Garden in the City (Year 3!)

So, if you've been following this little blog for a while, you know that for the last few years I've put together a 'City Garden' on my deck. There's nothing better than fresh veggies from the garden! Organic AND inexpensive - whoo!

If you want a refresher on how these little gardens all started... click here and here. I come from a family of gardeners, however, I am by no means an expert. I've been learning as I go. My mom/sister/aunt all start their seedlings in late winter under lamps in their dining rooms. I go to the store and buy everything already started. That's ok though! Whatever works!

This year, I picked up my herbs/veggies/flowers from both Whole Foods AND Lamberts. My trunk was filled to the brim!

One thing I learned last year is to definitely put newspaper down before starting to pot. Last year, some dirt fell threw the cracks and I felt bad because it dropped onto my neighbors deck (whoops!)

If you are starting a potted garden, remember... you still need to till the soil in the pots... just because it isn't in the ground doesn't mean it doesn't need to be treated that way. Soil in the pots can have roots from prior year or be really packed down from the winter. Make sure it's loose before you start planting. You may also need to ADD more soil. I bought two more bags this year (added a few pots, but still)

I like to grow what I cook with the most in addition to adding flowers for prettiness. From the top of the above photo: tomatoes, Italian flat leaf parsley, chard, and basil.

From the top of this one: more Italian flat leaf parsley, mint, gerbera daisies, and tomatoes.

The above starts with geraniums (top right - very hearty for New England Summers!), rosemary in the blue pot, then lettuce, thyme, and another geranium.

Another pretty shot of geraniums and basil.

So, not only does a garden provide meal ideas for the entire summer and into fall, it's also a great way to teach kids about the importance of having a garden and growing your own food. I grew up picking lettuce, green beans, squash, zucchini, etc from our garden. I knew the difference in taste between a store-bought tomato and a tomato from the garden (a big difference). Plus, it's extremely cost-effective AND quite attractive. My deck is so pretty now! Last but not least, this put me in a REALLY good mood. My mind has been racing lately and the few hours it took to put this all together really relaxed me. Now, I love going out onto my deck to see how everything is coming up. It's really an accomplishment.

Is anyone planting a garden for the first time this year? If I can't answer your questions, don't worry - I'll ask the experts in my family and get back to you right away. Good luck and happy gardening!