Heirloom Seeds

Gardening 101: Introduction and Garden Plans

by GettingFreedom on April 5, 2011

As many of you already know, gardening is a huge part of our lives.  We rely heavily on our summer harvests to provide is with food all winter long.  Without our summer bounty, our grocery budget wouldn’t be the same! While there is probably more than 10 reasons, here are Ten Reasons You Should Start a Vegetable Garden.

The key to a successful garden is a plan and a goal.  If you’re not sure what you want out of your garden, how are you going to attain it–or even begin?

I’ll admit, this year has already proven to be harder than what I initially thought.  Turns out having a very mobile 10 month old that loves Mud Pies and Rock Soup makes things very difficult!  Our garden plan has changed a few times already, but our goal remains the same.  Put up as much produce as we can for the winter months. With that goal in mind, I just keep doing what I can do and accept that everything can’t go according to plan all the time.

Initially our plan was to grow the bulk of our garden using heirloom seeds like we usually do.  Now it looks as if we will be purchasing some plants instead.

This is what we are looking at so far::

  • Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, and Spring Lettuce Mix

    New to us Varieties, not heirloom.  One 4’x6′ bed, each.

  • Amish Paste and Roma Tomatoes

    Both started from heirloom seeds. Goal:: Can diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce

  • Quadratto D’Asti Red Pepper

    About 6 started from heirloom seeds.  Goal:: 30 Frozen 1-cup portions

  • Golden Cal Wonder Green Peppers

    These will be purchased. Goal:: 30 Frozen 1-cup portions

  • Array of Hot Peppers {Jalapeno, Fish Pepper, etc}

    Most will be purchased. Goal:: Used in fresh salsa, jalapeno jelly, sliced canned jalapenos

  • Wando Peas

    Direct sown heirloom seeds; (2) 30 ft rows. Goal:: 10 Frozen Quarts

  • Cabbage

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Bush Green Beans

    Direct sown seeds; 6’x15′ Bed Goal:: 60 Quarts

  • Zuchinni

    Goal:: Canned Relishes (??) and Frozen Shredded

  • Cucumbers

    Goal:: 20 Quarts Canned Pickles

  • Non-GMO Heirloom Corn

    Goal:: 30 Frozen Quarts

  • Non-GMO Heirloom Popcorn

  • Non-GMO Heirloom Indian Corn

  • Okra

  • Basil

  • Chamomile

  • Lavendar

  • Rhubarb

  • 2 Raspberry

    In my reader survey, many of you mentioned that you would love to learn more, not only about gardening, but how to do it inexpensively.  So, this year, I’ve teamed up with 2 other amazing bloggers and fellow gardeners {Connie at Smockity Frocks and Amy from Finer Things} to show you how 3 different one income families use the resources available to them to stretch their hard earned dollar.  Not everyone gardens the same, but in the end the result is still the same:  Fresh Produce for a fraction of the price! Some may argue that vegetable gardening is just as expensive as buying fresh produce from the grocery store, and we’re here to prove that theory wrong.  Follow along with us as we share with you our vegetable gardening plans, our different gardening techniques, and as we show you are harvests and how to intend to use them.

    Next week, we will open up a linky so you can join in and share how you are making the most of your family’s budget with the grocery prices on the rise. You don’t have to be an expert gardener to join in, we’re all learning as we go!  To participate please keep these things in mind::

    • Link to your blog post, and not your homepage.  This way we’ll be able to find it in weeks to come.
    • You MUST link back to one of the 3 Host Bloggers so your readers will be able to find the other great posts.
    • Please include Pictures {or video!} for us visual people. ;)
    Do you have your gardening goals ready?


    Ten Reasons to Start a Vegetable Garden

    by GettingFreedom on March 7, 2011

    With grocery prices on the rise, it’s more important than ever to brush up on your gardening skills and do what you can, at home, to save where you can.  I have been able to shave a big chunk off of our grocery budget by gardening. While I know it’s not possible for everyone to have a big garden, there is still a possibility for a small container garden, which can still shave off money!

    1. Keep Your Money in your Pocket.

    2. As I’ve already mentioned, grocery prices are skyrocketing!  Keep your money in your pocket, and grow your own produce.

    3. You have control when it’s in your backyard.

      Prefer organic, but don’t want to shell out the extra cash?  You have control how you grow your produce and what you put on it when it’s growing in your backyard.

    4. Super Fresh Produce

      Most grocery stores ship in their produce from other states.  When you need a green pepper, go pick one off your pepper plant. :)

    5. Better Flavor and Quality

      Let’s face it, nothing beats the flavor of a freshly sliced home grown tomato, a warm side of freshly picked green beans, or a crisp, flavor packed green pepper. Home grown tastes better. Period.

      One days harvest of peppers of all kinds!

    6. Wider Variety.

      There are so many different kinds of plants that you can grow at home that just aren’t readily available at the grocery store.  And if they are, you’re going to pay a premium.

    7. Added Health Benefit.

      For us anyway, having gobs and gobs of fresh produce at our fingertips on a daily basis makes us more apt to reach for those veggies when we want a quick snack.  Not only that, but tending to a garden keeps us active.

    8. Supplemental Income

      When you start a garden, you look at it as a source of food, not a source of income. But, look at it again. Have you ever bought from a Farmer’s Market? That could be you! If you’ve got extra to share, and debt to pay off–why not turn it into cash and grow your snowball?

    9. Teaching/Learning Opportunity

      Gardening has taught me so much about plants, science, nutrition and life in general. I love that! I also love being able to teach these life skills to my children.

    10. Gaining Self Sufficiency

      The more you grow, the less dependent you are on the grocery store.If you choose to use heirloom seeds like we do, your dependancy just got smaller because you can save your own seeds, year after year.

    11. It’s Very Rewarding!

      Not to mention fun! Seeing a seed/plant you planted produce food for your family and friends will just make you beam!

    All of this to say, I know it can be intimidating! Over the coming weeks, I will go into depth on growing some of the most grown produce items and help answer some of your questions and help relieve your fears.

    So tell me.

    What’s holding you back from starting a garden?  Or, if you are a gardener, What’s your favorite plants to grow and what keeps you gardening?

    This post is part of Top Ten Tuesday.


    Starting the Garden

    March 16, 2010

    I’m definitely not as on top of the garden this year as I was last year.  I finally got around to starting some of our seeds over the weekend.  Good thing too, as our plant date is coming up in April!  If you are unsure of when your plant date is, check  here. As I’ve […]

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    2010 Goals Update

    February 18, 2010

    It has been waaayyyy too long since I have checked on the progress of my 2010 Goals.  Life has been crazy busy around here, and I just haven’ t thought a whole lot about it.  But, it’s time!  The whole purpose of me setting these goals and posting about them, was so that I would […]

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    Garden Update

    May 29, 2009

    I’m so excited to finally show some pictures of my garden. As I mentioned here, we are doing a different method this year. Instead of your typical rows, we are doing beds directly into the ground. My plants are big enough now, that you can see everything a little better. Right now on the walkways […]

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    April Showers Bring May Flowers

    May 1, 2009

    In this case I hoping for those blooms to be on my veggie plants. But, I’ll take some blooms on the flowers, too please. The last few weeks of April have been nothing but rain. Overnight our yard has turned into a jungle of sorts, but the sun hasn’t came out long enough to dry […]

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    April 17, 2009

    I think that Spring has decided to taunt me. It’s warm, and then it’s cold, or so windy that when you step outside you just about float away. This has been making it somewhat difficult for me to accomplish anything worthy in the garden. For my area, my last average frost date is April 18th […]

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    Garden Update

    March 27, 2009

    I apologize that with all the talk of gardening, I haven’t produced a photo to show off my own seedlings. I’ve been experiencing technical difficulties with my computer. For one reason or another it will not recognize the USB cord that goes to my camera dock. Finally, I gave up and just took my memory […]

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    Determining Seedling Problems

    March 26, 2009

    So, you’ve started your seedlings and they are growing like nobody’s business. They already have their second set of leaves, and are ready to repotted. The repotting process was a complete success, and your plants are growing even more. They are beginning to look more and more like the real thing. And then, you notice […]

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    Starting Seeds: A How-To

    March 18, 2009

    With all the talk about gardening the last few days, I have received a lot of questions on how I do things. For more about why we chose seeds, see this post. Here is my basic list of things to keep in mind when trying to grow plants from all those precious little seeds. The […]

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