Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Getting Ready for our Outdoor Garden

It is ALMOST spring... and I can't wait!
One of the first things that I do when spring is coming around is plan for our vegetable garden.  Last year, the wedding planning put gardening on hold, but this year - watch out!  I have been planning.

There is a method to my madness.  Our home faces South, so the best sun is in our front yard.  This does not make gardening ideal, so we tend to do a container garden.  I have found that large tomatoes do not grow well in a container garden, artichokes do not grow in our area, and other things along the way - so this year I think I have the solution. 

Instead of littering our entry stairs with containers, or throwing them all about in the front yard, I am going to gather them in a corner of our patio that gets pretty decent sun throughout the day.

Here is a two-minute sketch of my plan (literally).  I would like to group three large containers in the middle of the display, near the corner that will get the best amount of sun.  I will put Roma tomatoes in the largest container (smaller tomatoes, so hopefully slightly smaller plant that will deal with being in a container).  These tomatoes can be used tor salsa, soup & sandwiches, making them the most versitle of the tomato family.  I am going to do jalepenos and another vegetable, yet to be determined in the other two round pots.  I might use the other round pot for some of our favorite herbs as well, we'll see when I go to buy plants!

In the larger rectangular pot with the trellis shown, I will be planing beans.  They tend to want to climb, so I will either use a screen or mesh and attach it to the railing as well as imbed it in the dirt, so that the beans can grab the wire and climb!

In the other longer, shorter rectangular pot, I plan on growing salad greens.  Probably something like a mesculin mix.  I am very excited about this!  I might get a hanging garden box or two, and hang them over the railing, either way, I am ready for free salad greens - Maybe even some spinach!

There are two hanging basketsin the image.  From the one, I will hang 2-3 pepper plants (green and yellow) & the other is made for strawberries! Yum.  I haven't tried the strawberry one yet, but we'll see how it goes!

I am going to attempt to put a pot on the ground on the side of the house and try to get cucumbers to climb as well.  I would like to plant some garlic & some of our favorite herbs as well (basil, rosemary & cilantro).  Fresh salads & salsa as soon as these things start growing in!

Putting them on the porch will deter animals from coming too close and nibbling on them.  It will also protect them from extreme weather.  We can get some violent storms in the summer & potted plants tend to go flying in a strong wind.  It will also remind me to water them!  Sitting on the porch will be a constant reminder, rather than in the back yard, where we might not go every day.  It will also add some greenery without much cost to our porch area.

I like to buy most things as established plants, rather than seeds.  So I will be looking for pepper and tomato plants, while I will use seeds for the lettuce, herbs, garlic & beans.  I already have most of the containers, just need to get the dirt!

I'm so excited for spring & I love to watch the plants grow.  I plan on adding a lot of green touches to the porch this year, so keep watching for photos as the projects progress!  Happy "almost" spring to everyone!

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