13. March 2011 · 1 comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

…How does your garden grow?  In this location, with lots of containers!

The wooden frame around the small containers was left here by the homeowner.  He had made a sandbox, but never used it.  He said we could use it as a sandbox…um…that’s okay.  It’ll be more of a bench for our container garden.

Definitely one of the NON-perks of being a mobile military family: I have walked away from great gardens at 5 of my past 6 homes.  Didn’t do any gardening in Korea, I’m afraid.

One day I’ll have to do a summary of my past gardens, at least from Ohio till now.  Each time, it takes 1-2 seasons to get the hang of things, and by the time I have something spectacular, I’m offering the harvest to the movers as they’re loading my sofa onto the big orange truck!  Or in the case of Florida, I had this incredible full-life-cycle butterfly garden…I was incorporated into local homeschooling families’ lesson plans!

In past houses we’ve been able to dig up parts of our yard and make the garden happen.  When we owned our homes (in eastern FL and NC) it was a no brainer.  We could dig to our heart’s content.  In Nebraska, Dave talked to our landlord and got permission to dig up a really good-sized hunk of our backyard.

Here we decided to take advantage of our huge back patio and do some container gardening this time around.  There are many benefits to container gardening, starting with having total control over the soil!  What we’re starting with is MY concoction, free of critters, with plenty of compost and manure!

I took advantage of a free shipping promotion at my favorite garden shop, the Gardener’s Supply Company.  I picked up a couple of “Grow Bags” that fits my 64″ tall tomato cages and a 3′ x 6′ “Grow Bed”, all part of their portable raised bed line of products.  And as I do every year, I stocked up on their “Super Hot Compost Starter” for my compost bin.  (Another non-perk, having to empty and ship my awesome compost bin every 3 years!).

I’m hoping this “Grow Bed” will last me for several years.  It can be disassembled into six 3′ pieces and easily boxed up.  There’s also an inexpensive liner that I’m not sure will last beyond this assignment, but we’ll see how that goes.

Today we headed out to Lowe’s while J was at a birthday party.  We stocked up on 10 HUGE bags of potting mix, 2 bags of manure and 2 bags of mushroom compost.  Plus seedlings for my new herb garden, plus more seedlings for our salsa garden.  The boys actually asked for this.  I promised to try to stick to foods we’d actually eat — usually there’s something we don’t eat, like Chinese eggplant or gourds, and it was Jacob’s idea to make salsa and tomato sauce with what we grew.  Thanks to the 10% military discount, I was able to keep this purchase under $200!

Enjoy some pictures of today’s gardening…I know most of the readers here will be frothing at the mouth, still waiting for that last frost…

First, a commentary.  This product was at Walmart, not Lowe’s.  What made someone think that Lightning McQueen and Mater will help the Burpee Company sell cucumber growing kits?  I’m just sayin’…
Dave and I had to dig deep into our inner Tetris skills to make this all fit into the back of the truck.  One of the bags of dirt popped open and poured into the middle row of seats.  Fun fun fun!  Days like today, we miss our ’03 Odyssey.
We had a lot of work ahead of us here…Dave’s finishing assembling the Grow Bed frame while J’s admiring our seedling choices.  He wasn’t with us at Lowe’s, he was at a birthday party.
My oldest son was in charge of planting the tomato plants into our “grow bags”.
The young man in the middle is one of our neighbors, who’s J’s age.  He’s in J’s Cub Scout pack too, so we let his Mom know to give him Wolf Scout credit for all his help today.
For once, I’m in a picture.  
J’s very proud of his work!
T asks for carrots in the garden every year.  Those have to be planted as seeds, so he’s putting carrot seeds down here.
After we were done filling our existing containers, we ended up with one extra tomato plant.  We searched and searched for a container, and came up with the recycling bin we used in Nebraska.  Here we have “Hurlburt Field Recycles” bins, and that one has been just taking up space in our garage.  I poked a hole in the bottom and “recycled” it!
That tall piece is a Gardener’s Supply cucumber trellis.  I LOVE IT!  And I love more that it fits here!
I’m so excited for fresh herbs again!