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March 16, 2016

How to Start a Vegetable Garden

How to Start a Vegetable Garden

How to Start a Vegetable Garden

Creating and maintaining a vegetable garden really cannot compete with the convenience of my local grocery store, so I am hard pressed to consider it a viable option. I feel like I am probably not the only one who wants to dive in, but is unsure how to get started and what to plant where and when.

I cannot be the only one who is clueless and needs a breakdown on how to have a green thumb for dummies like me to be able to get started. Can I?Continue reading

May 25, 2016

How to Make a Pizza Garden

How to Make a Pizza Garden

Build a Pizza Garden for less money and in less time than delivery.

How to Make a Pizza Garden

Recently I had a brilliant idea! If I want my kids to eat what we grow, I have to grow with they want to eat first. What do most kids want to eat? Pizza! I will make a pizza garden. So it was off to the hardware store I went. Thankfully, I was able to find exactly what I needed very quickly. I grabbed four of these cinderblock bricks and one piece of 2x6x12 untreated pine (cedar also works). They cut them into four 3 foot pieces in most stores too. The wood was less than $6 total and the bricks were about $2.50 each. The grand total for a raised garden bed- $16.00!Continue reading

April 28, 2016

How to Save Money Gardening

How to Save Money Gardening

How to save money gardening

There are many ways in which gardening can save you money. There’s the obvious mark up that many grocery stores carry because they brick-and-mortar businesses with their own price points they have to meet before profit. So when you buy your produce from them you’re also paying their rent, electricity, and employees. There is also the markup from the manufacturer who’s had to package and market their product as well. Even bananas that don’t require packaging have their own ad campaign. All of that adds into the cost that you pay when purchasing your produce at the store.Continue reading

April 6, 2016

Gardening Tips – Bug Repelling Plants

Bug Repelling Plants

bug repelling plants

One thing that most people can agree upon in regards to the “Great Outdoors” is that bugs take a bite out of the amount of enjoyment one can get from spending time in the elements. Personally I live in Florida and I am trying to spend a lot more time outdoors with my kids enjoying the weather and creating a garden before the weather turns to unbearably hot, with a side of hurricane, and a splash of mosquito infestation.Continue reading

Tips for Table Gardening

Tips for Table Gardening

Table gardening is a great way to garden without a lot of work

What is table gardening? That is the question you may be asking right now. Well it is exactly what it sounds, you have a wooden table that is designed to be able to plant a small garden in it. It stands a little taller than waist high so it is easy to tend. There is a large basin that holds all of the soil. A table garden should come with a liner and dividers so you can plant several different vegetables.

Table Gardening is a fantastic way to grow your own vegetables

This is the Garden Table we purchased. It was so easy to put together (I did it all by myself). The kids loved filling it with soil and mixing in our worm compost. This is our second year and the table is still in great shape. The liner is still in great shape. We simply stirred up the soil in each section and we were ready to plant as soon as the temperature permitted. You can either sow seeds directly or buy plants at your local home improvement store or nursery. We do a combination of both. I am an impatient gardener and like to see things growing.

 

Benefits of Table Gardening:

1) Great for small spaces – A table garden takes up very little space. Our table garden fits nicely in one corner of our deck. If you want to be able to walk all the way around your table garden then I would say a minimum area you need is 8′ x 12′.

2) Great for Kids – Kids can easily plant and watch their fruits and vegetables grow. They can participate every step of the way from planting seeds or starter plants to watering, to harvesting. I can tell my kids to go get a salad for dinner from the garden.

3. Great for beginner gardeners – Have a black thumb? Me too! No clue where to begin to have a garden? Then you should start with a table garden. You can try lots of things and the effort is minimal so you won’t have wasted all the time and energy if you don’t get the result you were expecting.

4) Very easy maintenance – Very little weeding. Watering is quick, you can use a watering can or the hose. There is no tilling to be done or raking.

Spinach is perfect for a table garden

What types of plants are good for table gardening?

Well personally we have planted everything listed below. Some we are trying for the first time this year. We have had success with everything we have planted so far. Our fist year we turned our table garden into a science experiment and planted six varieties of strawberries. The children tracked on a chart which variety produced the most fruit. They also tasted  and rated the strawberries on a scale of 1-10 to determine which produced the best tasting strawberries.

1. Lettuce (all varieties) – plant early to get the longest season. My kids love taking a pair of scissors out to the table garden and collecting a salad for dinner.

2. Spinach – first time this year but I can’t imagine it would not do well.

3. Carrots – plan on baby carrots. We were to impatient to wait so we picked them early.

4. Strawberries- Table gardening is perfect for strawberries. We picked off the runners so the plants would produce more fruit. If you get ever bearing varieties they will come back year after year.

5. Green peppers – we planted green, yellow, and red peppers last year.

6. Broccoli -new this year

7. Cailiflower – new this year

8. Green Onions – new this year but already 2 inches tall from seed.

9. Herbs – I have not tried but I am tempted to buy a second table just to have my own little herb garden.

10. Basically anything that doesn’t require a ton of space. We plan on trying new things every year.

Broccoli woud be a great plant to try in a table garden

What types of plants are NOT good for table gardening?

Anything that needs lots of space, vines, or climbs. Obviously you can’t grow things like corn, watermelon, or pumpkins in a garden table. Beans, peas, and varieties of squash would not do well either. We grow beans and peas in boxes that we built as part of our creative raised garden beds.

Table gardening is perfect for beginners, small spaces, and those who are short on time. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is such a rewarding and fun experience.

More Gardening Tips:

Creative Raised Garden Beds

Starting a Vegetable Garden

April 12, 2010

Building Creative Raised Garden Beds

It’s time to get your garden ready! Or at least the soil and the early and more hardy plants. I love having a garden and I cannot wait until we have fresh fruit and vegetables. Our strawberries are already blooming and the blackberry bush has buds. The peach tree is also looking hopeful this year! We have been debating to do a traditional in the ground garden or to go back to raised garden beds this year.

Raised Garden Beds are a perfect solution for poor soil, lack of space , or minimal areas of sunlight. Also easy to care for.

We went back to raised garden beds this year since last years crop was a bust (for many reasons but the soil was part of it). Since our garden area is quite large, building raised garden beds can be costly. My husband and I and big proponents of using what you have. We had a garage built this year and we decided to use the leftover scrap wood to build the raised beds. It’s not perfect, but it works!

My husband continued with his creativity and made me an herb starter box. He used a leftover piece of gutter to make the herb box and some scrap wood to secure it. Isn’t that clever?

We did have to bring in top soil and compost as we have clay. The soil was a bit of an expense, but the rest of the garden is pretty frugal. I planted potatoes, onions, green beans, sweet peas, carrots and lettuce this weekend. I will wait a couple more weeks to plant the squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon.

I encourage you all to make some sort of garden this year. It can be as small as a container on your deck or an herb garden on you window seal. Having fresh homegrown produce is wonderful! My boys enjoy the process too. And there is nothing better than a homegrown tomato!

Have you started a garden yet? What are you planning on planting this year?