My Gram’s Green Thumb

My Gram could grow just about anything.  She had an amazing garden.  I used to spend hours with her in the garden tending to the flowers and giving them lots of extra love.  She grew these amazing orchids in her sun-room.  These orchids lived long after she passed away in the care of my aunt and uncle.  My uncle has the green thumb too, he used to live in a house in the bay area where he had this, what I remember to be a, secret garden behind the main yard where he grew these huge tomatoes, you could almost get lost in his tomato plants.  I am sure there were lots of other delicious things in there too, but I remember the endless tomato plants and the huge amazingly red tomatoes.  My grams passion for growing things lives on in me as well.  I love gardening.  I love that you can grow amazing things in the garden and take them to your table and provide delicious meals from foods that you grew for your family.  When I think of gardening, my real strength and passion is in growing edibles, rather than flowers – don’t get me wrong flowers are lovely, but with limited space I tend to attempt vegetables and herbs.
Unfortunately, I do not live in a rural location where I can have the garden I dream about.  But aren’t these amazing?  I am in love with all of them.  They all have something in common…space and raised beds.  Yes, please!
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My reality is a concrete slab and beauty bark.  Boo! So I attempt to make do.  Sometimes it is an epic fail, but honestly that never stops me – there is always the chance it will be a mini garden of my dreams.  This year I’ve agreed to a challenge.  The goal is to spend only $50 on the garden.  In the past two years I’ve spent a lot of money and had very poor luck.  Basically, my garden has been a disaster the last two years.
This year is going to be different.  Usually I would have given up on this gardening in this yard, but I just can’t do it.  It feels wrong to give it up.  So, with my $50 the petite and I decided we are going to have our own little victory garden.
Last year I ordered seeds from a catalog and didn’t use them all so I attempted to grow them indoors to see what would happen – since they were out of date I consulted the web and found that yes indeed they have a much longer shelf life if they are stored properly.  We were so excited to see the seeds start growing.  I decided to make a gutter garden since we are so limited on space outside and the rest of the garden is in containers.  Some of these are found containers, wine crates, old Tupperware bins that I have drilled holes in.
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We’ve got quite a bit going on in the garden so far, in the gutter gardens we have strawberries, two types of lettuce and chard.  We’ve also planted peas, green beans, kale, cucumbers and zucchini.  We recently sowed some seeds outside now that it is a bit warmer.  We have scallions, carrots, 4 different types of lettuce, and beets.  We’re also attempting to grow potatoes in a clothes hamper – I have no idea if this is going to work.  If it does, I will be so excited, if not oh well it was a good effort.  What I really struggle to grow from seeds is tomatoes, we’ve tried a few varieties, and will see how they grow, but I’ve already reserved some of the budget to buy tomato starts.  I just need to decide what types of tomatoes to get, last year I bought the “doesn’t grow tomatoes” variety so I am hoping to not have that happen again.
My Budget $50
  • Kale, chard, strawberries, peas – $10
  • Watering can $8
  • Fertilizer, bamboo for the peas, and arugula starts $13
What’s your favorite go to vegetable in the garden?  I’m always curious as to what other people grow in their gardens.
Happy growing,
E
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