July 2, 2015

Grow it

In the past when we used to live in apartment condos we tried our hand at container gardening. We didn't really put much thought into it - just picked up some soil, seeds and containers and that was pretty much it. No consideration really to sunlight, or when to sow {what frost dates?} or trimming, and we failed year in and year out. Our lettuce always grew leggy, perilla leaves eventually all died out along with our flowers. 

Then I learned a little something about sunlight, frost dates and trimming. Boy were they important. 

When we closed on our house last year there was so much potential for this space of ours - of course renovations which will come eventually but most definitely a garden - vegetables, herbs and flowers. So when spring rolled around we spent most of our weekends at The Home Depot and Lowe's and our local garden center where we bought most of our supplies and some of our seeds {most were bought at All Good Things Organic Seeds after I saw Nicole mention it on her wonderful My Garden Diaries blog}. 

Right now our vegetable garden is thriving. Sure we didn't do so well on some -- like our Galilee Spinach, which have all but yellowed and withered away, and only two of our Green Onions made it -- but most are doing well. Our perilla leaves are exploding and so is our lettuce. We have been eating them for lunch and dinner and they taste delicious. The only issue we have is that we have too many! 

Here is a full list of what we planted -- 

Vegetable/fruit seeds from All Good Things Organic Seeds 
 // Ida Gold Tomato 
 // Broad Windsor Fava Bean
 // Danvers 126 Carrot
 // Detroit Dark Red Beet 
 // Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
 // Galilee Spinach 

Vegetable seeds from our local garden center 
 // Green onions 

Vegetable seeds from the Korean market 
 // Crown Daisy 
 // Perilla Leaf

Herbs from All Good Things Organic Seeds
 // Sweet Green Basil
 // Flat Leaf Italian Parsley 
 // Thyme

Herbs from our local garden center 
 // Rosemary
 // Mint
 // Lemon Balm

Flowers from our local garden center 
 // Poppy 
 // Camellia-Flowered Balsam
 // Marigold {petite french dwarf}
 // Lavender
 // Sunflower {elf}

Some flowers and herbs were sowed were for strategic reasons - like our lavender, marigolds and lemon balms which are supposed to deter mosquitos. Others were planted because we have a fondness for them {balsams and poppies}.

Unfortunately though our poppies have all but died and so have our parsley {the container didn't drain well and it got watered out after we had some severe storms}. I had mentioned our spinach also have yellowed and we'll be pulling them out of our garden today. For some reason only some of our crown daisies have made it and only two green onions have sprouted. I am a little scared for our fava beans as it looks like most have dried out but we will continue to see if they start forming {there is currently one that has fully formed}. 

All in all we're pretty happy with our gardening experience. We're still learning - even simple concepts.

Next time we'll invest in better draining containers, hold up beans and tomatoes earlier {! -- we ended up purchasing these bamboo stakes and gardener's blue ribbon. I think the tomatoes are fine but we waited too long for our beans and they began to twist before we supported them on stakes. Also planning out our gardening beds will be done differently - I didn't realize that perilla leaves grew to be so tall and should have been in the back not in the front. 

In the distant future I hope to replace the shrubs that run along the side of our home with azaleas and I would love to grow peonies, too. We also have two trees out front we want to replace with crabapples but plans for that is really in the distant distant future. 

What are some things you're growing {or dreaming of growing} in your garden? 

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