I love this time of year. Time to get out to the garden center and figure out what we are growing this year.
We buy a combination of seeds and already started plants. Seeds are of course cheaper, but it’s nice to have some things growing already. Some plants we just never seem to have any luck with if we start from seed.
Hopefully things will go better this year than last year. For some reason last year’s garden was not terribly productive. Just one of those things, I guess.
We bought some tomato plants, two kinds of lettuce, broccoli and basil already started. The basil is for the herb garden we’ll be planting out front. I suggested to my husband that we get a cherry tomato or other small variety for out there, since basil and tomatoes grow well together. The kids play out front pretty regularly with friends, and a small tomato is something I think they would enjoy being allowed to snack on. My kids like to eat fresh basil too.
We also have lots of seeds. Green beans, sugar snap peas, corn, cucumbers, zucchini and more. We really have to get those into the seed pots.
We let the kids pick out some plants to grow too. My daughter wanted snap dragons. My son picked out nasturtiums. I saved some egg cartons for them to start their seeds in. We’ll see what grows.
The kids are always much involved in the garden. They love it.
As the plants grow, we teach them what they may and may not pick freely. Most things they have to ask for, but some things are grown more for their enjoyment. The trick is teaching them to not overeat the herbs. Somehow they start forgetting to ask on those. Our poor fennel last year hardly made any progress due to hungry children. It attracts butterflies, so we really want it to get big.
This is the time when the compost pile can really pay off. We think my husband got the mix wrong last year (too much compost) and that might be why things didn’t work out then, so this year he’s going to try changing the mix a little. And of course last year’s mix is probably in much better shape this year for growing, as things should have broken down still further.
Our focus is very much on growing things that can reduce our food bills. A good garden can save a lot of money despite the initial investment, and we want that to be the case this year.
My one concern is the potential for water restrictions. I’ll gladly let the lawn go in exchange for a good garden. Frankly, I think the front one in particular should be switched out for some xeriscaping. Done right it would save a lot of water and look really nice. I’ve seen some good examples around the neighborhood.
Now if I could just convince the landlord to do it, and their yard guys to leave it alone! The yard guys are kind of random about removing plants they think don’t belong. We’ve had things we’ve put in stay put for months, then suddenly get pulled. That’s why I don’t want to do it myself. I’m too concerned that the money we put in might be wasted if I don’t catch these guys in time to warn them off. If only they’d pull the weeds in the front lawn with so much enthusiasm!