Starting My Backyard Garden #3

My garden is really starting to come together since I started my first 2 little plants a month ago.  I have planted the peas outside against a makeshift trellis made out of wooden stakes and embroidery thread (I might need to redo this if it doesn’t hold up).  I planted some green onion, kale, and lettuce directly into the ground and they are just starting to come up.  I have one lettuce plant from the first bit of plants I put outside.  That guy is scrappy!  Hey I’ll take it!


I started green beans last week and they look amazing.  I’m trying to decide if I want to put them in a planter on my deck and let the plants grow up along the railing, or clear more space in my flower bed and set up another trellis.  I’m leaning towards the easier route.


My tomatoes…still look a bit sad.  How long are they supposed to stay in the seedling phase?   At the suggestion of a reader I added a heat lamp above my egg carton seed starters and have been keeping it on while I’m at home and turning it off during the work day because I’m a bit weary of fire hazards.  It’s been over a month and they’re not really growing.  I’m almost ready to throw in the towel and get some slightly more mature plants from the store.  I’ve tried growing tomatoes in the past and haven’t had much luck.  In fact, I’ve never gotten a single tomato from any plants that I’ve tended.  I’m working hard to make sure this is the year that I’ll grow something edible!  Wish me luck!


Two plants that grow like weeds outside of my house are chives and mint.  I planted chives in a planter box about 6 years ago and they keep coming back every year.  This is great news for my potato loving self.  This mint grows everywhere in my back yard.  It is all over my flower beds and growing up between the paving stones of my patio.  What do I do with so much mint?  All I can think of is tea.


I’m so glad that several of the things I’ve planted are still alive and look like they might give us some stuff to eat!  I’ve made a habit of turning on the sprinkler and setting a timer for 20 minutes in the evening.  I just need to keep at it and visualize green.

So what should I do about these tomatoes?  Should they go in the ground like this?  Should I just call it a day and accept that there will be no red fruit in my gardening future?  Let me know what you think!

Starting My Backyard Garden #2

I started my seeds for my backyard garden a few weeks ago and they are doing well, as in they are still alive!  I am not known for my green thumb so this is a huge accomplishment for me.  I planted a new egg carton with Green Beans.  I hope to have another egg carton empty by the end of the week to start some Kale.    I’ve been rotating the cartons so that they grow evenly and not just leaning one direction.


The tomatoes look a little sad.  I’m hoping that they continue to grow and remain green.  I have tried to grow tomatoes in the past but haven’t had much luck with them giving me any fruit.


The peas are looking awesome!  I’ll be transplanting these outside pretty soon.  It says on the seed packet that they need support so my plan is to run some string between two stakes and have them lean against that.  I’m just hoping that we don’t have any more frost after this weekend.  Wish me luck!

Seedlings in Egg Cartons

I was shopping at the dollar store yesterday and saw that they were selling seeds for $0.25 each packet.  So naturally I thought, what a small investment to possibly bulk up my garden.

I had some left over egg cartons that I re-purposed into my seedling starters.  If I can avoid buying something new and adding to my personal carbon footprint I’m all for it.  Plus, if I’m reusing something that I already have that’s saving me money and scratching that frugal itch that I have.


I started some Pea and Tomato plants in some seed starter soil.  I had the soil on hand from a couple years ago.  If I didn’t have the special soil then I probably would have just dug some up from the garden or back yard.

The first plants that I started this year I just threw a whole packet of lettuce seeds in a pot and started watering.  This time I’m separating the seeds into the individual cups to help facilitate easier transplanting.  I think I might have killed my lettuce when I transplanted them outside last weekend.  I’m still watering them and crossing my fingers that they will survive.  So far they are looking pretty pathetic.


I have 6 more variety of seeds to plant.  I’ll either need to eat more eggs or sow my seeds directly outside.  I’ll probably do a variety of both and see how it goes.  This gardening thing seems like one big science experiment to me.


Starting My Backyard Garden

Over the past 10+ years of adulthood I’ve dabbled in growing things.  As in plants in a pot that I water (when I remember to) and edible food stuff grows!  I’ve had moderate success with simple herbs like chive and parsley.  One year I tried to grow tomatoes and that was just a disaster.  I think I had the wrong kind of pots and the soil didn’t drain well so it was just a big vine sitting in water that gave me no produce.  Well this year will be different!   This is the year where I get some food from the earth.  I will turn my sweat and tears into something I can put on the dinner table!

I finally found the time to clear out  one of my flower beds along the back side of my house.  It’s funny that I was too busy or couldn’t be bothered to do this before when I was a carefree, childless adult.  But now that I have a baby and should technically have less time to garden, I’m making it a point to find the time.  I guess my priorities have shifted.

I didn’t do my normal amount of research before starting my plants.  I took a small pot, added dirt, seeds and water and set it up on the window above my kitchen sink.  Amazingly I remembered to water the pots.  In the past I have killed many plants through neglect.  Perhaps it’s the new Mommy instincts kicking in.  So I had a pot of lettuce seedlings growing on my window and yesterday I cleared out the flower bed and planted the lettuce.  I separated the little green leaves and planted them in 2 rows along the back of my house.

This could be another disaster.  There are so many things that could go wrong with a garden.  I could forget to water the plants.  Rabbits, bugs and other critters could eat the plants.  It could rain too much and my plants could drown (that happens, right?)

I’m starting off small this year with lettuce, basil, chive, green onions and a couple of tomato plants.  I do have grand plans of gardening in the future and hopefully being able to grow a lot of food.  But for now, I think I’m better off only planting what I can handle.  Cross your fingers and send me your positive thoughts as I try not to  kill these plants.