Living in the comforts of modern day suburbia, life can become detached from reality. We take our weekly run to the grocery store to purchase much needed essentials… milk, eggs, meat, fruits, and veggies. We pull them down from refrigerated shelves giving practically no thought to how they got there in the first place. We then take these items home to prepare meals for our family, wasting a large percentage along the way. Yes it’s true, it seems out convenient society has practically promised to make us forget where our food actually comes from.
For our family, it’s important to remember the efforts behind the foods we consume. For that reason, we made it a goal to plant a container vegetable garden as part of our Summer Bucket List. We made this project a family affair, having Dutch involved in every step along the way. I’m happy to share our experience with you today including pictures, tips and ideas that might just inspire you to plant a garden of your own. I hope you enjoy!
This being my first attempt at growing veggies, I did a little research on the front end. I found an awesome infographic on Pinterest that detailed which veggies and herbs were safe to plant together. (Companion Planting Chart) I learned there that tomato, basil, and peppers were a happy combination and since we already consume those ingredients often, we decided they would be a good choice to plant.
Our next step was to take a trip to our local garden center and stock up on supplies. Since we would be planting in early Summer, we chose to purchase existing plants rather than seeds. Here’s what we purchased:
- plant beds,
- a heat resistant tomato plant,
- a sweet basil plant,
- a sweet red bell pepper plant,
- a mint plant,
- a chocolate mint plant (yes, these exist and they smell exactly like chocolate mint),
- a trellis for the tomato plant,
- and mulch to protect the soil
Here is Dutch reading the herb packet in our shopping cart, and here we are together, loading up the trunk of the car with our goods.
It’s important to mention that a few months ago we started a compost bin for the purpose of eliminating waste. On a weekly basis we’ve added leftover scraps, and it’s resulted in this super rich soil that plants just love. I plan to write a post on how to compost like this in the near future, so check back with us if it interests you.
We started by layering our purchased potting soil in the plant beds, then layering our compost soil on top of that, followed by more of the purchased soil.
We planted our tomato and basil plant in one bed, the two mint plants in another, and the Italian herb seeds in a third. Since we ran out of room, the pepper plant got a pot of it’s own. We poured compost tea (fluids that gathered in the bottom of the compost bin) all over the top of the soil.
Here is Dutch touching and sniffing the sweet basil plant.
After a good soak, we topped the soil of the plants with mulch to protect it from heat. We left the Italian herb bed as is. Once they have sprouted, we will add a layer of mulch. Lastly, we added the trellis cage around the tomato plant.
We chose to keep these plants off the ground, mostly because I don’t trust Dutch not to pick at them while playing outside. Also, we have them under the shade of an umbrella to protect them from the harsh afternoon sun. Their location receives adequate light in the morning, ensuring they get enough direct sunshine to grow strong.
By the way, can you spot our little lizard friend perched in the herb bed? 🙂
We already have some small, green tomatoes coming in on our tomato plant.
We don’t expect to harvest any veggies or herbs for at least 90 days, but the fruits of our labor will be much appreciated by that point. This experience was rich in fun and filled with lovely memories. Check back with us as I plan to post about our first harvest in the coming months.
As promised, I’ll be sharing all of our Bucket List experiences this Summer. Be sure to check out our Summer Bucket List Series page to see which items we’ve already crossed off our list, as well as what’s in store for the rest of the Summer!
Did I miss anything? Any tips from seasoned gardeners that might help? Let’s chat about it in the comments below! Also, If you loved this post, feel free to share it with friends and be sure to follow us to keep up with all our creative projects!