|Tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, and basil are growing on the deck! Here's the very first tomato planted.|
If you've been reading this blog for any time at all, you probably know that I'm passionate about gardening! I've been sharing Garden Updates every year since 2006, and the garden at the old house got better every year. And then just when I had the garden of my dreams, I moved! I do love my new house, but there's an abundance of deer, squirrels, and rabbits running around on the hill, so while I build a real garden and figure out how to keep the critters out of it, I'm growing things in containers on the deck and in the kitchen window this year.
Gardening Updates are partly for me to create a record of what's happening in my garden, but I also hope they might encourage people who haven't tried growing their own food. There's nothing that can compare with a fresh-picked tomato or cucumber, and as long as you have the basics (sun, soil, water, and fertilizer), gardening is not all that difficult. I've been growing a garden for *many* years now, but it's my first time ever for window gardening or container gardening, so if any readers are experienced with those, I'd love to get your advice in the comments.
We bought soil at the garden center and then mixed it with this organic mixture to make the soil lighter and help it retain water better.
My brother-in-law Kelly is a licensed contractor, so I relied on him for advice about handling the weight on the deck. (Thanks Kelly!) He advised clustering the pots near the support beams, so I have two plants on each side of the beams. I bought pots that were small enough that the heavy-duty tomato cages I already had would fit over the pots, and I'm thinking this will work out well. This is the west end of the deck.
On the far west I have my beloved Green Zebra Tomatoes (only one plant, sigh.) Sorry about the photographer fail of not getting the plant tag in focus!
Next is Black Krim, an heirloom tomato I always wanted to try that was recommended by a friend on Facebook. (All links to seed purveyors are merely to give information about that plant, and should not be considered an endorsement of that site.)
Celebrity, a tomato I've grown for years that consistently does well in Utah.
For eggplants, I chose this Pot Black Eggplant, a variety which is supposed to be compact and good to grow in containers. It produces mini eggplants that are about 3 oz. in size, which I think sound perfect for stir-fried eggplant.
This is the east end of the deck. The back of my house faces south, so I think both ends of the deck get equal sun, just at different times of the day. So far I am watering these with a hose, but I'm having my sprinkler guy come over to see about putting in a mini-drip system because these pots on the south-facing deck are going to need water every day.
I put far too many basil plants in this pot, but I hope they still grow well so I can make Basil Pesto with Lemon and Basil Vinaigrette. (I'm glad I have two pots of basil in the kitchen window as well!)
Sweet Slice cucumbers. I'm going to use twist-ties to encourage the cucumber vines to grow up the tomato cage!
Lemon Boy, which I've grown for a few years now.
Finally, these Sun Gold Yellow Cherry Tomatoes were highly recommended on Facebook and online, and I'm growing them for the first time this year.
And how are the herbs doing in the kitchen window? Here's the photo from a month ago when I shared the photos of my new kitchen.
Now a month later, you can see that some herbs are well-snipped and others are much bigger than they were originally. And I absolutely love having herbs growing right in the kitchen so they're handy whenever I need some!
Are you growing a garden at your house? If so, let us know in the comments about what you have planted this year.