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Tag Archives: vegetable garden

  • Plants to grow in your backyard

    I've only been using our container vegetable garden for about 2 years.   I'm always wondering and researching what plants to grow next.  Last year, most plants were starter plants either from the market or from our local Lowe's store.  Some came from seed packets.  This year, I decided to grow everything from seed.  Piper helped me pick out our seed packets back in December.  We picked the following plants to grow: broccoli, asparagus, black seeded Simpson green lettuce, rainbow swiss chards, eggplants and cauliflower.

    Plants to grow Photo taken January 14, 2013

     

    So far, I'd say the seeds have done wonderfully.  I say this because I just started with the same soil that was used last year.  Yes, I should have added more potting soil and I will definitively do that when I start my next bed.  I'm what you might call a "hands off" gardener.  I am not good at watering the container garden every day.  It's too much pressure, and honestly I don't have the time.  Even my daughters had to chime in when I planted new seeds and didn't water them right away.  I figured, it was a watering day, so the sprinklers would water them soon enough.  I also do not add fertilizers or pesticides to my container bed.  If it's going to grow, it will grow.  That's my motto.

     

    Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce Plants to grow Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce

    I've had great success with the Black Seeded Simpson Green Lettuce.  The Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce is very tender with a beautiful green color and has a nice taste.  It's an early lettuce, so it will take about 45 days or less to grow from seed.  Since planting it back in December, I've harvested it twice.  Both times, I filled up 1 1/2 one-gallon ziploc bags.

     

    Rainbow Swiss Chard plants to grow Rainbow Swiss Chard

    Another great plant to grow in your backyard garden container is the Rainbow Swiss Chard.  I grew these from starter plants last year and was so successful, I decided to grow them from seed this year.  Not only does Swiss chard taste amazing, the beautiful mixture of fuscia, gold, orange and red looks wonderful in any garden.  The leaves will mature into bunches in about 50 to 60 days.  I harvested mine a few weeks back when we had a cold front coming in and I was able to  fill up 1 one-gallon ziploc bag.

     

    The broccoli plants are looking really good.  They have grown about a foot and a half and have the most beautiful grayish blue green color.  Broccoli takes 50 to 60 days to mature, so mine should be coming up soon.  The cauliflower plants are also doing pretty good, but they have only grown about a foot.  Cauliflower matures in 50 to 70 days, so I have a bit of time to go.  As for the eggplant seeds we planted, those have not come up.  I believe they didn't survive.

     

    Plants to grow Asparagus Fuzzy "cat tail" like Asparagus growing.

    The most interesting seed packet out of this bunch is the asparagus.  We decided to grow it mostly out of curiosity.  These cute little "fuzzy trees" started coming up and I couldn't figure out if it was asparagus or just some weed.  After searching through Google, I think I have some asparagus seedlings growing!  Let's keep our fingers crossed and maybe in two years, I'll actually be able to harvest it.

     

    Here are some good sources to help you decide what plants to grow:

    How Long Until Harvest

    Fall for Broccoli

    Renee's Garden

     

     

  • How does your garden grow?

    About a month ago, I finally had some time to clear the weeds out of our vegetable growing box and decided to plant some seeds for the winter growing season.  This is something I started to do with the girls last year just for fun.  I think its important for kids to know where their food comes from.  After looking through our seed packets, my assistant picked broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, lettuce, eggplant and swiss chards.

    After choosing the packets, it was time to get to work.  My assistant insisted she had to be properly dressed in order to begin her garden. :)  Who am I to argue with her?

    Carefully selecting the seeds.

    A gentle pat on the ground to cover the seeds.  Around the gardening box we went.  Last year we had great success with the cauliflower and broccoli plants we bought from Lowes.  So, I'm really curious to see how we do with them because this time we are starting from seed.  So far, with very minimal care I must add, the chards, lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli seem to be going at full speed.

    This picture was taken about 20 days after planting.  Previously we've had problems with snails and slugs.  After a quick google search, I learned that ground coffee beans have been used to combat slugs and snails.  So, off to Starbucks I went!  It seems to be working so far.  I've also learned that ground coffee beans are great as mulch.  I'd say its probably time for me to pick some more up!

    Here are some other useful links on growing vegetables at home:

     

     

     

  • Backyard fruits and vegetables

    Last summer I decided to grow some fruits and vegetables at home as a teaching experience for my two little girls.  I think it's very important for children to know where their food comes from.  It all started with a trip to Lowe's.  They had a raised bed on display at their garden center entrance.  As soon as I got back to the market, I couldn't wait to tell Jim about my "summer project".

    photo

    These "raised beds" are fairly inexpensive if you are handy.  There are lots of raised bed tutorials online.  I wish I had pictures of Dad and Jim putting together our raised bed.  I have asked them to build me another one, so maybe I can do another post on how to build one.

    I filled our raised bed with the potting soil we sell at the market and picked some fruit and vegetable plants right from our market: blueberries, raspberries, and tomatoes.   We also planted sunflower seeds.

    Late last year, we tried broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, swiss chard, strawberry onions and peppers from starting plants.  We also planted carrot and lettuce from seeds.  I take a very relax approach to my garden.  I mostly leave it alone.  I let the sprinklers water the plants unless it was a real scorcher of a day.  I can say we had good success with the broccoli, cauliflower, and the swiss chards.  The pepper plants died in the first freeze we had, but at least they were fun to pick.

    We've eaten a few "baby" carrots and some "mini" strawberry onions (nothing like you see at our market).  A few weeks back I saw this and could hardly contain my excitement.

    Those are raspberry flowers!  I couldn't believe the "wait" was over.  You see, we planted blueberries too and had enjoyed a few of them already.  But it has taken the raspberry a year to bloom and produce these beautiful berries.

    But the best part of it all, was having the girls come rushing in last night to tell me we had raspberries growing in our backyard.  To hear their little voices filled with excitement and accomplishment is priceless.  Have you tried growing veggies or fruits in your backyard?  Were you successful?

     

     

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