Last year, our garden was a fail. Maybe we should have found a green thumb on HomeAdvisor to help us out. There were a few variables leading to our garden’s demise. There were a few variables leading to its demise. I bought this way cool garden kit from Walmart that fit our front garden area perfectly. Without much thought, I threw some soil and mushroom compost together and I didn’t fill the raised bed all the way to the brim. This careless mistake left little room for the plants to root. I tried a few new varieties of cucumbers and zucchini, which I probably shouldn’t have done as well.
The zucchini had issues pollinating, although I saw a few bees buzzing around. I tried to pollinate them manually. My cucumbers were slow to produce and usually, they grow like weeds. In my pregnant heft, I accidentally trampled my thriving tomatillo, forgot all about the carrots and left them to decompose. We did get some pretty peppers in August. Being pregnant led to overall garden neglect and I eventually stopped caring. Like I said, I probably could have used a HomeAdvisor Pro to help out. This year is an opportunity to try again and I’m starting with organic and nutrient-rich soil.
The garden soil that we’re using this year is by EcoScraps. It’s new to Walmart stores, so if you see it, try it. EcoScraps recycles wasted food from stores and restaurants to offer sustainable lawn and garden products. Their grow gardens, not landfills mission is one I can definitely get behind. I recently watched a video that showed the amount of perfectly good food that restaurants throw out (that’s another issue), so I love that EcoScraps has facilitated a way to put excess waste to good use.
In the United States, we waste 40% of the food produced. That’s enough to fill the Rose Bowl every day. The food sits in landfills producing methane, which is 20X more harmful than CO2. Between 2011 and 2015, EcoScraps recycled 75 million lbs of food waste and will match that number in 2016 with projected recycling of another 75 million lbs of food waste–this time in just 12 months.
We made sure to fill our raised bed with lots of soil. Right out of the bag, the soil is rich, moist, with very little clumps. I really feel like our plants will thrive this year.
I want to try growing root vegetables since I’ve never had issues with those and since I’m sowing directly, I’ll be able to harvest through fall. I’m also considering collards for the same reason. This garden is an extra project on my plate, one that I look forward to ever year, but I really don’t want to have to fight with it or come home to sad veggies after spending a few days away, you know? I am all about that hands-free, no-frills life these days. I just want to be able to enjoy the garden with the kids.
Our raised bed is 3.5 x 3.5 feet so I decided to section it off in three rows and columns assuming that each plant may spread a little wide. I wanted to be mindful of spacing for optimum sunlight and air flow. One quad will be designated for two varieties of herbs since they tend to do well when planted closely. I was able to achieve this spacing with some small nails and twine. I just eyeballed it. Perfection is overrated!
I’m excited to see how things progress with our garden this year and I feel good about growing our own veggies in a way that is more friendly to the environment. And I’ve done it all without the help of a handyman or gardner so far – so don’t go looking for my HomeAdvisor review just yet! I’m waiting on a few seed packets and then we will get the seeds down. Once they sprout, I’ll be sure to update!
Are you doing any gardening this year? I’d love to hear about your garden in the comments!
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