Let’s Get the Garden Going!

“There’s no time like the present.”  We’ve all heard that one before, but it’s true.  If you want to make a change, even if it’s a small one, you need to start now.  “Just do it!”  Thanks, Nike.

Last year I had been buying mostly organic vegetables from my local farmer through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and during the off season from my local grocery store because I am on the GAPS diet to clear up some health issues.  Organic is not an option for me anymore and can be very expensive.  Even though I had met my farmer, which I highly recommend, and trusted that all the produce I was getting from him was organic, I wasn’t getting the types of vegetables my family likes and didn’t know what exactly was going into the soil or what kinds of fertilizers or bug sprays were being put on my veggies.  I wanted a little more control about what was going into my mouth and my family’s mouths.   I decided to make a change this year to cut down on the cost, have a little more control and keep it local, which will help cut down on fossil fuels.  It was time to start a garden again.

 Here was my first purchase:

If you don’t recognize it, it’s a rosemary plant.  I had one that was quite large a few years ago and lost it due to two severe Pacific Northwest winters.  It was finally time for a new one because I love rosemary and love to make rosemary oil.  I use two pots because we get so much rain here it helps cut down on soggy roots.

Here’s the beginning of my little container garden on my deck.  I added some free chives I received from our local garden store.  It just so happened that I stopped in on the day they were getting rid of all their herbs.  I asked if they had chives, and the clerk said she would just give them to me.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think to ask what else they were getting rid of or I might have received more free stuff.  Oh well, I’m learning.

If you look close enough you will see a ring of dirt outside the potted chives on the right.  I planted garlic that I received from my CSA farmer in this outer ring as well as in the other two pots in the middle.  The third one was to be more garlic, but I ran out.  It’s easier to see in this picture:

It’s the middle of winter, so this pot is in the corner of my deck next to a sliding glass door so I can pull it in the house if it gets too cold outside and to keep it as protected as possible from the cold.  I also put my rosemary next to the house for protection.

Everything made it through the winter just fine.  Here are a couple more pictures to show you how they are doing:

There are a few garlic shoots coming up, the chives look good, and so does the rosemary.  Last fall I had an extra green onion from my CSA and I stuck it in the upper pot along with the garlic.  Here’s a more recent picture:

And how it looks today:

Yes, it is small, but it’s a beginning.  I have bigger plans to have a decent garden this year without much expense and plan to tear out several flower beds and plant them with vegetables.   I also plan to start some veggies very soon in the greenhouse my husband just built me from our old windows.  He made it almost entirely from reused materials. There will be a post about that coming soon.  So let’s get started and please share how your garden grows!

Update:  Here’s a picture of my container garden on 5/24/2012.  The garlic is absolutely stunning!  I added some granular Jobe’s Organic Fertilizer to each container two weeks ago since many of the nutrients in the soil is lost due to rain and watering.  This is one drawback to container gardening, but necessary for small spaces.

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  • love the idea of ringing garlic around a plant. Is there a specific reasoning for this, or just a clever way to utilized a bigger pot? We are just prepping our garden boxes ie weeding. What are ways to avoid/prevent garden slugs? We attempt some sort of planting each year, but haven’t pulled off an actual garden very well. Looking forward to seeing your garden grow…
    ~Sheri

    • Yes, I was trying to utilize the bigger pot because that’s what was on hand. I’m trying to use up what I have before purchasing or acquiring new containers.

      My favorite solution for slugs is to use dichotomous earth around the perimeter of your garden and between plants. Slugs thrive on moisture, which can be a problem, not only in the garden, but especially here in the Northwest. Dichotomous earth is not only abrasive, but absorbs liquids. Slugs don’t like it at all! Another organic fix, and less expensive, is to crush clean egg shells around the perimeter of your garden and around individual plants. The goal is to not eliminate slugs from your garden, but to keep them from the plants that you want to eat. They are part of the food chain in your garden soil, so are therefore beneficial, even if we would rather just pour salt on all of them.

      Keep plugging away on gardening! It always brings good rewards.

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