Friday, May 20, 2011

2011 Garden Tour

cilantro, tarragon, arugula, thyme, chives, basil
I live in a small townhome.  I don't have a huge yard... actually, I almost don't have a yard at all.  When I step out onto our deck (which covers our entire backyard) I don't get much privacy.  We can always smell what our neighbors are cooking and we have to close the windows when having private conversations on warm evenings.  It's cozy.

Despite our space challenges, I've always had a garden.  We bought this home six years ago and I always find a way to plant tons of edibles on our 15 by 15 deck.  It's a pain that I have to go in the house and out the front door and around to the back door to turn on the hose (our deck doesn't have access to the yard), but I do it.  All for the love of food.

If you have a sunny space, you can have a garden.  Mine exists entirely in containers.  One day when we have a larger, more private yard I will plant more items directly in the ground.  But for our tiny family, this works.

Strawberries - trying something new this year.
The great thing about my deck being completely enclosed is that I have fewer predators after my vegetables and fruits.  Some people have to deter deer, groundhogs, foxes, raccoons, and other critters, but I pretty much only need to worry about birds and insects.

I typically plant several varieties of peppers (this year it's jalapeno, cubanelle, and red bell), tomatoes (cherry and patio this year), every herb I use, and a few experimental items (strawberries and zucchini).  I've learned that some items are perennials (come back every year), so I always smile to see my sage and thyme pop up to greet me in mid-April.  I'm hoping that my strawberries do well and that they return next year.

I probably invested $75-100 on pots, soil, fertilizer, shovels, gloves, and plants back in 2006.  I pretty much reuse the same stuff every year and just make one trip to the home improvement store in mid-spring to pick up new plants.  I'm rewarded with more vegetables than I can eat and a vast selection of fresh herbs for every meal.

My plants look tiny now, but in 45-60 days they will be ten times their original size and I'll be starting to see the fruits of my labor.  Anybody else out there have a garden?  Is anyone lucky enough to have a real yard to plant stuff directly in the ground?

P.S.  My neighborhood has a deed restriction against vegetable gardens, but mine is in the backyard and no one seems to care.  I keep my vegetables so neat that they look better than my neighbor's front yards.


  1. A restriction on veggie gardens? WTF!

    We have a sizeable yard for living in the city. A lot of our neighbors have only concrete pads, or large houses that extend almost to the property line with a deck off the back or on the roof, but we have a dirt yard. However, we also have to worry about rats, so the ground gets planted with flowers only.

    We have containers on the deck with edibles and I have a nice sunny shelf above the front window where I grow herbs, out of the reach of the cat, who eats plants. On the deck we usually do tomatoes, beans, peppers and lettuce and this year we have carrots and spring onions and watermelons too. We did plant mini pumpkins in the yard this year, but they'll be for the kids and not for eating.

    I highly recommend McGee and Stucky's "Bountiful Container" as a reference for those who want to container veggie garden.

  2. Your house is very warm and cozy! We have a garden in our backyard, I actually built this a few years ago..., in our backyard which is probably pretty close to size to what you have.

  3. I have been nursing a budding herb garden in my apartment window! I just repotted the fresh herb plants I bought at the grocery store, and with the exception, and have managed to keep a robust basil and rosemary collection, I'm so excited, and quite proud of myself. Eventually I'll get them up on the blog, but i'm still catching up from my trip. Hope your doing great :)

  4. I live in a town house too. Unfortunately I do not have a yard at all. I did purchase a small herb container garden that I will plant once I get home from vacation. I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that the herbs grow :)


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