Home Garden Update: Just Starting Out

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Working a Bit Harder to Grow Our Own Food

Home Garden Portland 2012

So this is where we started out. Back at the beginning of May, when we first touched down on American soil after being overseas one a rainy residency in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the only thing we were worked up about was spending time in the backyard, planting this year’s garden. So we headed to the hardware store for some wood and proper soil, and then after that, to the amazing Portland Nursery for some starters.

Building the boxes and prepping the soil was easy and surprisingly fun. Treated wood (we looked all through the neighborhood for some reclaimed wood but to no avail…) was not that expensive, and a couple of bags of good soil didn’t cost too much either, and ended up being plenty.

The Garden Grows Fast, Doesn’t It?

Portland is not the easiest place to grow food in your backyard, mostly because the “summer” is utterly unpredictable. Last year, our veggies did not get enough sun, and didn’t have an early enough start time, which ended up resulting in late blooming fruit that didn’t provide much in the way of quantity. But I think we addressed that.

In box #1 (pictured above), we planted three types of tomato in the back row. Maybe a mistake as the plants will be huge, but we’ll see. It’s all a great experiment. Early Girl on the left, cherry in the middle, Roma on the right. And in the front row, we did peppers. Serrano, Jalapeno and Spicy Banana peppers. But at the very start, you see one pepper on the left, curly leafed parsley in the middle, and some lavender on the right, which we thought would be nice to bring the bees into the yard.

The lavender has since been moved to the left of the box, and outside. In its place, two more peppers. We’ll keep you posted on how the garden grows all summer — more sun this week in Portland has spelled HUGE GROWTH already!

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