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5/24/2011

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary…

…how does your garden grow?

Things are actually growing pretty well around here!  Playing in the dirt planting a garden is definitely one of the things I look forward to the most every spring.  And this spring was no exception!

Each year I plant a small vegetable garden along the back side of the house.  And each year my garden is picked over by deer and rabbits who think of it as their own personal salad bar.  Well so far, so good this year.  No signs of the critters yet (although I’m pretty sure I just jinxed it by typing that).  I’ve tried everything to deter them (Deer-Off spray, bars of soap, human hair, and even a home-made mix of glue, cayenne pepper, and eggs), but nothing ever seems to work.  I’ve learned over the last couple of years that in order for me to get the veggies I want I have to plant some extras so that the animals can get what they want too… which means I keep planting more and more.

This year, in addition to the normal row of tomato plants and bell peppers I decided to try container vegetable gardens for the first time.  I was inspired by the amazing container gardens I saw on our trip to the North Carolina Arboretum last summer.  Here’s a picture of what I saw there.

That’s right… containers with a mix of tomatoes, squash, beans, peppers, herbs, and greens.  Who knew you could mix so many different vegetables in the same pots?  I certainly didn’t! 

I love how this type of gardening allows you to plant so much in such a small space.  Plus, I think they’re really beautiful and interesting to look at… especially if you stick a trellis in the pot from them to climb up.  So, I figured what the heck!  I’ll give it a try!

I bought some of my favorite veggies (tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, and squash), mixed up some soil and home-made compost, and got to digging.  In addition to the veggies I planted some nasturtium seeds for an extra splash of color.  In separate pots I planted various herbs from seeds (chives, basil, lavender, rosemary).

Here’s what the planters looked like with my baby veggies a couple days after they were planted…

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…and here’s what they look like now!

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Huge difference in less than a month’s time!  It’s so fun to watch them grow… and super exciting now that they’re all flowering!  It won’t be long and we’ll have all kinds of fresh, organic veggies to eat!

And here’s a glimpse at the row of tomatoes (with a few other veggies mixed in) I planted this year…

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Off to a good start!  I decided to try a row of marigolds in front this time to see it that would help to deter the deer (supposedly deer don’t like the smell of them).  I’m guess they won’t make a difference.  The deer will probably just turn their noses up and skip over them like I do when I come across pickled beets on a salad bar.  Yuck!  I mean, honestly… who puts that on a salad?!?  Anyway, eventually the tomatoes will fill in and grow to cover the back wall of the house.  If this year’s “crop” is anything like last year’s I’ll have plenty for us and plenty left over to share with the neighbors.

So there’s a quick run down of what’s growing in my vegetable garden and planters this year.  I’ll let you know when we get our first taste!

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