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My Urban Garden – Spring Edition

My Urban Garden – Spring Edition

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The garden is my happy place!

I can’t get enough of the sights, smells, sounds, and taste. It’s wonderful to watch everything grow and blossom, all the beautiful colors of mother nature, birds and pollinators are all so beautiful. The scents of flowers and the food your growing – the mint plant smells amazing and even the tomato plant smells great. The sounds of the bird chirping in my garden is so magical and relaxing. Most importantly the taste, your food can’t get any fresher than straight out of your garden. 

Spring is my favorite time of the year for the garden and for obvious reasons!

Many have commented about me having a green thumb. But I honestly don’t believe in the whole green and black thumb myth. It’s more of a skill, that anyone can develop if they try. 

I’ve been in the garden since I was a kid; I helped my dad grow a food garden when I was younger, and I was always doing the yard work. It’s always been my happy place.

If I had acreage then I’d have a much larger garden, but for now I’ll work with what I’ve got. Just because you live in town or the city doesn’t mean you can’t grow your own food. The past couple years I’ve really been expanding my container garden and growing more plants that we can eat. Another reason I opted to grow in containers, is because we live within the “Tacoma Smelter Plume” area of contamination so our soil has higher levels of arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals. So, I just don’t feel safe eating food from it.

What I’m Growing In My Urban Garden
  • Raspberries(Perennial)
  • Blueberries(Perennial)
  • Strawberries(Perennial)
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Pumpkins
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Bush Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Rosemary(Perennial)
  • Parsley(Perennial)
  • Sage(Perennial)
  • Thyme(Perennial)
  • Lavender(Perennial)
  • Oregano(Perennial)
  • Green Onions
  • Chives(Perennial)
  • Mint(Perennial)

When I’m planning my garden every winter; I like to add new perennials each year – nothing better than buying a perennial and it growing for years to come.

Then I also determine which plants we eat a lot of, and if they’re container compatible. If I should grow them from seed or a starter plant. 

Also if I’ve had a mishap with growing that plant – but don’t give up after the first year failing, figure out what may have went wrong and try again. But if it still doesn’t work, accept the failure and try something new or come back to it after a couple years.

Another one of my favorite things about my garden/yard during the spring is the birds and pollinators. EVERYTHING just comes to life. The butterflies and bees wake up and go to work. The birds singing in the morning is how I like to set up my day. So, grow a garden to make them happy as well.

Look closely and you’ll find new life everywhere, this year we found a sparrow made a nest in the cilantro. The babies are now ready to fly out of the nest, they’re so cute! 

AND “my” hummingbird ate out of my hand last week, is was one of those magical moments I’ll never forget!

Remember when I mentioned not giving up after the first fail? Well, last year I didn’t quite plant the potato plant correctly but surprisingly it still produced some veggies just not as much as it should have. This year I tried again and it looks like it’s going to produce a ton of potatoes.

And this blueberry plant(below) I bought last year, it didn’t produce anything and most of the plants leaves were all dyeing off. Well, I’m so glad I didn’t toss the plant last year because it sure has blossomed and looks great. 

This year I’m working on growing basil, third times a charm right? Basil is just one of those plants I have a hard time growing, but I’m not giving up. And maybe next year I’ll try broccoli again(another problem child for me).

Don’t give up with your first try! If you’re completely new to gardening – which I’m still a novice – start out with easy things. Tomatoes, Lettuce, Green Onions and most Herbs are super easy to grow. I wish everyone knew how easy and convenient it was to grow herbs

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My Must Have Garden Items
  • Fabric Pots – plants love these breathable containers, I’ve got the 10 gallon ones and so far they’re 2 years old, excellent price of $18 for 5 of them
  • Greenstalk Tower – they use food-grade, BPA, BPS & PVC-free, polypropylene plastic. This was an excellent purchase this spring, it’s produced so much food for us so far. It’s the perfect size for any space, it’d even fit on someone’s apartment patio. It has a drip type watering system so when that bird made her nest in the planter I didn’t have to worry about drowning the babies. Use code LOVETABITHA to receive $10 OFF your GreenStalk order of $75+
  • Seed Starter Tray – Another purchase I made this year was a self-watering seed starter tray, it worked perfectly getting my plants started and I’ll continue using it each year. It made things easy, convenient and organized. 
  • Protection – Your plants will eventually need some kind of protection; critters, wildlife, weather elements, and/or maybe neighborhood kids. I put mulch for the roots and I’m going to make a fence with chicken wire to keep neighbor kids out and wildlife. I also learned this trick a couple years ago is to clean out your hair brush and scatter your hair to keep deer out – it’s worked so far.
  • Veggie Cage or Bamboo Sticks – I put veggie cages aka tomato cages for a few of my plants, tomatoes of course and zucchini, cucumber, squash, beans, sugar snap peas. And if you can’t find any at the stores make your own with bamboo sticks, and I always help prop my raspberries up with bamboo sticks.
  • Pruning Shears – Get a good pair to clean up your garden and also harvest
  • Garden Labels – These are great garden labels but you can also make your own labels very easy. But if you’re growing a lot of plants it’ll make it very easy to know which is which.
  • Good Soil – Do you research for what soil you may need, potting soil is best for container gardens.
  • Sprinkler, timer, watering can, hose nozzle, drip system – figure out the best way you want to water your plants. We’re home a lot and watering my plants is my relaxing ritual each day, so I water with a hose nozzle. And keep in mind plants in containers require more water than in the ground, so you’ll need to water more frequently.

This year most of my edible plants are on the side of the house, where it gets a ton of sunlight. They’ve been growing beautifully the past couple months there and can’t wait to see how much they produce for us this year. 
I’ll be back with a summer edition in a couple months and hoping to continue this series each season. I also plan on making/buying a tiny green house to grow things during the winter. I feel very strongly about eating seasonally and locally – can’t get any more local than your yard!

Thanks for touring my garden this spring with me!

If you’ve been thinking of venturing into producing your own food but don’t have much space or expertise. Just remember you can produce in any amount of space with the correct equipment and knowledge(Google is your new best friend). So, give it a try – start with a herb garden and go from there!

 

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