We’re Planting a Garden! And I Need Your Advice.

I am SO excited about this y’all. And thank you all so much for the sweet comments on the weight loss post I truly appreciate it. And in the weight loss post I mentioned how I am addicted to vegetables and crave them ALL the time. And I also mentioned how I recently joined a produce co-op which I’m also excited about, but why not try our hand at growing a few vegetables right here in our own yard?! I know I probably can’t grow a large enough one to keep up with the demands of our household, but having some extra around would be awesome.

When I got asked if I wanted to try out some Miracle-Gro products it was a no-brainer since we were already talking about planting a garden anyway. I wanted to do it in March but time got away from us. Hopefully we will be able to still produce some veggies and herbs from now until the Fall, and then replant new veggies.

I ordered a raised garden bed from Sam’s for $40 and it was so easy to put together. Here’s a pic from their website.

We are going to have a BBQ and I will have our family get in on the fun too and plant some stuff. Lucky them! ;) Good thing my mom and sis are gardeners. :)

You can check out some fun garden projects on Miracle-Gro’s Pinterest page, and also learn about The Gro Project on their Facebook page. 

I have so much to learn about gardening so I love browsing everything getting ideas! I need all of the help I can get.

Now what I want to know from you all is what is your favorite thing to grow? What should I not do? Since I am in Texas and it will soon be very hot, I heard squash, zucchini, and okra would be good so they are on the list. What else would you recommend? I’ll also be using the Moisture Control Potting Mix which I’ve had good luck with before. I like easy ideas, so be gentle…:)



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  1. Tomatoes! Nothing beats a home grown tomato. I’m in Indiana, and our summers are hot… not sure if they’re Texas hot though. I think they would still do fine. I also grow basil, cucumbers, zucchini, and bell peppers. Good luck!

  2. Tomatoes are awesome when homegrown but honestly, grow what you want to eat. If you love salsa, set up a little salsa garden with jalapenos, tomatoes, onions, etc. If you love Italian food do tomatoes, basil, etc. Good luck!!!

  3. I’m just north of Houston and planted cherry tomatoes, basil and marigolds last year. O.M.Gee! Did they produce and produce, and produce all summer long. I was giving buckets of tomatoes away to the neighbors I had so many. Winning combo for our wonderful Texas summers. Lol.

  4. My best advise is kinda common sense, but I see people doing it all the time…don’t plant things that you won’t eat. For instance, only one of us here likes radishes. I went nutty one year, and ended up wasting a lot of them, because the one here that likes them couldnt keep up. And there aren’t enough neighbors to surprise with them, hahah.

    Also, to piggy back on that, learn to preserve your bounty for lean months of winter! :)

  5. Gardens are the best! They are fun to do…although take work but it’s great to have free, homegrown veggies all summer long (and winter if you freeze some). I actually just posted my guide to gardening on my blog. It’s not raised bed gardening but you might find some helpful tips! http://rappsodyinrooms.com/2013/05/13/megans-guide-to-gardening/

  6. Plant what you love to eat, otherwise the garden will become a chore instead of a joy.

    I’m in Central California, where we routinely have temps over 100 during the summer. When we moved in, there was already a raised bed in the yard, and some lattice tacked up on the fence behind it (too far away from the box to be of any use for trellising of course!). We got creative. Since we had already fried our first batch of seedlings, we knew we needed some shade, even for the sun-lovers. We pulled down the lattice and framed it in some scrap 1×1, then used some leftover hinges to attach it to the fence header, and a couple pieces of leftover 1×1 as support braces. When extended, it nicely cools the bed without compromising the sunlight. It’s tall enough (about 4.5 feet) to allow for tomato cages, which we use to grow a variety of squash, vertically. Saves a ton of space! Instead of using up valuable real-estate with herb plants, I screwed a curb-find raingutter to the edges of the front and sides of the box. I filled that with a mix of herbs, marigolds and nasturtiums to provide some natural pest control, along with the two tubs of ladybugs we bought!

    My bed currently grows: yellow squash, zucchini, 1 corn plant, carrots, broccoli, spinach, celery, green onion, garlic, an heirloom tomato, and strawberries. I have sweet basil, oregano, sage, thyme, cilantro, fennel, chamomile & mint in my gutter-beds. I also have a few small pots of lettuce in the kitchen (it’s too delicate for our outdoor temps!), and a wine barrel full of potatoes (a twist on a pinterest potato box).

    Oh, my bed is only 3 x 6. The dog ate all of our drip line, so we hand-water first thing in the morning and after sunset to avoid any standing water and potential leaf-rot.

    HAVE FUN!!!

    • Wow Julie your garden sounds magical! And very clever idea with the lattice. I’m wondering if I need something like that with a little shade just because it can get so hot in Texas. And our backyard gets sun all afternoon pretty much. And love the idea with your herb garden too. I might have to do them separately too since they grow so much and take up a lot of room. I’d rather have the room for the food!

  7. I started my first raised bed garden this year too, two 4×4 beds. I planted cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, green beans, romaine lettuce, basil, parsley, and cilantro. So far we have eaten everything except the beans and cucumbers, both of which are almost ready! I live in Central Florida so I bought a book about gardening for my area since our growing seasons are different from most of the country. I’ve learned that I need to give my cucumber plants more space as they have almost taken over my herbs. We’re growing it on a trellis but it’s still so huge. We’ve also learned that the 5 foot trellis for green beans was not tall enough!
    I planted this year as an experiment since I’ve never had a garden before, but I’m hooked! My boys, 5 and 7 also love it. We just put in a drip hose to help make the watering easier and my husband is also already planning to add another bed in the fall! It’s been a great family hobby for us!

  8. I have 2 4×8 raised beds and they make gardening a lot easier. I use the potting soil for my pots but not for my beds. It would have been way too costly to fill them with that. I always grow tomatoes and green beans. You could make a green bean teepee outside the bed and your girls could play in it! Otherwise get the bush beans, they don’t get as unruly. Peppers like the hot weather so they should do well for you. Plants what you like to eat. Basil is a must for me to add to my tomatoes and cucumbers!

    • Anita, what soil do you use?

      • We got a truckload of top soil and I mixed that with compost. Mostly Black Kow. That was the first year. This year I just added more Black Kow and I might have added some Miracle Gro Garden soil. My boxes are about 12 inches high so it took quite a bit. I didn’t fill them up all the way the first year. I will just keep adding to it. Oh, and I planted right over the grass. I laid down huge cardboard boxes under the raised bed, then added the soil on top. No digging!

  9. Linda Owens says:

    whatever you grow, I would protect your plants from “critters” so maybe a row of marigolds around the border

  10. A raised garden sounds awesome! My 14 year old daughter and I would really like to do this but, we live on a field with many and various critters (deer, ground hogs, raccoons etc)! A surrounding fence seems daunting to me; any great ideas for that?

  11. I love veggies! I want to grow some too so I can have nice fresh ones and save on grocery money! I get really irritated buying them at the store and having them spoil so quickly! I like to grow tomatoes and bellpeppers. They do require some watering, especially the maters, but are so worth it! I’ve also had great success with pole green beans, but you can also grow the bush variety. Those raised bed kits are really neat and I’ve considered buying some myself. There isn’t a level spot in my entire yard so at least if I don’t have to build the box, I can have the energy to level the ground LOL! Good luck with your veggies! Hugs, Leena

  12. Our garden just isnt complete without cucumbers, peppers, and basil! Heaven is a homegrown cucumber! I love homemade salsa so peppers are always a part of our summer garden and I love cooking with fresh herbs so basil is a must as well. I grow all my veggies in a raised bed and in containers. Good Luck with your garden. Cant wait to see it grow!

  13. My brother just planted his garden this past week. He used the soil taken from digging out the basement in hopes that it is nutrient rich. He planted corn, radishes, beans, tomatos, and cucumbers, and I think maybe some onions too. Can’t wait to see it start growing!

    Good luck with yours!

  14. Hey Emily:

    Apologies for being a thorn. The post about your Kitchen will hit our site on June 6th. Can you please respond to the following questions?

    We are using one before image and one after image in the article about your kitchen. Each caption will link to your site and there will be a link within the post too. Just let me know:

    · You own the image rights.

    · You have the authority to grant to the National Association
    permission to use the images as described.

    · You grant that permission.

    Please also let us know:

    · How you would prefer to be named in the image credits.

    · What URL you’d like the image credits to link to, if any

    Thank you! I need this ASAP, so please forward the details by Monday. Thanks a bunch!


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