Eco Challenge – Start A Garden

It’s that time of year again. The weather is starting to warm up and I find myself spending more time out in the backyard. Combine that with the fact that I’ve been slowly trying to adjust my diet to incorporate less processed foods and I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. So if I’m honest, cutting the food bill wasn’t only to tighten the financial belt, it was also to tighten my actual belt (if I wore one). The next step in this plan is to start growing some of my own produce to supplement my grocery bill and ensure I am eating locally/’organic’.

Last year I successfully grew a few things; spaghetti squash, spinach, tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, and a few herbs. Aside from two full size spaghetti squash, I didn’t bring much in from the garden. A handful of berries and spinach leaves here and there, but nothing substantial. I hope to change that this year.

2011 garden

Strawberries, Leeks, Brussel Sprouts. I grew the leeks and Brussel Sprouts from seed, but the hot summer ended up killing them before they were edible.

Garden

Spaghetti Squash, Tomatoes, Bush Beans (on far right). I also grew the bush beans from seed, but I only harvested 3 little pods.

Garden

So this year I did a lot more research and have started the garden again. I hope to keep it going year round, as much as the weather allows. Even though I have a backyard, it’s mostly cement so I’m basically container gardening.

I have a decent home library on the subject and I found a few websites that helped figure things out. Right now, the most helpful website is Let’s Grow Veggies. I honestly don’t know how accurate it is, but it’s the only place where I’ve found the info about the last/first frost date for my area. With that information all the other books make much more sense. If you live in the western US, Sunset magazine is also a great resource both in print and online.

*A little tip for the Let’s Grow Veggies site. I had trouble getting it to change state and zip code. If you have the same problem, try changing the state/zip directly in the web address bar. It seems to default to California but I found info throughout the country when testing various different states/zips.

Gardening Library

2012 Garden

So far I have Spinach, Tomatoes, Butternut Squash, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Garlic planted outside.

Grass Veggie Planter

Butternut Squash

Tomato - Early

Spinach

Spinach

Inside I’ve started some herbs, more spinach (I use A LOT), flowers, and Brussel Sprouts.

Seedlings

Seedlings

I use a Jiffy kit as a mini greenhouse when starting things indoors. Just add dirt, seeds and water. I’m even able to reuse the ‘greenhouse’ over and over again. They’re cheap and found near the seeds at the home improvement store. I think they even sell something similar at Target. 

Seedling Greenhouse

I have hopes of building a potting bench over the next few weeks, and adding a few more veggies/fruits to the garden. I saw a broccoli plant at my local nursery, I’m intrigued.

What about you guys? What are you growing at home?

3 responses

  1. Pingback: The Liebster Award « In Her Chucks

  2. Pingback: A Look Back at 2012 | Changing My Destiny

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