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A Little Bitty Garden


Maybe someday my garden will actually look like this!!!

That’s what I have now! I actually am really excited and feel so super grown-up! I have always hated anything to do with yard-work, much preferring to be in the house accomplishing something. I guess I just hate bugs and dirt and…the unknown?

But now with three little mouths to feed (that really can eat more than I do!), I am desperately looking for ways I can decrease our costs while still serving up wholesome, real foods. So, I turn to the world of gardening. Did you know it’s far more difficult than planting something in some dirt and watering every day??? There’s a whole science to it. Ok, so I really did know that, but I didn’t know as much of the science as I know now…and there’s a lot to learn.

Last  year I attempted tomatoes. No good. Snails got every single one. Or the birds. Or the deer that roam in our neighborhood. (Yes, neighborhood. We also have several black bears, racoons and lots of other wildlife!) This year I’m attempting just a few things: lettuce and spinach and tomatoes (suuuuckerrrr) and some herbs. I really don’t see how the costs will decrease, though, unless I grow massive quantities (and am successful, obviously!) since the darn start-up costs were tremendous!!! These little seeds want better nutrient-dense soil than our little Florida dirt has to offer. Great. So I bought soil. Dirt. I actually paid money for dirt:

“I’m sorry, you said the DIRT is how much?!?!”

But such are the sacrifices of a gardener. Or so I hear. So this lettuce better grow. And I’m talking it better grow lots. Or I’ll have one unhappy Farmer McGregor…and I won’t be so thrilled, either! So, anyone got any tips or tricks for me? Great websites or books (preferably with pictures and one sentence per page =)? I’m not afraid to beg: pleeeeeeeeeeeease help me!

Oh, and don’t laugh at me. Or my little garden. Stopit! I can hear you!!! =)

Grow, little seeds, grow!!!....I said GROW!

Grow, little seeds, grow!!!….I said GROW!

A load of pot. Kidding.



The very expensive dirt.

The very expensive dirt.

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photo credit: Distant Hill via photopin cc


  1. Next time, you can buy a soil testing kit and use it where you’re going to plant veggies. It will tell you which nutrients you’re deficient in. Then take those numbers to a garden center and they’ll give you fertilizer that is best for your soil. Buying soil is a good idea, but changing the soil that you have is even better, and usually cheaper. (unless you need potting soil for containers, then it’s so much easier just to buy that in bags)

    Good luck with your veggies.

    • Oooh! I hadn’t heard about this! Thank you so much! I’ll have to try this next year. We did do containers only because it *seemed* easier than big ol’ beds. Hopefully after my amazing haul of a harvest, I’ll feel ready to attempt beds next year and can scientifically ascertain the soil deficiencies. =D

      • Ooo, I love container gardening. Save the soil from this year, and chop up the roots that were in the container. A bit of fertilizer and maybe some vermiculite (one of the ingredients of potting soil) and you should be good to go for next year. By the way, did you know that there is no soil from the ground in potting soil? It’s too heavy to go into pots, so they had to put together ingredients that were light enough for pots that plants could still grow in. That’s why it costs so much.

        You might be interested in this one post I wrote about herb container gardening:

  2. Great post! I am currently growing cilantro. Very pleased with how they are growing 🙂

  3. Jenn, I’ve been trying to garden in Florida for years and honestly so far it is more of an expensive hobby than a way to save money on food. BUT, here are a couple of tricks I’ve tried that are paying off.

    First of all, I compost directly into my garden beds. Last fall I set up some raised beds (commandeered an old backless wooden bookshelf and just laid it out on its side) and rather than buying dirt, started throwing my kitchen waste directly into the soil and spading it under. So long as no meat or dairy makes it in, it doesn’t stink or attract flies if it’s properly covered up. Since I’m spading under another batch every couple of days, it gets constantly “turned” (which never happened with a traditional compost pile) and I skip having to haul it from a pile to the garden. It amends the soil, without spending a dime more than I already spent on produce and eggs. The most fun is when random things sprout by themselves from my kitchen trash. Right now I have a batch of onions, a tomato plant, and a squash that has been producing like crazy, none of which I planted myself.

    Now, we don’t have the wildlife issues you have, so if this is an endeavor likely to fill your yard with black bears, I suppose it’s not worth it! The other option I find myself turning to more and more is figuring out what kind of edibles I can incorporate into my landscape. I have three blueberry bushes in my front yard right now deciding if they will thrive there – if they do well I plan to do a whole hedge of them. There’s a baby avocado tree (which also sprouted from my compost pile) in the back yard, and I’m planning to put in some blackberries there as well. Shrubs and trees, once established, are easier to care for and cheaper to maintain than annual vegetables.

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