Friday, June 5, 2009

Frugal Gardening

Guess what? I had my first salad with greens from my square foot garden!

My first of the year grow-it-yourself frugal salad consisted of arugula, lettuce, spinach, watercress, cilantro and basil. I snipped off a few leaves of each... mainly because I didn't have enough of any one plant for a whole salad! I added a red pepper I bought at the farmer's market, a handful of walnuts and some blue cheese. On top I just drizzled a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It was delicious!

My garden is coming along quite nicely and I am very excited about it. I can't wait until more produce is ready! Already my watercress is spreading out and growing like gangbusters. The other plants are coming up too. I have quite an expectation of some good crops for the summer, weather permitting, of course....

Currently I have planted:

Brussel Sprouts
Peppers: One red bell, one jalapeno
Greens: Lettuce, Spinach, Arugula
Herbs: Basil, Oregano, Mint, Lemon Balm, Lavender

All of this is planted in a fairly small area! The veggies are mostly in my small box garden, the herbs, garlic and shallots are scattered throughout the main garden area, surrounded by flowering perennials and shrubs.

I've been working more in the yard than I ever remember doing, and honestly, it shows. Maybe not to anyone else, but I see the difference. I've also recently acquired some free plants: hens and chicks and tulip bulbs from my mom, lilies from my house painter and a mix of plants from a friend's mom including: wild geraniums, ferns, a rose of Sharon and spiderwort plants. I'm splitting them between my home and the cabin. Just the other night I was out putting the hens and chicks in my front planting bed when one of my neighbors stopped by and said if I needed any more plants to let him know - he has several already split and in buckets that I am welcome to. The next time I see him in his yard I plan on wandering over. One thing I have plenty of is planting space!

So what about you? Are you gardening this summer? What frugal green thumb methods do you have? I'd love to hear what people are going in yards, gardens and containers!

Photo of lettuce seedlings by: dustin_j_williams


Catie said...

I absolutely love picking fresh lettuce out of my garden! And arugula.... so overpriced in the stores, and it grows like gangbusters! Yum. Watch out for that watercress though - if you don't harvest it frequently it seems to get unhappy.

Like you I can't wait for the other stuff to come in. sigh.

Arual said...

I container garden. I am growing (or attempting really) beans, peas, lettuce, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. I also have some cherry tomatoes in a portable greenhouse I bought. I am experimenting on which are better conditions!

I like looking at the progress every day. Its exciting to see new sprouts or plants that suddenly expoded out of the dirt and into the sky! I can't wait to have my own house with a back yard and have an actual garden in the ground. I dream of the possibilities. But until then I am training my thumb to be green with my little containers. :)

Dawn said...

Catie - I hear you on the watercress. I notices a few leaves changing color a bit. Not sure what is going on. I am going to harvest a ton this weekend and do a cress salad with walnuts. Yum! The arugula seeds you gave me, heck - all the seeds you gave me, are doing great!

Dawn said...

Arual - I had a container garden for years and years. I loved it! I had a hard time with tomatoes though because mine was in a super sunny location and I just could never get enough water to them, no matter how I tried. I'd love to hear how yours turn out!

Miss M said...

Congrats on the garden, I've given up on salad greens. Either I can't tell them from the weeds or the bugs get to them. My main crop is tomatoes, we love them. I now have 10 varities growing, along with several types of peppers, eggplants, squash, onions, cucumber and beans. These are what I've done best with year after year. Hope you have a great season!

Dawn said...

Miss M - I have a number of walnut trees in my neighborhood and they are murder on the soil. I can't grow tomatoes or peppers, sadly. I am trying peppers again in my square foot garden (since I brought in the soil myself,) so if those do well I might try tomatoes again myself. 10 varieties sounds like so much fun!