imthatkay

I’m a gardening fool

In Random on June 21, 2015 at 9:59 pm

Fiance and I decided we wanted to try gardening this year.  He had helped his parents with their garden when he was younger, and I once had a pitiful attempt at a window sill herb garden.  This was a first for us both to really try to garden.  We knew it was going to take work, but we were looking forward to it. Not only would we have vegetables readily available, but we would save a little money – never mind the fact that “fresh” selections at our local grocery stores seemed to be suffering lately and it was becoming more and more difficult to not overpay for a set of anything just to have to throw half of it out the very next day because it was already going bad.

We also enjoy supporting our local and small businesses, so we decided against seed packets from a chain store.  Instead we visited a nearby farmer and his wife who run a greenhouse next to their home.  He cut us a great deal: we were handed a plastic tray that held up to 12 plants.  We filled that tray and purchased 1 extra plant all for just $20.  Because it was our first garden, we stuck to things we felt would be easiest: 4 different kinds of peppers, 3 different kinds of tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumber.

We immediately went home and began transplanting them into our Earth Boxes, which are AMAZING, by the way.  I highly recommend using them.  They come with supplements and make it impossible to over water or underwater as long as you don’t let the reservoir go completely dry.  I also found some sites online that show you how to make your own earth box of you don’t want to spend the money on one.  We just used a regular bag of garden soil from Wal-Mart and the packets of dolomite and plant food that come with the Earth Boxes.

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Jalapeños, sweet peppers, banana peppers, bell peppers, and cucumbers on the left. Rutgers tomatoes, German tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini in the right.

Now, we knew the plants were going to outgrow the Earth Boxes – and did they ever, very quickly.  But we already had a plan. We just needed to get our fencing and prepare a spot in out backyard to till. Then it would be a real garden.  So after about 2 weeks, we did just that, mixing in another large bag of garden soil with the dirt as we tilled it.

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We transplanted all the tomatoes and zucchini into the yard.  The pepper plants and cucumber were growing so well that we decided they wouldn’t need transplanted into the yard and could remain in the Earth Boxes.

We water them all at night and aerate the garden in the mornings when it starts too look too packed down.  I swear, these plants doubled in size in no time and suddenly our german, 2 Rutgers, and the cherry tomato plant had little tiny tomatoes.  The our jalapenos, sweet, and banana peppers started to grow.  Before we even knew they were growing we found 2 ready-to-pick cucumbers.  I was so excited that I used the first few peppers in the dinner I cooked on the day I picked them.  I sliced our first cucumber to pack in Fiance’s lunch for the next day and we took the second one to his mom so she could try it.  She used it that day in a pasta salad and they tasted amazing!

Our plants are now crazy huge and every day in picking 2-5 peppers and at least 1 cucumber.  The bell peppers have just started to grow, but they’re fast and we already have 5 little tiny ones that we’re keeping an eye on.  We finally got to pick a few cherry tomatoes, but the others aren’t ripe yet.  The German tomato growing is now as big as my fist, but still green.  We have 4 Rutgers growing tomatoes and the rest are flowering and starting to produce.  The zucchini is the slowest, but the plants are huge and there are about 3 little zucchinis growing now.  In 2 days we’ve filled a dish with our fresh veggies and even gave a sample bag of peppers and another cucumber to my soon to be mother in law.

Needless to say, we are very excited and proud that it’s going so well and we are able to use our own grown foods.  What an accomplishment!

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