How Does Our Garden Grow?

We’re back with an edible garden update just a few short months since we planted it back in mid May. And the good news is that our little herb, fruit, and vegetable experiment was actually a success! Not only did everything live, but it thrived with very little labor on our part. Score! We were lucky to have a lot of rain fall in the late spring and early summer to establish everything, and whenever we had spans of hot dry weather we just used the rain that we saved up in our DIY rain barrel to keep things happy & green. That’s it!

We didn’t see the need to reach for any pesticides or even any fertilizer thanks to the nutrients from our backyard compost that nurtured everything since we used it to plant things back in May. So in the is-it-more-work-than-it’s-worth category, the answer is unequivocally NO! There’s really nothing like a fresh tomato or raspberry snagged in your very own yard. And our dinners are a lot tastier thanks to the homegrown herbs we now have on hand. Check out how tall our stalks of basil got (front right below). They’re practically up to my knee!

We also have more oregano, parsley, and swiss chard than we can even eat. And speaking of chard, we’re ashamed to admit that we haven’t even tried it yet! We’ve watched it grow bigger and leafier but don’t really know of any good chard recipes off the top of our heads. Do you guys have any suggestions for us? It’s a crime not to have tried our homegrown chard yet!

But lets move on to something we’ve eaten since the moment they appeared: our habit forming cherry tomatoes. We’ve been tossing them back like candy for the past month or so and we love that as soon as we pluck a few off our little plant buddy is already hard at work making new ones. It’s like a never-ending supply of sugary-sweet snacks. Here’s what they look like in the growing stage… not quite ready for eating.

And here’s where they end up right before we pop them into our watering mouths (which happened to this guy as soon as I snapped a few shots):

We actually purchased two different types of cherry tomatoes, so here’s the “golden” variety when it’s ripe. They get all vibrant and orange when they’re ready. Pretty, eh? And they look so great mixed with the deeper red ones that we also have growing nearby.

We love whipping up a super quick salad with some of our garden basil:

Just toss in a bit of feta and some italian dressing and it’s chow time…

But we can’t forget about our amazing raspberry bush that has us majorly whipped (we literally wait with bated breath for each burst of berries). There isn’t much in this world that compares to fresh garden grown raspberries.

So in summary, we highly highly recommend starting a little edible garden of your own. As long as you keep things watered while they settle in you should have a relatively easy go at it, and you can even grow oregano, basil and parsley in a pot on your windowsill or balcony. Easy peasy. Heck, speaking of peas, you can probably grow them too!

We’re also happy to report that we definitely got our money’s worth in the budget department. Our raspberry bush was just $9 at Lowe’s in the beginning of the season and we snagged all of our tomato plants and herbs for just $10 total at the farmer’s market! We’ve easily enjoyed at least $20 worth of basil alone not to mention all the other goodies we’ve eaten on a regular basis for the past few months thanks to our backyard before-dinner pit stop. Sweet.

But what about you guys? Have you been growing anything of your own this year? Do you have any pest problems or tips and tricks to share with fellow beginner gardeners like us? And what about those swiss chard recipe suggestions? Definitely spill those beans.

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