Be Kind To Earth: Starting A Garden

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This year, we are planting a small raised bed and container garden in our backyard. Having a garden a couple of steps outside of our kitchen, we’ll be able to enjoy and appreciate fresh, pesticide-free produce. Admittedly, I don’t know what I’m totally doing. I’m still doing some research. I’ve grown tomatoes, bell peppers, romaine lettuce, and green onions in containers before, but I have never thought to test the PH of the soil or use any kind of spiffy technique.

We also share our backyard and our landlord prefers that we keep all of our belongings out of the grass and as close to our homes as possible. So, I’m working with limited space and hopes that the neighboring kids and critters stay out of our crops. I’ve been looking at some mini greenhouses. We got off to a late start, so we’ll be germinating some seeds indoors and purchasing plants that have already been started. We’re going to compost (with plenty of scraps in the fridge waiting) and collect rain in a rain barrel. We’re going all out this year because it’s time we honor our planet and our temples.

We’re planning on planting the following crops:

Celery
Chives
Green Onions
Cilantro
Lettuce (Arugala, Romaine, Endive, Radiccio)
Yolo Peppers
Broccoli
Spinach
Squash
Blueberries (Still deciding on variety)
Corn (Still deciding on variety)

I’m still figuring out how I’m going to arrange everything so that all of the crops thrive in our little garden.

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Are you gardening this year? What are you growing? What techniques are you implementing?

Are you doing anything to commemorate Earth Day?

I’ve volunteered as an B Kind 2 Earth Day State Leader with Nickelodeon, the National Wildlife Federation, and TheMotherhood. Visit the B Kind 2 Earth Day Facebook page, and give it a like! Our goal is to get 75 people in each state to like and promise to do at least one good deed on Earth Day to help preserve Mother Earth!

Photos are from her BIG garden last year.

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is the founder of Sophistishe. She's a free spirit, rental rebel, curator of pretty things, lover of vintage pyrex, and the tropics. Sheena can be found in NW Indiana with her husband and two scrumptious boys, clutching kraft paper, chalkboard paint, sriracha and chipotle pepper.

11 Comments

  • Reply June 11, 2011

    Donna B.

    I’ve got 4 kinds of tomatoes (roma, grape, some heirloom and a slicing), cukes, peppers (bell, japepeno and banana), zucchini, yellow squash, potatoes, onions, and tons of herbs (parsley, cilantro, thyme, 2 kinds of oregano, 3 types of basil, savory, lemon verbena, chives, sage, rosemary, bay, dill, peppermint tarragon and marjoram). Oh and also marigolds :) Everything’s in containers, although this year I’ve GOT to work out some sort of irrigation system.

  • Reply June 11, 2011

    spirit_kim

    Chives and cilantro are two of my favorites to have on hand. Maybe add some thyme too it goes great with everything. Good luck.

  • Reply May 13, 2011

    Jena

    With a 5mo baby, I can’t seem to quite get as organized as I’d like, but I have 3 kinds of tomatoes, cilantro, 2 kinds of basil & 2 kinds of peppers started in a cold frame, and I plan to plant sugar snap peas and squash directly into the ground, though I’m starting to think maybe I’ll just start the squash and pumpkins transfer them. I can’t remember whether that’s a good idea or not. Some onions that never got pulled last year are still growing (they weren’t very big at harvest time) and the garlic my friend planted for me when I was 7.5 months pregnant looks fantastic! (Around here, garlic is best planted around Halloween; that way, you get nice big heads at harvest time.)

    Last year I planned everything out, looking up which plants were good companions for others. This year I won’t have nearly the planting to do, but because I put landscaping material down to keep weeds at bay, it shouldn’t be too hard to maintain it.

    btw, I’ve read that if you want to grow onions, a great way to do it is to buy the green onions in the store and just plant them–after all, green/spring onions are just juvenile onions, eh? I’m stubborn and insist on trying to grow them from seed, but it takes FOREVER (as evidenced by the onions I planted last spring, which are now about the size of a plum).

  • Reply April 29, 2011

    marry j.

    planning a garden is very cool, you dant go wrong with these vegetables. i love gardening so much and im happy about spring every year again :)

  • I been really trying hard to have just a few space on my garden for a good start. Then will have my kids help me to build a more bigger after wards.

  • Reply April 22, 2011

    Cat Davis

    Sheena, I’m sure you’ll do great with those veggies. I can’t wait to see your garden grow. Right now mine is flooded … totally flooded. We got an onslaught of rain this week that just won’t let it dry out.

    • Reply April 23, 2011

      Sheena

      That’s awful! The wild rain is what scares me, so I’m going to get some greenhouses to top my beds with. They will help block the rain, any critters and curious kiddos.

  • Reply April 22, 2011

    Laila @OnlyLaila

    I’ve always wanted to start a garden but not sure how to do it in an apartment.

    • Reply April 22, 2011

      Sheena

      Do you have a balcony? That’s where I started my first garden 2 years ago: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sophistishe/3650299394/

      Oh, and check out this site: http://lifeonthebalcony.com/

  • Reply April 22, 2011

    Kathleen

    You’re awesome!

    We’ve started our lettuce, radishes and herbs from seed, and so far so good. I’m hoping to buy some tomato seedings and a few others, since it took me too long to get started this year with seeds. I can’t wait to see your garden.

    One note: beware of celery. That stuff needs tons of water! We couldn’t keep up with ours from a few years ago.

    • Reply April 22, 2011

      Sheena

      I should probably create a self-watering container for the celery then, huh? Oh boy!

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