Peppers on Parade!
It has been a fun month reading all about our favorite summer produce items. It is a real joy to have summer produce from the grocery store, farmers market or even your own back porch. I enjoy nearly all summer produce, but I would say peppers rise to the top for me. They are delicious raw and cooked and they can be sweet or spicy.
Winter squash or pumpkins in abundance?
My sisters, dad and I share a garden spot. We try to coordinate so that we all work in the garden at the same time because it is more fun that way, but with our schedules that doesn’t happen very often. This spring when we were planting, a couple of times someone planted over the top of something that was already in the ground (this is why we had peppers growing in the bean rows). I was determined to have some winter squash, so I planted a whole row of seeds about 3” apart and put milk cartons filled with water every foot to mark the row. To make a long story short, I didn’t thin the plants, so the squash took over a corner of the garden and now we have lots of acorn squash. If you have an abundance of winter squash or pumpkins, here are some helps:
Can a Vegetable Garden Save You Money?
That’s the title of an article by Cindy Haynes, Extension Horticulturalist. Her answer was “yes” – if done correctly. She goes on to quote a book about $64 tomatoes.
Get Your Updated Garden Publications
It is almost time to plant the garden. You do not need a big space, container gardens and small plots (like 4’x4’ plot) will produce enough for you to enjoy that fresh garden taste. A couple of years ago, I blogged about “My Top Ten Reasons to Garden”. I skimmed them this morning and they are still on target.
Plant. Grow. Share.
Is your garden overflowing with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash or zucchini and you are not quite sure what to do with the extra harvest? Consider donating your fresh garden produce to your local food pantry.
Gardening Starts With the Seeds
Each year, as the days get longer and temperatures rise, garden catalogs begin to fill our mailbox and planning for our garden begins once again. My husband and I each grew up in homes with large vegetable gardens. His mom had a separate potato garden and my family sold sweet corn and tomatoes at our farm. I remember dad putting the sign up at the end of our driveway each summer. My family used the money we made selling tomatoes and sweet corn for a summer vacation just before school started. As you might imagine, my husband and I have enjoyed planning, planting and harvesting our own vegetable garden through the years. What we plant and how big our garden is has changed through the years, as the season of our life dictates. Some years, our schedule for the summer hasn’t allowed time for gardening, and what we plant has also changed as our interest in certain vegetables has changed.
Herb Gardening in Small Spaces
Last week we heard about our friend Jill’s experience with gardening throughout her life. She shared some wonderful tips for planning a garden and using the information on seed packets to help you make decisions. I would like to share a slightly different perspective. I live in a small house and I do not have land to till up and plant a garden. I still love to grow some food though, so I do container gardening.
Growing Vegetables in Pots
This week in our gardening series, I’m going to share the plans my son and I have for doing some container gardening at our house.
Benefitting from Our Neighbor’s Talents
Gardening is not my strong suit. Quite honestly, the thought of gardening and planting flowers brings a lot of stress! After years of attempting to garden and losing motivation due to brown flowers and plants, I eventually came to terms with the fact that my family’s produce would need to be purchased from the grocery store or a local farmer’s market. Fortunately, one of our neighbors has a gift and has planted a garden to share with a few families on our street. Like mentioned in the previous gardening posts, our neighbor has done the research to determine what items to grow in her garden. With a lot of trial and error, she has become quite successful!
What do I Grow?
“What do I grow?” That is a question I ask myself every year when I start thinking about my garden. And the answer is different every year. In my previous home, my garden was much larger, so I had a lot more options. Over the 11 years I worked in that garden, I planted lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, corn, broccoli, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, squash, peas, green beans, potatoes, and flowers. No two years were the same.
Update from Christine – Herb Gardening in Small Spaces
Back in May, I wrote a blog related to how I like to grow herbs at my house. I do not have a good space in my yard to dig up a garden, so I use containers instead. Herbs are a great food to start out with if you are new to gardening. They grow very well in Iowa summers and take up a small amount of space. Not to mention, fresh herbs are quite expensive at the grocery store and can spoil quickly. Growing them at home gives you the pleasure of fresh herbs for far less money.
Enjoying the Fruits of Labor
A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the neighborhood garden that my family contributes to during the spring and summer. My husband and I do not have green thumbs, so we have enjoyed participating in a neighborhood garden that our neighbor, Jen, has created in her backyard to share with a few of us who live nearby.