Friday, February 25, 2011

Build it and they will come

I hope this pertains to tomatoes.

I have decided there is a need for a vegetable garden in my life.  Our family eats pretty healthy considering what all is available in a box.  The only 'boxed meals' we have are macaroni and cheese.  Other than that, everything is cooked and assembled out of love.  Awww.

Ethan and Ernest can already eat their fair share of food in this home and that whole "at age one they slow down, then it picks back up in a few years" eatting method must have skipped over my womb because these kids can eat from the get go.

Lord have mercy when I have two teenage boys to feed.

With that said, I need a garden.  I've never been one to have a green thumb.  My mom used to throw out watermelon, cantaloupe, jalapeno, and tomato seeds in a pile of dirt alongside our house.  Sometimes stuff would grow, sometimes it wouldn't.  However, coming from deep south Texas, we had a constant supply of grapefruit, figs, pecan, papaya, oranges, and a previous grapefruit tree that was burned down and rebuilt itself as a "sour fruit tree".  So sour, infact, those nasty crackles wouldn't even touch it.  This is the extent of my gardening capabilities.

I'm not worried about insecticides on plants but that stuff can't be good for you.  Even if you do use cool scrubbing brushes and peel the skins, doesn't that stuff soak in?  Like how our skin soaks in moisturizers?  I'm a girl.  This is how I relate.

And now gas is $3.49/gallon.  I can totally see banana's going over the $1/pound mark soon, and banana's are still the cheapest thing out there!  All that food needs to be shipped, and you know Dole doesn't feel like taking the hit.  Of course they'll pass it on to their consumers.  Which is me.  And you. 

I need a plan.  So far, I'm collecting every gallon milk, cottage cheese, and sour cream container I can.  I plan on starting my seeds off in these little containers, then transfering them as they grow.  I'm thinking of using totes, like the kind you see at Walmart to store Christmas ornaments in.  Let's just say I'm still in the research stages.

Since I know know nothing of my surroundings, I have no idea what type of soil is in Minnesota (Texas is a clay like mixture, lots of sand since we are on the coast).  I don't know what really grows in Minnesota.  I do know I haven't seen any grapefruit trees.  The one thing I had going for me!

Also, there is a lack of sunlight and space.  We live in a teeny apartment with no. real. windows.  I repeat- no. real. windows.  We have several windows of that cubed-glass-stuff that lets in light but nobody can look in and see me naked.  (Not that I walk around naked, but if I ever chose to walk around naked I'd have that option due to the cubed-glass-stuff).  And there is one window that pops out in the actual bedroom part of the apartment.  There's a fancy name for it, but the only thing you can see out that window is dirt because it leads to a hole in the ground to escape from incase of an emergency.  See what I'm dealing with here, people?  Madness.

If you have any great ideas, websites, or techniques, send them my way.  Gardening for Dummies is starting to look like a good read.


  1. Oh, you make me laugh girl. We are gardeners here, so feel free to use us as resources. Container gardening can be quite successful, and what is nice about it is that you can create beautiful rich soil in them. The soil varies in the state. Where I am it is sandy, but not like near the's the Mississippi River Basin here. But only a 50 minute drive to the west of here my parents have terrible clay soil. Neither is the best for growing, but over the years we've amended the garden soil to make it better.

    My son came into this world like yours did. He has always been a HUGE eater and we are SO in trouble. We laugh when we remember the experts teaching us that newborns have a stomach the size of a Walnut. What world are they in? I swear Noah's was the size of a grapefruit at least!

    Good luck with your gardening and feel free to e-mail me via Facebook!

    Kristin Scherger

  2. i will try to keep it short. some things are not worth starting from seed, sorry to say, buy them already started, esp. if u have lack of space and good warm sunlight since the growing season in MN is short. Also, u might be interested in square foot gardening, which is above ground w/high nutrient it :) i learned alot last year with our garden...20x20 feet that is...planted TOO much and ended up with a jungle. pretty good production but will still do things a little different this year. i was canning tomatoes until i couldn't take it anymore. now we are on a salsa ration b/c it is running's like gold in my house.
    yep FB me too if u have any more ???'s :)
    Kendra E.

  3. Princeton soil isn't all that hot for growing things. We added some manure and that did the trick that year. :)
    We have some garden space you could join me in planting. WEll, you could join Donnie, I don't touch the stuff until it comes in the house, but you already know that about me, haha.

  4. I've only tried to plant flowers out here, and had no luck at all. Therefore, I'm not sure I want to attempt a vegetable garden, although there is plenty of room. My mother planted tomatoes in containers last year, and I think that worked pretty well for her. I LOVE tomatoes, and am thinking about at least doing that this summer.

  5. My recommendation: The square foot garden. It's an awesome concept. No need to worry about your soil. There's a website and a book.