Friday, April 16, 2010


It's that time of year again...time to think about the garden! Are you gardening this year? I am really new to gardening. We bought a house just two years ago when we moved to Utah from Los Angeles (anyone who can afford a house in LA gets all my respect) and our backyard had some raised garden beds with soaker hoses already prepared. So that first year, I threw caution to the wind and dove right in. I didn't have any real experience and hoped for good luck. What else can you do when you don't know what you're doing?

That first year ended up going really well, and I think it was due to the dirt I used. I bought Miracle Grow Organic Garden soil from Lowes, and boy did it grow stuff. I had tons of tomatoes, which was awesome. Last year, I decided to get cheaper dirt from the local transfer station, and actually bought my seedlings and seeds from a local nursery that everyone raves about. And I had mediocre luck. It's all about the soil, people!

This year, I bought STA Green soil. Still name brand...still I'm hoping it will be fine. It was cheaper...and when you're buying 50 pounds of dirt, cheap can help. I'll be buying my plants from the nursery again, they have a better selection of different varieties, and hopefully they know what grows well around here. I planted some peas (I bought at Lowes) and they are already starting to come up! I'm excited, I have both sugar snap and snow peas.

In the past, I haven't done tons of cooking with my garden vegetables and I want that to change this year. They are so good on their own, that I was sort of lazy...I usually just steamed my green beans, and often just sliced up the tomatoes. This year, I want to take advantage of the garden for my cooking.

So, I have been stewing about what to plant to get the most out of my small space. Here's what I have planned.
  • tomato, regular old hybrids
  • tomato, roma
  • tomato, heirloom
  • tomato, cherry
  • bell pepper, ivory
  • chile, anaheim
  • chile, serrano
  • green beans
  • cucumbers
  • zucchini
  • basil
  • peas, sugar snap
  • peas, snow
Yes, we are tomato freaks tomatoes are so delicious! I'm excited to try an heirloom tomato. I've heard they are delicious and worth the extra work. Since I have such a small space, I have decided that the only things worth planting are those that are tremendously better off the garden (like tomatoes), have exceptionally high yield (like zucchini), and/or are basically unavailable/too expensive at local markets (like ivory bell peppers and basil). For the past two years, I have planted onions because I thought it was neat, but they take up too much space, they take too long to mature, and they are too cheap at the grocery store. It's not worth the space. I grew carrots last year, which tasted much different than the carrots from the store, but carrots are so cheap, and they also took a long time to mature. So, those are both off my list. If I had a lot of space to work with, I would grow both of them. But with limited space, I need to pick what is the most worth the space and time. How do you decide what to grow? What are you planting this year?

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