A couple weekends ago, I dragged Eric to Lowe's to buy the wood for my raised garden bed (wait, who am I kidding...dragged him to Lowe's? that kid would go there every chance he could get). Anyway, it was such a fun Sunday afternoon activity together; the weather was gorgeous and in no time, we had a lovely garden box nailed together! We dumped the various kinds of compost, peat moss, and vermiculite (fun word to say - had never heard of the stuff until 2 weeks ago) into the box as I marvelled at my beautiful, rich soil just waiting, begging me to fill it with all types of veggies, promising to take good care of their roots. Then off to the Farmer's Market to buy my little plants; sure, I could have started them all from seed, but why? I need all the help I can get and those trusty farmers do all the hard work getting them going for me. The only vegetable I am growing from seed is my carrots, but apparently there is no way around that one.
Here is my earthy soil, getting all settled in and happy.The next picture is so you can see in perspective where the garden is in relation to the house. The herb garden is going to be in line with the chimney - just right of the vegetable bed. That project is to be completed as soon as it stops storming and raining!
So, after the garden was all ready to go, I met Erin, Susan, and Allison at the Farmer's Market - each with our own "plant lists" in hand. Ya'll, it was hilarious - while Allison and I were wandering around relying solely on the information Erin and Susan could lend us, those two looked like little kids in a candy store. No joke. They are garden gurus and know their plants like the back of their hands! I am looking around thinking it all looks the same: GREEN. Meanwhile, Erin is saying to Susan, "Oh, wow, did you see the dowzeguds?" (I'm filling in the blank for the words I didn't recognize) And Susan would say, "Yeah, amazing, huh? Check out those weiijimas. I just can't resist getting a few of those." Back and forth, their admiration was so inspiring and contagious that I found myself following them around, oohing and ahhing when deemed appropriate, even though I had no clue what I was looking at. The flowers seemed lovely and that was good enough for me and my uneducated plant eye. :) I was pretty proud of myself when I did spot a few familiar flowers; I would see a gerber daisy or geraniums and think to myself, "ah! I know this one!" What a fun Saturday morning together with friends!!
Armed with everything I needed, we loaded up and Erin drove all the way over to help me plant them. I am SO thankful she did; I would not have gotten those tomatoes plants off to the right start without her! My poor little cherry tomato plant was pretty sad by the time we got home, but after 3 days in the soil with water, it perked right back up! Amazing.
Here, Erin is planting my "early girl" tomato plant. She showed me how to do the first one and let me attempt the others. She was a very good teacher, which is evidenced by the fact that a week later, all the plants I put in are still in the soil and are already growing! ;)
Here are a few shots of my finished garden - hooray!
In the picture below: From top left -> right
row 1: tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon
row 2: jalapeno peppers, banana peppers, 2 sweet potato plants (those will go in after May 15th...the 'slips' weren't ready yet
row 3: basil, 2 yellow pepper plants, sweet potatoes
row 4: carrots (from seed as you can see), 2 red pepper plants, and one more sweet potato plant.I did lots of sweet potatoes because a) Eric and I both love 'em b) they will do well while we are out of town since they are not harvested until August. A perfect low-maintenance veggie.
The happy gardeners! What a sense of accomplishment!
Just the next morning, I already had a chance to use some basil from my garden in a breakfast frittata! It was so fun to just go outside and bring in what I needed for what I was cooking. I am looking forward to many more opportunities to enjoy fresh, organic produce grown by in my own backyard! What a rewarding and worthwhile adventure I have embarked on! ;)