The better part of ten yards
Gardener's Hand Scrub

Garden talk

Garden 1

Garden 4

March 20

Garden 2

We got this year's garden started on Saturday.  I started by working all the soil and adding a bunch of mushroom compost.  Then Jane, Fatty and I planted seeds for peas, swiss chard, spinach, arugula and mesclun.  We also planted six broccoli seedlings on a whim.  Sunday we had a soft, drizzly rain most of the afternoon - perfect!  I'll be forming some kind of trellis for the peas later this week.  We're getting an earlier start this year and I am hopeful it will work out well.  We are planning on building another raised bed for the tomatoes and herbs.  I have seed potatoes and once I find the right size container, those will be planted, too.  We also joined the CSA for the third year so what we don't grow ourselves will be supplemented with local produce.

Books that I have found useful are Garden Anywhere by Alys Fowler and Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail

I just watched the pilot of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.  If you haven't seen it, you might want to check it out.  I am setting it up to record the series on our dvr so I can watch it with the girls.  I think there will be many good talking points as the series continues.


Mama Urchin

I've been thinking I nee to add the series to the DVR. Thanks for the reminder. And yeah veggie garden!


I have tried so many times to get a garden going in our sun-less backyard. No luck. This year I'm going to try those hanging tomato plants as maybe they can catch enough sun up high! We'll see. Your garden has me drooling! I hope it grows well for you!


Look at you out there in the sunshine planting seeds, I am so jealous. Cold, wet, and snowy here. I watched that last night, gonna be a good one I think.


I have to admit jealousy here. The snow may have melted but we are far from being able to plant or even work the ground. But I do love how much you're getting the girls involved. I tried last year but we petered out half way through the season.

Mary-- The Yellow Door Paperie

We are starting our seedlings this weekend, under grow lights because it's too cold here to have them outside yet.

But I love that this is a family affair in your house! (:


we've just started sowing seeds in propogators here, i have a feeling i'm running late on everything...

your soil looks lovely, what my OH describes as sexy earth!


thanks for the jamie oliver link, i do so want to see more - love the guy!
you alreday got me inspired to look into my gardening options, when i first read about the raised bed. we are in the desert at high altitude and our garden was set up as low maintenance when we bought the house, but there are ways, right?! i'll look into your book suggestions as well! thanks!


Oh--outside planting!! Lucky you. We have many things growing, but all inside right now:

Our frost free date here isn't until the end of April, though we'll start some of the things you mentioned a little before that. Two gardening books I love are:

1- The Vegetable Gardener's Bible: This has great info on everything from propagation to harvesting, companion planting and rotation, seed longevity and so much more.

2- Four Season Harvest: Great for learning about growing during the winter in coldframes and other structures.

Enjoy your garden this season!


yay, hill roaders! Sounds like you're off to a grand start. My tomatoes are going in the flower beds this year!
(love your new header!)


oh, i'm so jealous. ;) I can't wait to get out and dig in the dirt, we still have atleast a month before the threat of frost is gone.

I can't believe I missed Jamie Oliver's pilot show, I really wanted to watch, I'm going to set the DVR tonight. Thanks for the reminder....


Any tips on getting kids to actually eat Swiss Chard?


No worries on the Jamie Oliver show...Sunday was the sneak peek; episodes 1 & 2 will be shown this Friday, March 26 on ABC. It is set in my city, and my patio is featured later in the season as "Rod's backyard" when he and Jamie prepare beer can chicken.

Meg Evans

I just marked out my square feet over the weekend. I'm going to try square foot gardening this summer (and I have about 80 square feet, so I'm super excited!). This year we are going to try peas, instead of just talking about how we want to do it!


Raised beds - nice. You should get s couple chickens too. Seriously. The home and garden show in Seattle had 3 display gardens with chickens this year...and free-range (not 100% grain-fed free-range) chicken eggs are more nutritious.


Ha Jamie's taking over the US, he's already got total UK domination! Actually he did an AMAZING thing in the UK, which was make the government change the quality of school meals, and basically pay more for them and raise standards. That is the guys power over here.

I still haven't made it into his Italian restaurant in Brighton!! Always an hours wait! Still did see Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim and his wife Zoe Ball) in there last time we tried to go!!!


Excellent post.

I really want a garden. Really. My grandparents have always had a huge garden stocked with tomatoes, black eyed peas, okra, and squash. I want those memories and that reality to be part of my life again.

I'm making a note on the ol' iPhone to set the DVR as well.


oh my. i was able to catch the pilot and it left such a residue on me. it made me so sad. really sad. i went to a huge public school growing up with that type of food but always brought a brown bag lunch. i'm going to be thanking my mom for that next time i talk to her.

we also started our beds this weekend, but just building them. they are calling for single digits in vermont so we don't want to plant yet. seeds are started though and chicken poop and alpaca poop is being prepared ;)


we have a ton of broccoli coming up/back from last year. if you don't want a ton to re-seed itself clip the heads before they go to seed! we are going to have quite the thinning process on our hands- but nothing is better than fresh broccoli in from the back yard.


ps have you heard of the book- food not lawns.
might be a good one to your list!


We watched some of that too. So, so good and I can't wait for more.

Your garden start looks great! We can't plant for awhile here yet.


Ah, I want a garden! I love my little apartment, but could never live in it forever since there's no outdoors space that's just mine.


Well done! I'm currently getting thoroughly over excited that some of the seeds in my seed trays are beginning to sprout. I'm resisting, for now, the urge to blog about their progress daily...


we watched Food Revolution, too. I think it's going to be good.


I am excited for you.
This weekend we will get going.


You have some beautiful raised beds! The soil looks lovely! After 7 years I think we need to re-do our raised beds which are falling over. I think 2 boards make a nice height; I'm showing your pictures to my husband, the raised bed maker!


I am swooning for your raised beds! Being without a garden of my own this year is going to be a challenge, but hopefully having the farmer's market literally in my backyard will make things a bit easier! I can't wait to see all of the garden-y goodness you'll have this summer.


have fun! i wish it was planting time here...but sadly i will have to wait a few more months. i'm looking forward to digging in the dirt already. :)


I've got a packet of the exact same Rainbow Mix Swiss Chard! I can't wait to see all those coloured stems come up. I wouldn't even have though of planting it but my husband really likes Chard :)

Sadly, being way up in the far north (NT, Canada), I have to wait almost two months before I can put my seeds in. I do have the advantage of loads of (midnight) sunshine though so I'm still hopeful I'll get to eat most of what I plant.

I'm looking forward to seeing your garden grow :)


can i have your garden boxes? i've put off building them and have sworn (SWORN) that THIS is the year they go in. any tips? or did someone make them for you?


so jealous. my garden is still snow covered here in pennsylvania...

Pam - captured by our cameras

Oh yumm, Rainbow Chard. Our spinach we planted in the fall is up as well as some lettuce. Last week they were so happy to spend their days uncovered. Sadly they've been undercover this week due the cold, wind and rain.

Square Foot Gardening is also another helpful resource.

Thanks for the heads up on Food Revolution. I was glad to see we can watch it online.

Pam - captured by our cameras

I replace Swiss Chard in many spinach recipes. My kiddos don't notice the difference.

heidi wise, imagewise photography

still a bit chilly here for planting. snowed again last week. sigh. i cannot wait for jamie oliver's excited.

Erin | house on hill road

we made them ourselves.  super easy. we used untreated lumber - two 2 x 6's for the long sides and one 2 x 6 cut in half for the short sides.

Fun Mama - Deanna

Did you get the mushroom compost locally in Louisville? I would love to have some raised beds, but it can be so expensive to fill them. We're trying to do some hills on our property, but I still think raised beds would be better. Thanks!

Erin | house on hill road

I got the compost at Frank Otte. It's organic!


We are moving house next week and are fortunate enough to have a huge garden at the new place. i cant wait to grow veg, fruit, herbs, and medicinal plants (plus a few pretty flowers just to look at). i may check out the jamie oliver series when i get chance.
Aqeela xx


I am so impressed.

  Baby Bedding

I do have the advantage of loads of (midnight) sunshine though so I'm still hopeful I'll get to eat most of what I plant.

 grow taller for idiots

We're trying to do some hills on our property, but I still think raised beds would be better. Thanks!


Square Foot Gardening is also another helpful resource.
Thanks for the heads up on Food Revolution. I was glad to see we can watch it online.

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