If you know me at all, you know that I have what I like to call a brown thumb. Most plants and flowers (with the exception of a few succulents) have perished on account of my negligence or overbearance. I either forget to water or water too much, or don’t weed, or don’t put it in a place where it will get sun, or let the cats chew on it, etc. etc. I kind of suck. But when we bought our house a year and half ago I noticed that it came with some lovely raised garden boxes in the backyard. ‘I could grow stuff in there!’ I valiantly thought at first, but fear overcame and those boxes remained empty. Until now.
I recently gained a sister-in-law this past summer and she is the BESTEST. In addition to being awesome, funny, smart, gorgeous, and the sweetest lady you could ever meet, she is also an EXCELLENT gardener. She spent her childhood growing everything under the sun with her parents and now she is my saving grace. Say hi to Kathryn, everyone!
Kathryn graciously agreed to help me overcome my fear of the garden boxes and plant my own veggie garden! We met up at Lowes and we picked out starter plants, based on her expertise and suggestions. I seriously would’ve been overwhelmed by all the options! Since my veggie garden is in a sunny spot, we picked things that do well in full sun and ended up with the following: cherry tomatoes, snap peas, green onions, a lettuce mix, some strawberries, and spearmint. We got our hands dirty, filled the boxes with dirt and planted my little starters!
I just love the little green veggie plants and I can’t wait for them to produce some great healthy things that we can eat! I’ve always wanted to try growing some of our own food to cut down on costs and to be healthier, and now I’m finally going to do it!
Kathryn also gave me some great tips for maintaining and caring for my new veggie garden.
1. When harvesting lettuce, cut leaves from the outside and about 1/2 inch from the ground, leaving the center leaves intact.
2. To make your spearmint a nice bush instead of a tall straggly mess, trim off the tops above a set of leaves – this will cause the plant to grow out sideways into a nice bush! She also said don’t leave clippings anywhere you don’t want mint to sprout – ’cause it will grow anywhere you leave it!
3. Help snap peas find the trellis by setting a chopstick between the pea plant and the bottom of your trellis – this will help them find the right direction more quickly!
4. Make sure you leave enough space between tomato plants because those guys get BIG.
5. Don’t overwater! Water every couple of days unless it’s been really hot and dry.
I’m super excited for the mint so we can make some mojitos and tea 😉
Look! I’ve even got a little cherry tomato already growing! (It came from Lowes like that but I can pretend it’s all my doing, right? 😉 )
I’m looking forward to being able to go out into my own backyard and harvest things we can bring straight to the table. I may have sucked at taking care of plants in the past, but I vow to work extra hard on my veggie garden so it will be a success. I will have a green thumb if it’s the last thing I do! A HUGE thanks again to Kathryn for getting me started on this endeavor. I don’t know if I could have made the leap without her!
Do any of you have a veggie garden? If so, what do you plant? Any tips or tricks to share with this clueless blogger?