Our First Garden

I have a lot of memories of my grandma in her garden. My grandma had 12 children so producing food was a big priority for their family growing up. We cousins also grew up around that garden too. My grandmother watched a lot of children when we were younger and every day we all would make the trek to the garden to help her out. One of my favorite plants was a blackberry bush she had. I remember all of us cousins going out on any given day, each with a 5 gallon bucket and getting enough blackberries to fill all of our buckets. I love blackberries and since many of my other cousins did not, I basically could eat all I wanted.

My grandma canned food too. She had a room in her basement with floor to ceiling shelves just full of canned food. When we would have family get togethers, there would always be a group of my aunts sitting around the tall Oak trees snapping green beans. Even when my grandmother passed, my aunts maintained her garden for her. I remember where she would plant the corn and the potatoes and how she would switch up the spots of each plant every year so that the soil would be rich each season. I remember my cousin’s snake getting into the garden and without any emotion, ended the whole affair. I’ll leave you with that imagination of what happened.

By the time I met Andy, my grandmother was no longer with us. She passed away from cancer four years earlier. Andy’s grandma though reminds me a lot of my own grandma. Mostly her garden. Both Andy’s grandparents pour their heart and soul into that garden and I love talking to them about what it’s producing, what the moles are getting and what the rain is killing. It brings me back to conversations my grandmother would have. Andy’s grandma also is a big canner. She bought me my first pressure cooker and that still means a lot to me.

When we bought this house back in the fall, there was a raised garden bed out back and I knew that I wanted the kids to help me with the garden. They already love walking around our perimeter guessing what color the flowers on certain plants will be or how tall they will grow. So on a Wednesday evening (after the time change), the kids and I headed to Lowe’s to pick up some essentials to start our very first garden as a family. I was going to use egg cartons but ended up just buying these little garden starter trays. I also picked up some seeds (green beans, carrots, broccoli, lettuce and tomatoes) and some seed starter soil. We stayed with the green veggies as our garden bed does get some shade and I heard through Andy’s grandma to start with the green vegetables as those tend to do okay in the shade. I plan on putting tomatoes in some planters on our back patio so they can get full sun.

We then set them up in our sun room and crossed our fingers. In a matter of a few days, we already had sprouts. The kids check on these plants every day. Payten will sit up on this table for awhile just looking at and touching each plant.

Some things I’ve read about starter seeds:

  • make sure there is a small hole in the bottom of each container to prevent root rot
  • don’t over water but make sure they have enough water (think spray bottle mist every day)
  • if the seeds are having trouble sprouting, try making a greenhouse with cardboard and aluminum foil (it will help the seeds sweat and ultimately germinate)

Any one else growing a garden this year? Are you a novice like me? Loved to hear what everyone is planting.


2 thoughts on “Our First Garden

  1. Gardening is just about my favorite thing ever! This is the first year we’ve owned our own home and can actually have a backyard garden (well, it’s technically the second year, but I was HUGELY pregnant last summer). I have a hot water bath and canning recipe book, but I haven’t attempted canning yet. I’m just so nervous!

    1. My husband’s grandma keeps telling me it’s so easy so I will learn along side you. Maybe we can share notes when the time comes. I also know nothing.

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