Gardening for rookies

by Melody on May 5, 2011







Seriously.  Rookies.  My husband and I are learning every single step of the way.  We have used a lot of Google.

We have always ate fairly healthy and exercised off and on, but the stars have aligned this year and we both seem to agree that we need to really focus on living the best lifestyle we can for ourselves AND for our children.  Not to mention we watched Food Inc and were a bit horrified by what we saw.

My husband built three of the raised beds that you see in the picture above.  (I’m very lucky to have such a handy husband whose attention to detail is, shall we say, a bit over the top).  We filled each about halfway with dirt, then added top soil and organic fertilizer.

In this first bed we planted snap peas, lettuce, spinach and onions.  Remember the rookie status?  Our lettuce is being completely eaten by bugs, so we are attempting to figure it out.  Everything else looks great though and we are thrilled with the progress.

The second bed will contain cucumbers, kale, cilantro and possibly some peppers that will be transplanted outside a little later, when the weather gets warmer.







The third bed will contain all the transplants from our seed starts shown above.  We have two types of tomatoes, bell peppers, pepperoncinis and jalapeno peppers.  The little starts look wonderful and popped up almost immediately.  Our son is having a blast watching them grow a little more and more each day.

Our initial out of pocket for this project was probably around $175, but most of that went towards the materials for the beds, which should last us several years.  We saved money on some of the starts, seeds and fertilizer by buying a half-price voucher to a nursery through Living Social and today’s half-price voucher to Gamache Landscaping through Seize the Deal.

This has been such a fun project for my husband and I to work on together and we are enjoying watching the fruits of our labor.  I can’t wait for our son to be able to pick some of his own vegetables.  He is already a great eater (he picks salad over anything else on most days), but this is going to give him such a connection to his food.  I think.  And hope.

Feel free to share your best tips with us or just share what you are planting this year.  I’ll do my best to keep you updated on how we are doing!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Brandy May 6, 2011 at 1:21 am

We tried are first garden last year and the deer ate everything. The ground was so hard that my garlic and carrots wouldn’t come out of the ground. It was such a horrible experience that I didn’t want to try again. This year I got the whole family excited about it. We pruned all our fruit trees,raspberries, and cleaned out what use to be blue berry boxes. This year we are doing our peppers and tomato plants in separate planters. In the small boxes we have lettuce, celery, garlic, onions, and chives. I am going to put cucumbers, tomato bushes and other veggies. In my big raised planter I am going to do corn, pumpkins, carrots and other odds and ends. Asl my herbs are going to be in planter boxes close to the kitchen for easy access while cooking. One thing nobody ever told mgr that I read on the internet is plant every 2 weeks so that you have food for the whole season and not just the one crop. Good luck to you both.


Melody May 6, 2011 at 2:26 am

How frustrating, I’m so glad you are trying again! I would never be able to get as much done if my husband wasn’t totally on board this year.

Seriously, I have failed at growing lettuce three years in a row, but I just keep plugging away, hoping I will figure something out. 🙂


Romany May 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Plant some lavender around your fruits and veggies and the deer will stay away! They DO NOT like the smell and will go elsewhere:)


Melissa May 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I think this is great – you will have to let me know how the raised beds are going – I’ve tried gardens off & on – but the placement has always been the problem!!

A super fun plant is a giant pumpkin – I swear the one Jordyn grew a few years ago we could watch grow by the hour – it was quite rewarding from a child’s view – even if it only produced 1 fruit.


Lora May 6, 2011 at 11:20 pm

I have did square foot gardening before we were in an apartment and I really miss it! It is SO, SO easy and very rewarding. There are no weeds to pull, you use perfect soil and get tons of fruit and veggies all season long. The man who came up with it is a retired ‘efficiency engineer’ who started gardening after he retired. He immediately realized that traditional gardening was very inefficient. Anyway – great book if you’re interested. “All New Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew. He has a website too that you can find by googling his name or square foot gardening.


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