It’s that time of year again when my daughter and I plan out our vegetable garden. It seems that each year we expand the garden a bit more, try to grow something different and plant something too early.
This year, we have decided to fill our vegetable garden with:
- cherry tomatoes
- ground cherries
- mini cucumbers
- sugar snap peas
While we grow most things from seed, I think this year we are going to buy already started tomato plants from our local gardening centre because we cannot seem to keep up with or give away enough tomatoes and we want to make room for more of what we really love, such as the ground cherries and sugar snap peas.
I should also mention that we have a perennial strawberry plant that produces more and more sweet strawberries with each passing year and also have a herb garden with lavender, chives and basil (I can never get enough basil!)
We buy our seeds online through Cubit’s Organics. I think this will be my fifth year buying seeds from this great little organic farm located in southern Ontario. I especially love their Goldie Ground Cherry seeds – you can’t find these little gems at very many garden centres and they are so fun to eat and to pick. One packet of seeds will give you at least two months worth of daily ground cherry harvesting!
We start some of our seeds inside – including our ground cherries, watermelon and usually our tomato seeds. Of course, the faster growing vegetables, such as beans, peas and radishes should be sowed directly in your garden – so we have a few weeks to wait for those ones. The good news is the instruction on when, where and how to plant seeds are typically on the back of every seed packet (tip: keep your seed packets together in a bag or container and store them someplace for future reference i.e., so you will know when to harvest your carrots).
New for us this year is growing garlic, and starting some plants from the seeds we saved from last year’s garden! I thought I would try a few radishes and corn inside (just to see) and they are sprouting, so we will definitely be planting the remainder of the seeds in the garden. My daughter was thrilled that the seeds we grew and preserved are actually growing new plants (I was too)!
I love the educational experience that comes along with gardening. My daughter gets so excited when a seed sprouts. This year we planted a few of her very own seeds that she could take care of in her bedroom. Her sunflower seeds have grown quite tall already and she is very proud of them. In addition to sunflowers, we have also started Morning Glories and pansies (we are hoping the containers we planted these in will be just full enough in time for Mother’s Day gifts!).
You don’t have to have a green thumb to be a gardener. You just have to have the desire to do it. Having your own vegetable garden is a great way to teach kids where food comes from and also makes them appreciate the time it takes to grow the carrots they may be hesitating to eat at suppertime. It is also a great way to get them to eat healthy – my daughter helps herself to whatever is ripe for the eating in the garden all summer long!
Do you garden? What do you grow and do you start them from seed? Leave a comment and let me know! Happy gardening!