Friday, April 19, 2013

Kitchen Garden Planning and Outdoor Extravaganza

Outside, it's in the thirties and we're experiencing flurries.  Just a day ago, we were ambushed with 7 inches of rain overnight!  We woke up to find a pond in our backyard!  For a few hours, the lines between our yard and our neighbors actual pond were blurred.  I thought the boys and I might go fishing should any of his little fishies cross property lines...  Lucky for the fish, our "pond" dried up pretty quickly and lucky for us, we didn't get any water in our basement.

Inside, however, I'm trying to beat the lousy weather.  I'm busy planning a kitchen garden for this summer!  I'd have hoped to be outdoors tearing up grass and prepping a new area in our yard specifically for an herb and lettuce bed:

Instead, I'm left to purchasing seeds and scouring Pinterest for planting and planning ideas.  Here are a few considerations I kept in mind while planning my garden:

1. What do you eat most? This seems most obvious, but you should plant what you will use and share with others.

2. How much space do you have and how much space do your planned vegetables require? Check out this Square Foot Planning guide via Garden Therapy:

3. Incorporate lots of color. This has two benefits: 1) you will consume a larger variety of vitamins and 2) your yield will be colorful and pretty to eat! (Yes, I really considered "pretty" when choosing my crop).

4. What is the best location for your garden? Ideally you can choose an area that is steps from your kitchen and door. I am reloacting my lettuce and herb garden to the steps right off our deck and kitchen. However, most important is sunlight. Select an area with the approprioate amount of sun for your crop!

I've started various plants from seed in the past; however never this many.  The below is only a sampling of what I purchased:

The woman in the check out line asked me, "you eat all this stuff?"  You mean vegetables?!?!  Why yes, yes I do. 

As it turns out, I realized after reading the back of the packages that several of these should have been started a few weeks ago indoors.   I'm not too concerned since it's only a few; I will give it a try next week and go from there:

I plan to try the newspaper method above.  Once the plant is ready, you can plant the newspaper right into the ground.  I will have to try this method with the lavender and rosemary:

The above four herbs happen to be several that are required to make my favorite herb blend, that I talked about here, Herbs de Provence:

Each year, my garden gets a little larger.  Last year was the first time I tried lettuce and wondered why I hadn't done it before.  I tried desperately to plant the seeds in nice straight lines.  Turns out, the seeds are REALLY small.  I resorted to shaking the pack of seeds empty and letting the seeds fall where they may.  The lettuce grew just fine - and I LOVED picking fresh leafs for dinner - but it didn't look exactly like I'd envisioned:

So, I was really excited when I found seed tape at Walmart.  I haven't come across it before in the stores.  I think usually I'm shopping too late:

While I was there, I picked out a little fern friend.  I think I will keep this one indoors:

I have extra incentive to get going early this year.   In case you missed my last post, four other bloggers (Shauna, Carmel, Tiffany, and Barbara) and I will each share various outdoor projects and then host a series of link parties for each:
I will share some of my favorite projects here on the blog each week.  In order to get you going, why not follow my Garden Ideas and Outdoor Living boards over at Pinterest?  You might find your self day dreaming about this:

..and this:

Better yet, maybe you will be inspired to get moving on your outdoor projects!  Has anyone out there started vegetables from seed before?  Any advice?  What are you planning for this summer?


  1. Looking forward to seeing how it all turns out. Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Lettuce is incredibly easy and can be planted now and then again in the summer for lettuce all summer long. I'll try to link up if I can get some time to plant:)