What I’m starting my garden with this year

This week has been a busy one for us. We visited my husband’s family, did Easter activities with our toddler and got some yard work done, in addition to some medical appointments and visiting the library. In between all of that, I squeezed in time for starting my garden.When we moved here, our landlord gave us the green light to plant a garden. We were excited to upgrade from an (albeit large) container garden. But with some medical issues we have going on, we decided it would be best to start small.

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Designing the garden

I’ve been clearing out existing but grass-filled garden beds and am almost done. I have about two square feet left to clear out in the largest bed (which was full of crabgrass) and then all of the smallest one left. The middle-sized bed has irises and lilies from my family’s house.

Garden bed full of weeds
This garden bed was full of grass and dead weeds.

I liked the idea of a small cottage garden-style design with lots of flowers. We’ll stick very loosely to that, but since we aren’t putting in a big veggie garden this year, I’m putting more vegetables than flowers in the beds. Maybe next year we can change it up, but for now, this will be easier to manage. I’m just excited to be starting a garden! I’m still keeping a lot of plants in containers (I’m planning to order another blueberry plant to keep in a container) but we’ll have a lot in the ground, too.

So far, I have a lot of seeds started on our front porch in seed trays, but I have more to plant. I bought a rosemary plant on Sunday but started my other herbs from seed.

I’m planning to keep the blueberry, rosemary, a few other herbs, tomatoes, peas and beans in large containers. I’m sure I’ll add to that. I also have a lot of lilies in a big wooden container, and a few flowers. Some containers are hanging from shepherd’s hooks,some are on the patio and other larger ones are set in the yard by the garage, trees, etc. I love the view from one window in our house. We have a tall shepherd’s hook (like this one) set up. There’s a hanging basket one one side and this gorgeous copper-colored glass hummingbird feeder on the other. I’m waiting for the flower seeds I planted in the basket to grow– it’ll be even more stunning when they do!

A hanging flower pot filled with seeds and a glass hummingbird feeder hang from a double shepherd's hook
My copper-colored glass hummingbird feeder looks great outside my window. We have it on a tall double shepherd’s hook with a hanging flower basket on the other side. Now we’re just waiting for our flower seeds to grow!

The lilies and irises take up a lot of the middle-sized bed, but I still have a little space left to play with. I’ll probably sneak a couple of herbs in front of the taller flowers.

The tiniest bed has a birdbath that wasn’t set up when we moved here. We have a terrible mosquito problem, but if it doesn’t seem to worsen it, I’ll probably set that up. I’ll probably add some trumpet-shaped flowers all around the bird bath, throwing in a couple of tomato plants. It’s not too far from the hummingbird feeder.

The largest bed will have primarily vegetables and herbs, but I’d like to add a few little flowers in if I have space.

Starting my garden

Over the weekend, I officially got around to starting my garden past just seed trays! I put my Brunswick cabbage, Blue Curled Scotch kale, Dragon Tongue bush bean and Oregon Sugar Pod II snow pea seedlings out in the large bed. All were started from seed from one of my top favorite seed companies, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. The beans were already a little wilted from the tray, so I’m hoping they perk up out there. The peas are thriving, and most of the cabbage and kale looks really good, too. I hope our resident rabbits don’t snack on them before they have time to get established!

Snow pea seedlings freshly planted in a garden
My Oregon Sugar Pod II snow peas are small but growing quickly. I started them from seed with ones I purchased from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed.

It’s technically probably a bit early to put the beans out, but I’m staggering them and can plant more if necessary. I only put out the ones I thought either really needed to go out and/or would tolerate cool weather the best. I think the main problem will be pests. I’ll probably have to put up chicken wire or some other barrier since we have a lot of squirrels, rabbits and birds that have already gotten into my containers. I don’t want them to eat my vegetables!

The only other concern I have is that the garden bed is on the “wrong” side of the house. It gets a lot of light, but would get full sun on the other side. Hopefully everything does well in spite of that. I do plan to put a few plants in the ground on the other side of the house even if they can’t go in an actual garden bed. I’ll just have to be extra careful when I mow!

What’s next

I need to finish cleaning out the last of the grass and weeds from the bed. I have more seedlings to move out to the beds and containers, and I still have seeds to plant. Like my blueberry plant, my mint died when I was pregnant and sick, so I’m hoping to get a cutting from someone soon. But… I’m finally starting my garden. 🙂

I’m going to start some carrot, beet, radish, spinach and lettuce seeds ASAP. I hope they do better than last year, when most of them were destroyed by the local pests. I have three varieties of carrots to plant and I’m eager to see how they do. There’s also some Ornamental Fringed Kale mix I’ll plant a bit of, but it’ll probably do better in cooler weather. I have some dwarf Strawberry Popcorn seeds to try out just for fun, too.

I keep saying my garden will be small this year. Compared to my container garden (which has still been very sizable) it will be huge, but it’s still a lot smaller than we originally envisioned. Hopefully we can have an even bigger garden next year!

Have you started a garden or container garden yet? Are you starting it from seed or buying them ready-to-plant? Let me know in the comments!

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