Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A vegetable garden.

It makes me nervous to even type these words, but: I think we're going to try out a vegetable garden this year. I thought about it last year and never got around to it, but this year I'm feeling determined. I've picked up some books from the library and have been reading various websites for information, too. Mostly, I want a lot of tomatoes. Maybe it's pregnancy, but I could live off of tomato mozzarella salad these days, so I'm dreaming of picking my own fresh tomatoes.

We're thinking of building a raised bed in our backyard. I know I want to grow tomatoes. Maybe also some broccoli, asparagus and summer squash. I'm afraid of trying to do too much for my first year. So, I'm here asking for your advice. What gardening tips and tricks do you have to share? Any favorite blogs, books or websites with helpful information? Send it my way! Please! And thanks :)

11 comments:

colleen said...

I have no tips but...picking your own tomatoes sounds like its worth a shot. I hope it all goes well!

Grace said...

So jealous! Always wanted to do this, can't wait to follow the progress, I have no personal experience but, my "Green thumb" pinterest page had pins about a veggie garden! Good luck :)

Lauren said...

I do not have a green thumb, but Austin has been doing a garden in our back yard for the last few years. It's been fun picking food out of the garden for meal, and Sean loves to help. I know he has used a book called The Square Foot Garden. It has tips for growing a garden in a small area. Good luck!

Joe said...

that's awesome! i'm not sure if this is typical, but we had such an easy time growing jalepeno peppers. could be good for homemade salsa!

also, i read this the other day...could be helpful.
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/you-can-do-it-first-time-vegetable-gardening-for-the-black-thumbed-168538

Joe said...

PS. "YOU GROW GIRL"...amazing.

Erin said...

You can definitely do this! Start small. Buy plants, not seeds. We plant 8 tomatoes for our family of four and that gives us enough for daily eating, grabbing cherry tomatoes off the vine as a snack, and freezing a fair amount of pasta sauce. Some good varieties are: Early Girl and Ace. Be sure to buy cages.

Zucchini and squash (we do one of each) are easy and give a huge yield. Plant them on opposite sides of the garden so they don't cross-pollinate.

We also plant an eggplant, a jalapeno, basil, rosemary (it'll come back year after year), and cilantro (trim off the flowers as it grows). Tomatillos are easy but I never have enough recipes to use them up. We've never had good luck with bell peppers because it gets so hot and they turn bitter, but in the Bay area they might be perfect!
We always plant around Mother's Day, plant deep, water in well and then weed, weed, weed. :)

Kristin W said...

Yay! You CAN do it! I let mine fail, but I think it was because we did way too much. We had a ton of peppers (which are still sitting in our freezer waiting to be pickled). Be warned, squash can take over. What I would change is having separate space for our cucumbers and cantaloupe that ended up taking over our other plants. I also learned, it is a DAILY task. I didn't water or weed enough. We considered this year just pot-planting a tomato plant since you get a lot from one plant and I can keep a daily eye on it.
I'm sure if you take the time daily (staying at home would make it way easier to water and weed at times that otherwise seemed way too hot or inopportune), you'll have an awesome garden!

Good luck :)

Becky said...

I think tomato is a good way too start. My grandmother grew her own here for years and she said ti was fairly simple. They were beyond delicious. They taste so much better than store bought. Good luck!

Rachael said...

@Erin's life sounds awesome!

But from my limited experience, I agree: head to the farmer's market and pick up a tray of plants, not seeds.

I've been reading "Animal Vegetable Miracle" and desperately wish I could garden. Instead I just planted a handful of coriander seeds in my window box (from my spice drawer--they turned into cilantro! crazy).

I'm also reading Canning for a New Generation which is a fun really inspirational cookbook! veggies abound.

Danielle Humphreys said...

Hi there!

I have both the bottom and top books in your pic and have been enjoying the Yougrowgirl website for a few years now. Whole Foods carries organic tomato starts and lots of other veggies, too. There is also a great farm in Sunnyvale called Full Circle Farm and they are having a plant sale on Mother's Day! (They're also having an Earth Day Festival for the family this Sunday...I think we're going (unless I go into labor!).

http://www.fullcirclesunnyvale.org/

When you feel brave, I have lots of seeds I can share with you :) Tomatoes aren't that scary to start from seed!

Danielle

Danielle Humphreys said...

PS-My kids LOVE "Yellow Pear" tomatoes-they are small and really sweet. They never make it inside the house because they get eaten right off the vine!

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