Over the summer I would share Sunday night garden updates on Instagram. It was probably the lamest, most uninteresting thing ever….unless you really dug gardens. See what I did there? 🙂 But seriously….on an excitement level, it was right there between napping and waiting for the iron to get hot. But this was a hotly requested post….so here goes.
I asked you guys what I should plant for the fall….since my summer garden of tomatoes and peppers and herbs was such a success….and you did not disappoint! I loved all of the messages and I wished I could have planted every single thing you suggested. In the end, I decided that I would take it slow and plant the items that I thought I would actually USE.
In the two beds on the right side of the garden, I cleared out all the tomato plants and we had to add about four more bags of soil. We also amended the dirt with manure (yes, I spent hard earned moolah on poop. yay me.) and turned the beds. The level of the dirt seems like it gets lower and lower and like we could have added even more…I guess the dirt gets compacted?
For those wondering about our dirt….we live in an area that has lots of red clay so buying dirt is the norm here. We do splurge on organic soil and do not use any fertilizers or pesticides so that we can grow as close to organic veggies as possible. Granted, we do not sow from seeds so our plants could have come from a non-organic farm, but we figure that this is a good compromise. Maybe one day when I don’t have two preschoolers, a toddler and a newborn I’ll be ready to invest the time in seeds.
In the back bed, I chose broccolini (apparently this is vegetable that is kinda like broccoli and kinda like asparagus and my kiddos eat both of those) and did rows separated by ornamental cabbages.
This is a completely new-to-me veggie but I figure that broccolini sounds like something my kids would actually eat if I can harvest it correctly. Also it was one of the few veggies available at our local Growers Outlet 🙂 We paired that with the ornament plants because A Golden Girl…Blanche’s lookalike to be exact….was shopping at the outlet and she raved about the flower. Who knew that ornamental plants should yield a really pretty white flower in the middle!? I am excited about that because we can transfer it later as decoration or even a gift!
We love the outlet because of the prices and it’s just down the street but also I appreciate the fact that they list signs with information about growing specific items and harvesting the plants. Even those of you not local to Loganville can look up the signs on their plants. Here is the link to their site. Click on the Botanical name for more plant info! It’s really helpful. (oh and this page does change according to availability so if you are new to plants, you can look it up before landscaping or gardening and see what works in spring or fall).
In the other bed I did more ornamental cabbages that will have a purple bloom and I also did a couple different varieties of lettuce. I got a red leaf option as well as a butter crisp lettuce and I am already googling ways these are served up….you know…besides as a salad 🙂
The pepper bed is about half way done….there were still a few plants producing….so I pulled the chili pepper plants and tilled up that section and the boys all helped plant bulbs. I’m SO excited to have flowers in the spring!!! We can always transfer these bulbs later but I figure that flowers are something I’ll definitely use! How sweet would it be to let the boys create their own mothers day bouquets with flowers they planted?! I mean….all the tears.
We bought a bunch of different bags and they had literally no rhyme or reason in how they were planted so our fingers are crossed that every plant gets enough space and water.
This past week I also popped some spinach in the ground in one last bed where I pulled out my basil. It wasn’t looking great but hopefully it’ll pull through. I need to water it but my hose broke. Dang cheap hoses. If you can recommend one that would work, I’d love to hear it. I don’t want one that shrinks or expands….but it needs to be able to weather the elements because I’m gonna leave it outside.
As for the other options of winter veggies that I would love to try in the future…..I think califlower, brussel sprouts and garlic are all on my short list. Although all those root plants scare me a little….like when do you know garlic is ready for harvest?! I would be one of those people that digs it up everyday!
Also….we got lots of questions about what we did to get my little guys interested in the garden. We actually credit a couple things…..we have this book that is perfectly suited for a preschooler….we have read it with all of them so many times that they understand the basics of gardening and how different plants grow different things and how some come from seeds and some from bulbs. We also have realized that with ANY activity, the gear is half the fun. We buy them their own tools like these shovels (not hand shovels!) and gloves (don’t buy gloves that don’t have the coating on the fingers and palms or the kids will get splinters!). They think it is the funnest thing ever to come help mommy in there. I actually pay Weston a penny per weed for helping me and it is great for number counting practice and it is well worth the money. It’s definitely a win-win! If you have any tips on what to plant in the winter or what you do to get kids involved in gardening, I’d love to hear it! And if you have already blogged or posted on Instagram your own gardens….just pop the link in the comment below so I can see it. Dirty fingernails unite, right?!