If you've been visiting us here at Remodelaholic for a while, then you probably know that we are avid gardeners. It's hard not to get excited about getting your hands a little dirty when that work pays off with a harvest of 300 pounds of vegetables in a single summer. Um…yeah, that was more than we could eat ourselves! So we'd load it up into our little red wagon grab our girls and and visit all our neighbors. I have to say, there aren't many things more rewarding than handing over your very own home grown veggies to someone else and seeing their eyes light up, or better yet, letting your 2 year old hand it over to them! Etta was SO excited to share this from her garden!
Planting a vegetable garden every spring has become a tradition that has been fun to share with our daughters. Spring comes later to Utah than it did when we lived in Texas, But today is the day that we are getting out there to start digging. In honor of the fun to come, we want to share a few gardening ideas with you.
Square Foot Gardening…we're all about this method of getting the most bang for your buck with the gardening space you have. It worked great for us in our small Texas garden. This method is great for everyone from beginning to experienced gardeners.
If your space is super tight, remember that gardens don't have to be in the ground. Our herb garden was in pots on our patio table!
Give Your Garden Some Design Love…vegetables don't have to be ugly! Just like you'll be more likely to get more laundry done if you feel like staying in the laundry room because it's so pretty, you'll be more likely to spend time gardening if you are happy with the way your garden looks in your landscape. Put some thought into the overall design, and you'll be a lot happier with it, we promise.
This garden at Tidbits from the Tremaynes is a good example of a garden designed to make the gardener happy.
And just because our favorite gardening philosophy starts with the word “square” doesn't mean your garden has to be. The best garden is the kind that fits in the space you have available, which is why Justin designed ours as a triangle.
A House in Holland features a backyard garden that blends in with the landscaping. The box gardens that were built to match the homeowner’s deck, and flowers bloom alongside the veggies. Pretty, right?
And again, just because you don't own several acres…or even an actual backyard, doesn't mean you can't have a well designed garden in the space available. Just look at this gorgeous container garden from Better Homes & Gardens.
The Microgardener has some great ideas for creating gardens in small spaces, too.
Know What (and When!) to Grow…we learned this the hard way in Texas. We planted a few things too late in the season and they fried in the summer heat. There are some great resources out there to help you with this:
- The USDA's Cooperative Extension Offices are there to help average folks like you and me with their gardening and food preservation efforts. They've got tons of information to help make your garden a success. Find your local office HERE.
- Take a look at a regional gardening map.
- Many communities offer helpful classes through their parks and recreation departments at a very low cost. In addition, your town might even have a community garden, where you can get a small plot for yourself.
- Ask your neighbors! If you can find someone who lives in your community that is a successful gardener, they can be your best resource! They'll know which plant varieties grow well in the local soil, how to deal with common pests, and the best times to plan. They will also have recommendations for the best places to get seeds and seedlings…and may even share some of theirs with you! Having a hard time finding a gardener to befriend? Try searching Meetup.com for a local gardening club.
Get Your Kids Involved…what kid doesn't enjoy playing in the sunshine with dirt, water, and leaves? Find ways to let your kids be involved in the garden work. After all, it's pretty common knowledge that kids are more likely to eat their veggies when they helped to plant and grow them.
Last year we planted the multi-color carrots (orange, yellow, white and purple). Every time we went out into the yard, the girls could help themselves to a carrot or two of their picking. They were so excited to pull out carrots to see what color they'd be. And they would eat them too, as we played in the yard (especially the purple carrots!)
Stacy from Not Just a Housewife suggests letting kids plant some veggies with exotic colors for a “rainbow garden”.
Reserve a special spot in your yard to be the children's garden, like this one at Mom and Her Drill.
Have the kids help to make some garden markers, like these at Living Well on the Cheap.
Enjoy Your Harvest…if all this talk of gardening sounds like a lot of hard work to you, focus on what the delicious payoff will be. Fresh fruits and vegetables that taste incredible–nothing beats homegrown!
Dip your fresh veggies in my favorite hummus.
Check out this yummalicious recipe for homegrown basil pesto bruschetta by What's Cooking With Ruthie featured here at Remodelaholic.
The Rusted Garden shares a recipe for a summer garden classic: salsa!
Will you be planting a vegetable garden this year? What's your favorite thing to grow? If you are looking for more inspiration, gardening ideas, or incentives for gardening, check out my Garden Pinterest board, where I've been saving dozens of tips and tricks.