Grow Your Own Food Challenge: Reader Tips

mint plant from my container garden

The Grow Your Own Food Challenge is off with a bang!

That handy calendar reminder is keeping me from neglecting my container garden, and some readers and other bloggers are jumping in! Rachel Shulman, our resident farmer, is going to document her gardening exploits, too, and I’m looking forward to learning from her expertise.

I thought it would be fun to highlight the folks who have joined in so far. Maybe their gardening ideas and tips will encourage a few more people who were on the fence about participating?

Tricia Ballad of our sister site Insteading said:

Iโ€™m starting seeds for my herb and veggie garden this weekend. Several varieties of heirloom tomatoes, carrots, peas, basil, oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, and chocolate mint. Plus whatever else I decide looks good!

Mitchell is going to plant a small container garden, like I did:

Iโ€™ve always wanted to do this. I havenโ€™t grown anything since I was a kid. Now that I have my own home, Iโ€™m going to give it a go! My backyard is really small, so container gardening is perfect!

Hereโ€™s a link that I found: http://gardening.about.com/od/vegetablepatch/a/ContainerVeggie.htm

It sounds like Kari’s back yard garden is almost ready to plant, and she had a helpful tip to share:

I just started my garden a few months ago โ€“ starting seedlings indoors. Yesterday was so awesome out that I spent several hours turning soil and getting things ready. Iโ€™m very excited as Iโ€™m sure you are. Iโ€™m sort of new at the gardening experience too, although Iโ€™ve done herbs and peppers in the past.

I wanted to share a little tip that I learned at a gardening workshop I just attended. If you want to compost but donโ€™t want to do a big โ€œto-doโ€ outside, you can save all your scraps, blend them and just pour over your soil. I keep my scraps in a plastic bin in the fridge for a few days until they add up. Then put in the blender with some water, take outside and pour over the garden soil, et voila. Thanks for your post.

Anita had some great encouraging words to and a couple of tips share:

I have a very small garden so just every space there is Iโ€™ve put a container there.

Iโ€™ve been doing this for a few years now and I just grow what is expensive to buy โ€ฆa big variety of herbs and lots of different types of salad leaves, spring onions, radish, strawberries etc. Root vegetables and brasicas need a deepth of soil so they are never very successful. Last year as a new veg I tried fennel, very successful. Beetroot too although itโ€™s a root veg it tends to grow on the surface.

Trial and error folks, donโ€™t be afraid to grow anything, some will be brill others not โ€ฆthe trying is fun!

Put a few colourful flowers in between, makes it all look very pretty
After the summer, tip out the soil and mix with some compost.

There’s some great discussion still going on over on the first post about this challenge, and I’d love to continue the discussion here or on that first post!

Is anyone else feeling the gardening inspiration? It’s not too late to jump in and grow some food! Even if all you can do is a small, potted herb garden or a tomato plant or two, growing your own food is rewarding and fun, and I hope this challenge will provide a support system for folks who want to give it a go!

Written by Becky Striepe

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