wildlife digging your garden up.

  3. GGG permalink
    April 26, 2010 1:32 pm

    GpaGG is right. We had more fun with that garden! And, because we were living in the land of midnight sun it grew like wild fire. I especially liked the potatoes because you don’t know you are growing anything until you dig. Carrots grow quite well too. We also grew squash which grows much like your pumpkins. Our neighbor also showed me how to saute the squash flowers Which were very tasty. The squash kind of takes over like the pumpkins so leave space. I don’t know how big a space you have but I think we had about 20 square feet. Enjoy!

  4. April 26, 2010 1:37 pm

    Good luck on your garden this year. My first garden was last year and it was not only alot of fun; but brought a lot of food to the table. I think you certainly did good with recycling old containers as pots instead of buying those ones you plant directly in the ground (I never liked those).

    Can’t wait to see what your harvest looks like in the months to come.

  5. April 26, 2010 3:35 pm

    I’m obsessed with hoarders too. Good luck with your garden. A little manure goes a long way if you can get some. Come up to Canada and see me, I’ve got lots!

  6. April 26, 2010 4:45 pm

    I can’t wait to see how your garden turns out! I keep wanting to start one, but I haven’t gotten organized. Also, dying laughing at the “And them I’m all “why did I marry you?” 🙂

  7. mom permalink
    April 26, 2010 9:49 pm

    Would I be your mom if I didn’t offer words of advice??? Watch out for deer and bunnies, they will do you in every time so ask around and find out what to do to keep them out. Did you fence in an area? Teresa did a garden for a few years and tried only organic methods to prevent pests, you may want to email her. Also, I think you have to thin out the seedlings once they grow a few inches??? Anybody know about that? Good call on not using those pots you put right in the ground. I don’t think they degrade fast enough and the roots can tend to get rootbound. Mmmm, I see salsa in your future!

    • April 28, 2010 2:57 pm

      We haven’t quite set up our area yet, but you can bet we’ll be fencing it off…

  8. GpaGG permalink
    April 27, 2010 9:35 am

    Hey good lookin . . . .
    You didn’t mention beans i n your garden. you can’t screw up beans. They always turn out even if you ignore them. It’s a great feeling of success and they grow fast.
    PS Indiana polititians and me can’t spell POT-A-TOES

    • April 28, 2010 3:01 pm

      Yep, I’ll be growing beans! But I think I’ll start those seeds outside since they’re supposed to grow pretty fast…

  9. GpaGG permalink
    April 27, 2010 11:41 am

    Grandma meant 20 feet square not 20 square feet. Thats a lot of diggin Jason, get going!!!

  10. Tina permalink
    April 27, 2010 10:17 pm

    Hey there –
    new to your postings, live in central MN… yep, planning a garden – I actually had seeds 3 years old that have sprouted for me this year (been awhile since I had time for a garden)!! Some flowers, some veggies…. waiting another week or so to plant outdoors. I’ve had good luck with commercial potting mix to start as well, and I use regular ol’ pots too. Good luck!!

    • April 28, 2010 3:00 pm

      Thanks for commenting! Glad to hear that old seeds will continue to work… although I haven’t seen any growth from my pepper plants yet…


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