This year I've concluded that it really is better to buy your plants from a local nursery. I did a mix (since my number one goal this spring season was growing a baby, not a garden) since I wasn't able to starts my plants from seeds. Maybe next year. But anyways, I noticed a few things when I was walking around Lowe's looking for plants, after taking a gander around a local nursery.
Lowe's didn't have a great selection. At all. I was on the hunt for kale, and they didn't have it. I wanted sweet red peppers, and they didn't have them. I couldn't even find any regular lettuce! Plus, I was really shocked when I realized Lowe's was actually more expensive than the nursery. The nursery had really fun plants like lemon cucumbers and a variety of mints, all of which I couldn't find at Lowe's. So next year I will be sticking to the nurseries.
I re-lined my square foot garden and got a few plants in over the weekend, but I was able to get the rest of them in this morning before it got too hot out. Here's the before:
And the pretty, much more green, after:
This year I decided on a whim to plant:
-sweet red peppers
-zucchini (these did so great last year that I still have a few chocolate zucchini muffins in the freezer that I pull out when I need them on occasion!)
I've already got strawberries coming back from last year, as well as much of my herb garden that I transplanted from a friend. My beloved rhubarb that I thought the neighborhood lawn mower guy totally killed for good last year also came back! :)
I think I shared this before, but last year was my first year trying the square foot garden. I loved it! I maybe had five weeds to pull all summer, and again, just a few that needed pulling over the weekend. After leaving it uncovered for stray seeds to find throughout the fall and winter (a no-no for gardening), I was very thankful I only had a few to pull. One thing I didn't realize when I planted last year was how big the plants will get! I tried to put two in one square foot, which is not the point of square foot gardening. haha So I spaced them out correctly this time.
I was also terrified to harvest ANYTHING last year! It is so, so fun to watch the plants grow in your own front yard, but I had no clue how to actually take advantage of the veggies. haha I bundled my broccoli much too late in the season. I NEVER pulled a single lettuce leaf, and let me tell you, I had some gorgeous lettuce growing last year that could have filled many salad plates! I did pick a few banana peppers, but those are easy to pop off. I didn't do enough research, but I don't really think research is required. Just work up the guts to use the wonderful bounty of your garden. Even if you fear doing it wrong and hurting the plant, let the plant be a plant and do it's job. If you pull the kale leaf off the wrong way, the plant can compensate and continue it's growing. haha Don't waste your garden like I did last year. ;)
I am stoked about this purple kale!! I can't wait to throw it in some smoothies!!
I hope all you gardeners out there are having fun in the dirt this week. :) The only problem I ran in to was digging into an ant hill on accident when I planted my azalea bush. The only reason I noticed was because of the slight burning sensation that was coming from inside my garening gloves. haha By that time they were all over my shoulders and everything. So, my boy scout husband decided to hose me off in the front yard. Even when I got in the shower some had followed me in there! I rubbed melaleuca oil all over my arm and it quickly stopped the burning. :) God was so smart to include healing properties for His kids to take advantage of in His creation. :)