Home » gardening » How does your garden grow? Grow your own… To first-timers from an old-timer.

How does your garden grow? Grow your own… To first-timers from an old-timer.

Do you garden? Do you have containers on your patio? I am getting so excited to get my seedlings out and get dirty! I grew up in a home with a landscape designer, gardening enthusiast for a mother who came from a suburban farming background. We grew it all and I remember hating having to go out and pull weeds.

I never realized all of that practical experience was better than any class I could have taken. I knew how to tell seedlings from weedlings by the time I was in second grade.
And even though my grandmother grew up in an era where she sprayed THE CRAP out of every plant and bug imaginable with every chemical imaginable; My mother and I try to use organic methods, crop rotation and companion planting to control our pests.
I had my zone 5a garden going the minute we moved in this house ten years ago and have grown about 50% of our veggies every year. If we ever had to move I would really miss the garden area we’ve built, and hate having to start over. Every year it gets just a wee bit bigger.

So how do you decide what to plant?
For first timers, I think the best returns ( in the midwest) for the littlest effort are green beans,onions, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots, and garlic.
Raspberries are amazingly easy and rewardable, but those are kind of a 3 year stint before you see a return, but are well worth it.

This year on my somewhere between a 1/4 and 1/2 acre lot
I’ ll hopefully have green beans, beets,corn,cucumbers, watermelon, raspberries (red and gold), onions, garlic, broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomatoes( last year was terrible for tomatoes!) , potatoes, green peppers, eggplants, asparagus, carrots, and herb garden and artichokes if the plant takes. My nectarine and new plum tree are still too little to bear fruit yet.

So how does your garden grow? What do you plant? Gardening aficionados, what do you like to plant? What do you think has the best return?

Do you have any garden question? I’m no professional gardener; but just have lots of years in the dirt. Ask away and I’ll do a gardening post if I get enough questions.
( as a side note, my 1st grader is reading over my shoulder as I am typing (she’s Viking by the way today.), she’s reading said “Oh yuck, tomatoes. I hate tomatoes! I hate potatoes Wait! Don’t tell them that! “)
Man, now I hope if I grow it, some one is going to eat it!
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One Comment

  1. Jen, know you also thru CMH, but your blog today linked me to here so maybe since this is years later you might still have time to answer this question if you have an idea or answer. I have an old tractor tire in my country front yard that was originally used in the yard for a sand box. I thought was a great idea for an enclosed garden for tomatoes, cucumbers, squash. I don’t know anything about tires but someone mentioned they thought it would not be a good idea to plant in a tire. I have seen all sorts of flowers in tires in folks yards but can’t remember veggies. What do you think? Even tho I live in the country there is no place and I have no equipment to DIG a space for a garden. I know i could use other small containers but this one just seems so perfect….maybe?! thanks

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