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It’s garden update time! We got a ton of rain last week and our garden was loving ever bit of it. It’s officially been 3 weeks since we planted the garden.  Here’s what it looked like when we planted it:

And here’s how it looks now:

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Here’s another “before/after” from another angle:

Now:

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We had to put cages around the tomatoes.  And check out a close-up of our tomato plant!

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It looks like we’ll be able to pick some tomatoes in the next couple of weeks!

We also added another addition to our garden this weekend.While at Lowe’s looking for stones for a patio, we saw a row of these:

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That’s right, fruit trees. And for $30, we couldn’t say no!  This is what we decided on, partly because these oranges are tasty, and partly because it was the healthiest looking of the bunch.

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So, here she is, loving her new home in our backyard!

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We’ll also be adding pineapple and sweet potatoes to the garden soon! I’m loving having these herbs ready for use so close by. I can’t wait for the veggies to be ready!

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When we bought our house a year ago, we looked forward to a few things that we had to do without in apartment living. Among these dreams were garages and backyards. And now that we have a pretty good size backyard, we are ready to plant some veggies! Unfortunately, our close proximity to the ocean results in sand for dirt.

This means only one thing, raised vegetable boxes! So, a few weeks ago, we found a plan for a raised box that we liked and Matt skipped off to the store to buy the materials. We chose cedar as the plan suggests because it is supposed to be the most rot/pest resistant. We made our box 4′ x 8′.

Next was getting the veggies and dirt. We were both a little overwhelmed choosing dirt and what plants to buy.

The next morning, we carried the raised box from the garage to its new home in the backyard. Here it is (upside down):

Matt dug the post holes.

And I waited. Did you know that we have this really funky tree in our yard? It’s called a Ponytail Palm.

It’s one of our favorite trees on our property.

Anywho, once the post holes were dug and we had turned the box over and situated it, we covered the bottom with this wire mesh. The plan website suggested we use this to keep moles, groundhogs, and other critters from crawling up and into the box.

And then the dirt. Ooohh, the dirt. I think we used approximately 27 cubic feet of dirt for this box.

Next, the veggies and herbs. I chose green bell peppers, tomatoes (juliet and Mr. Stripey), strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, mint, basil, and rosemary.

Here are some post planting and watering pictures.

I’m a little worried about the broccoli and cauliflower. Apparently, now is the time to plant these buggers, but it’s still sooo hot here if Central Florida. They look a little wimpy during the day.

We’re also going to try to plant some sweet potatoes and pineapple, but we have to get these going from fruit at the store, so it will be a few weeks before we can plant them. I just hope this works!

Remember when I planted herbs a few weeks ago? Well I promised to update you every now and then on their progress. So, here are the herbs, two weeks in.

The basil, not surprisingly, took off. Last time I grew basil it got absolutely huge. Hopefully I will be able to give away a few of these little buggers. If you want a basil plant, let me know!

I am most surprised by the sage. I have never grown sage before, so I had no idea what to expect. It has been growing very quickly and the second set of leaves already have great shape!

And, I am most excited about the parsley. I have not had much luck with parsley in the past, but these little guys seem to be doing great!

I moved them into the dining room where they now have a window sill spot to hang out and watch the neighborhood.

I have been very pleased with the way things are going with the herbs so far. There is always so much promise in new sprouts. New life without disease or insects! I can’t wait until I actually get to use them!

Matt was away this past weekend on a retreat at church. They have a retreat in the spring and in the fall. For some reason, when he is gone on these retreats, I get a hankering to plant something. It started in March of last year.  I bought my first herb kit. I had never grown anything before and I thought that  any type of garden had to be put on hold until we had a yard. Oh, how wrong I was! I was introduced to the world of container gardening. We had a little porch at our apartment in Cape Canaveral and after I bought that herb kit, I was hooked. The porch quickly filled up with containers of all different types of veggies and herbs.

Sadly, after a few months of coddling them, most of the plants either died or just stopped growing. I really don’t know what I did wrong. I woke up one morning to find my pepper plant looking like this:

We did get a ton of basil out of the experience as well as these beauties.

So, this retreat weekend was no different. My plan this weekend was to work on the kitchen. Surprisingly, I finished painting the base cabinets a lot faster than I anticipated, so my mind turned to herbs. Some of our dearest friends, Chris and Mandy, are excellent farmers. Mandy can make anything grow. She is a loving soul who always has tips for us newbies. One tip she did tell us was to always grow from seed. You never know what kind of surprises you might get in the dirt or the plant if you buy half grown plants from Home Depot or Target (which is where I go for all my plant needs. I still have a lot to learn from Mandy). So, we always try to plant from seed.

Here are the herbs I chose:

Since the dirt in our yard is super sandy, I can’t plant anything directly in the dirt. Maybe this summer we will build some veggie beds, but for now, I am sticking to small containers with organic potting soil. I am always on the hunt for cheap and cute containers.  I really don’t like paying $6 for containers, especially when I need to buy 8 of them. Luckily for me, the Target dollar spot pulled through! I found these adorable little pails that are the perfect size for what I need! And they were only $1! It’s a win-win-win.

Since I can’t rely on remembering what I planted where (especially since all the container are exactly the same and I don’t know what most of these guys are supposed to look like when they sprout) I wrote the name of the herb on the bottom of the pail with a silver sharpie. It’s fool proof. So, when you come over and ask for some fresh thyme, I won’t give you spearmint. See, it’s a win for you too!

I would love for these little guys to reside in a sunny kitchen window. But, unfortunately, no such thing exists in our kitchen (yet…). So, they are sitting in the living room in the sun next to the cabinet doors. Who knows where they will eventually go, but here they sit for now.

Because I know that you are sooo interested in my herbs, I think that I will keep you updated on their status.  So, here they are, Herbs Week 0:

As a side note, I wanted to share with you what our dining and living rooms looked like this weekend. I couldn’t even fit all of the doors into the picture!

Holy cabinets, Batman!

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