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April 7, 2009

Garden Update One 2009: It's Spring! So Now It's Time To Start Gardening!

What's Happening in the Garden Graphic

It's that time of year again...Time to start having garden updates! This year I'm going to do things a little bit differently. I will update about my garden every week or so. I'm planning on doing container gardening this year exclusively, but you might be surprised by some of the things I end up planting!

As I plant I'll fill you in on what's going on and my garden entry will be my entry for the day. It's fun for me to be able to see what I've planted, what worked, what didn't, how things are progressing, etc. I know many of you enjoy it too because you e-mailed me last summer after I stopped updating about progress when my garden got out of control due to some unforeseen stuff that popped up in our life and I didn't want to show you my big bunch of weeds! ;oP

So let's get start today shall we?

As I mentioned above this year I am going the container route. This weekend I got two containers of spinach, one container of snow peas, one container of shell peas and some herbs planted. I also moved most of my pots outdoors to either the patio or the front porch.

First off let me show you the planters I like, and also tell you what kind of potting material I like to use.

Garden Update One 2009: Ready To Plant

As you can see above I like to use rectangular planters for the most part, especially for spinach and peas. These are also great for petunias too, but we're not quite to petunia season yet! These guys are great because they can fit over the rail of a porch or a deck. Unfortunately our front porch rails are slightly raised in the middle so I can't use them in that capacity right now, but they look great sitting on the ground too as you'll see in a bit.

To start out with I like to use a good organic potting mix. I also like to combine some compost in if its available. In a few weeks if needed I'll add some all natural fertilizer. You don't always need to add it though. You just need to keep an eye on things.

Last year I mentioned that I make up an organic pest control solution and several of you asked me about it, but I forgot to share. Well better late than never I guess! ;oP

Here's my mix/method:

Grab a big stock pot. Fill it up with garlic and hot peppers (I normally use cayenne peppers that I've grown and dried the year before and saved). Cover it with water, bring to a quick boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove from heat, let cool completey and strain the liquid before putting it into spray bottles. Use to spray directly on your plants. It works great! If you don't want to make your own though you can always check out hot pepper wax too.

Another good pest solution is marigolds and garlic. You can plant marigolds and a clove of garlic here and there to help ward of pests too! Marigolds work particularly well with tomatoes and herbs. I like to plant garlic with my flowers and herbs too!

I always plant several planters with herbs. You can NEVER have too many herbs in my opinion! Saturday at My Organic Market I picked up a basil plant and some potted chives. I decided to add them into my planter that already had peppermint sprouting again from last year!

Garden Update One 2009: Herbs

Now the trick is keeping Alexis out of it long enough for it to grow! I've already caught her twice munching on the basil! She is SO my child! ;oP This is the first of several herb pots that will come together over the next few weeks.

For now I have the spinach, herbs and peas pushed up against the house since it is still getting a bit cool at night to keep them somewhat sheltered:

Garden Update One 2009: Spinach, Herbs And Peas All In A Row

The two metal pots on the windows are herbs and strawberries. We planted them a month or so ago as one of Lex's science experiments. I decided it was time to move them outside as well!

In a few weeks I'll pull the planters out to the front of the porch.

I also plan to do some experimenting with hanging/upside down plantings this year! That will come in a few weeks once it warms up enough to start planting vegetables! So stay tuned!

Now let's oh and ah over some spring things! They may not be edible, but humor me! ;oP

You may or may not know that my favorite flower is the daffodil. The house we live in now actually has two varieties growing!

First there is a pale whitish petal with a yellow center:

Garden Update One 2009: Daffodils

And there is also a yellow on yellow variety:

Garden Update One 2009: Daffodils

We also have several varieties of crocuses including some that are purple:

Garden Update One 2009: Purple Crocuses

And some that are white:

Garden Update One 2009: White Crocuses

There were a few more colors too such as a yellowy orange, but they were past their prime so I didn't bother with pictures. There are tulips sprouting too, but they haven't bloomed yet.

Finally after I finished puttering around planting and exploring it was time to sit on the front porch swing and enjoy the view:

Garden Update One 2009: The View

Isn't it amazing? I can't wait to see what it looks like once the trees actually have leaves!

So that's where I stand now on the gardening front. Who out there is gardening this year? What are you planting? How are you planting? Tell me! I just love this stuff!

Posted by Dianne at April 7, 2009 9:06 AM

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I love the floor of your front porch. We keep thinking about doing our patio in the same surface. It looks lovely with the planters.

Posted by: Chiot's Run at April 7, 2009 1:34 PM

I really am enjoying the porch surface! It's nice, but not slick, which is nice with a five year old running around. Makes a pretty backdrop too!

Posted by: Dianne at April 7, 2009 2:23 PM

I have an Aeorgarden! That pretty much sums up my gardening. Sad really when I live in the sunshine state and can grow pretty much anything here.

All you plans sound wonderful. Looking forward to hearing more.

Btw, I have a giveaway going on & would love for you to have an opportunity to win. :-)

Posted by: ingrid at April 7, 2009 3:30 PM

I have porch envy. I have always dreamed of having a big front porch with a porch swing. Absolutely lovely view to boot!

I'm going to have to try doing more container gardening this year. I really like what you've done.

Posted by: Moni at April 7, 2009 6:08 PM

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