Garden Plans (Part Two)

Generious Garden Goodness

Ask and you shall receive! Thanks to my readers I’ve had much to ponder about my garden this week.  Last week’s gardening post was basically a random wish list.  My first garden was rather small, but very successful (we’re still enjoying peppers from our freezer).  After realizing that my black thumb is now green orange, I’d like to expand our home-grown produce options this summer.

Humbled by my own ignorance as I read through the comments, I learned so much and am ready to push forward with garden planning!

  • According to Kristen, FishMama, and Kristy T, green beans are not as much work as I thought they were.  Jen says to go with dwarf beans.  They grew some in containers!
  • Apparently asparagus takes forever to grow, but also lasts forever.  (I had no idea!)  Jennifer and Lynn both say it will be five years before we can even harvest it!  I was fascinated by Joelle’s story:  her grandmother was doing some research and found HER grandmother’s transplanted asparagus, thriving 100 years after it was planted!
  • Angie’s gardening posts are very informative.  I especially enjoyed reading the benefits of having a family garden, and her answers to her reader’s gardening questions.  You must visit her blog for gorgeous garden produce pictures, too!  Oh, and she talks about planting her lettuce in pots.  Very interesting… maybe that’s how I’ll decorate my front porch!  ;-)
  • Kristen encouraged me to soak my seeds before planting.  Seeds still freak me out, but I’ll definitely try soaking them.
  • Susie, oh Susie!  Putting me to shame with her indoor garden that she is harvesting at this very minute!  Look no further than Susie’s gardening posts for some serious inspiration!
  • Phoebe’s got a big head start with her 63 packets of heirloom seeds!  You can bet I’ll be tuning in to her garden progress this spring and summer.
  • Kim mentioned making starter pots out of newspaper.  That sounds quite frugal and “green.”
  • I found a fantastic post by Stephanie on container gardening.  For those of you with space issues or who want to spruce up your patio areas (that’s me!) container gardening is a possibility I hadn’t thought of.
  • Deanne recommends the book Square Foot Gardening. Quoting Deanne, “We had spinach, beets, radishes, lettuces, cilantro, rosemary, two basils, thyme, sage, chives, lemongrass, shallots, tomatoes, onions, and other odds and ends last year all in one 2 ft by 8 ft bed.”

In light of all this wonderful information, my immediate thoughts and garden plans:

  • Leave the asparagus to the professionals.  I’m working on my patience, but I can’t wait five years!
  • Borrow Square Foot Gardening from the library.
  • Think seriously about planting green beans, and letting my kids do the snapping.  ;-)
  • Get a few containers for my patio area.  I think strawberry plants are so pretty.  Maybe I’ll do those in containers.
  • Gather supplies and seeds and get ready for planting!

Growing your own food is most certainly a frugal and healthy means of feeding your family.  I can’t wait to see how a larger garden will reduce our grocery bill!

How are your garden plans and preparations coming along?  I welcome your advice and links to gardening posts!

Be sure to visit Finding Freedom Friday and Frugal Friday for more money-saving inspiration.

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Comments

  1. Oh I love the garden topic, can’t believe I missed all the talk. We love to garden and always have a huge summer garden and this year we had a huge winter garden. You can check out my most recent post with tons of garden pics here.

    http://newlyweds.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/garden-variety-week-14/

  2. Great stuff Amy! I can’t wait to spend some time reading through all these links.

    Will you send us some fresh green beans? :)

  3. Hi Amy! Thanks for the link!

    I just wanted to mention that when you purchase asparagus roots from a nursery (I like Four Seasons) they are usually already 2 years old. You will get a small crop the first year, and a decent one the next year and by third year you will have more than you can eat! Home grown asparagus is out of this world! Just thought I would share that!

    It is still snowing here and I can’t even think of gardening yet, but you are definitely inspiring me :)

  4. I’ve just stumbled upon your blog but I have to say- I love love love square foot gardening!!! It is amazing!! Good luck with it..the book is much help. Our library has old videos that have been converted to DVDs (from a pbs show or something). HOrrible quality but very informative!!!

    I can’t wait to get my SFG in!!!

    Kristi

  5. I think you will like the ‘Square Foot Garden” book. I used to have a copy of the first printing and used it while I was in Colorado. I had a house with a large yard. My gardens were all raised bed then. Now I live in a townhouse 4-plex with a small cement patio as the only space available. We will be doing some containers for tomatoes, peppers and other plants.

  6. Thank you soooo much for posting all the info/links! It will definitely help hopefully turn my brown thumb to green with container gardening. The kids have made plans for some things they’d like – tomatoes, mint. WE’re going to only do a few things, so we don’t get overwhelmed. :D Have a great Friday!

  7. WHOA, that post made me TIRED!!! We should have a hayday with our blogs & our gardens, cause my thumb is abt like yours!! I think we are trying Green Beans too!

  8. Amy, Thanks for putting together this great set of resources. I am SURE I’ll be referencing this post A LOT this spring. I’ll add ti to my favorites!

  9. I would second the square foot gardening book, our veggie yields have been so much greater using this method. I love it. I have a container that I tried strawberries in a couple of years ago, but the deer ate them and they never came back. I think I might try again, I love strawberries.

  10. I can’t wait to get to reading the blogs that you linked to.

    Great stuff!

    I was also going to say what someone else already mentioned about the asparagus. I had no idea it took so long to harvest (I was told 2 yrs-not 5) but if you can wait it out, it is definitely worth it. I guess we’ll see!

  11. I am planning a Friday Gardening Meme where we can all learn together how to do things… we started more seeds this morning. I am working on a gardening post right now, and I have a friend making a button. Keep checking back in the next couple days and we’ll all post our sites so we can learn from each other.

    Carri (whose thumb is also slightly orange…)

  12. Thanks for the shout out!! That’s pretty cool:-)

  13. I have the garden post on my blog now: http://www.petersonclan.com/2009/02/garden-notes-2-27-09.html

    I’ll have the Garden Club set up by next Friday, I hope!

  14. I was ouside thinning my letuce and replanting it in new spots today (this keeps my lettuce big and makes for no wasted seedlings). It’s warm here; I also put another tomato plant out in the garden today.

    I have several gardening links for you here, plus pictures of my garden:

    http://theprudenthomemaker.com/thekitchengarden.aspx

    I second getting 2-year-old aspargus plants from the nursery.

    Also, realize that just because you may have a small yard doesn’t mean you can’t plant a garden. You can mix flowers and fruits and vegetables, in formal or informal ways. I like togo squash under the peach trees and herbs under the citrus. I am working this year on more effectively using every inch of space all year round (I can grow year-round here).

    We are eating a lot from our garden right now; last week I harvested a 3lb turnip! (I never knew I liked turnips until I tried planting them last fall! They grow quickly, and can be prepared in so many ways!)

  15. I Sometimes start my sprouts in a unflavored jello mix (jello cooled before I add seeds) and transplant them out as they sprout.

  16. We just got our seeds in the mail and we’ll be starting on our garden soon. Thanks for gathering all this great information!
    -Kim

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