In addition to shopping locally at farmer’s markets, we started gardening last year in an effort to cut down on grocery bills and be more eco friendly. We started off in 3 containers on our back deck which we inherited with the house. We really enjoyed the experience, but had mixed results. The lettuce, spinach, and tomatoes turned out great. And the cucumbers, not so much (more on that later).
We hoped to make a small plot in the yard this year but just didn’t get around to it. So, we’re back to the containers for a second time around. Not such a bad thing though – they keep the bunnies at bay, and are easy to water and tend to for us lazy/forgetful gardener types. This year we’ve expanded our repertoire a little and are growing lettuce, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, strawberries and (hopefully) green onions.
We started the cucumbers, beans and onions inside from seeds and purchased the tomato plant from Lowes. The lettuce seeds were left over from last year and were sown right into the pot as soon as the weather permitted.
Everything but the green onions seem to be doing well (with the added exception of the strawberries which never bothered to take root). The onions were really delicate and didn’t fare well during the transplantation a few weeks ago. They’re limping along but, I’m not sure we’ll have any survivors left after too much longer. I think we’ll try again next year, but sow them right into the soil with the lettuce instead of trying to transplant them.
We have been diligently grinding up our egg shells and added those to the dirt before planting. This seems to have done wonders for the cucumbers, who are all happily growing just fine. Last year we lost all but one plant which produced one sadly misshapen cucumber. We’ll see if the results are any different by the end of this season.
Unfortunately we didn’t get around to composting last year so we had to buy the dirt. But, we have a compost bin on the way and will be using it as often as we can for everything from kitchen waste to our compostable diapers. Hopefully by this time next year we’ll be able to reap the benefits.
I am still going to try to get some carrots and sweet potatoes in the ground before the season is over in the hopes of turning them into home-made baby food.