I am doing a short little series here on the blog about first time gardeners. These posts will be different in that they won’t include a video. Instead, we’ll share photos and information about several first time gardeners who all have started their gardens in different ways and for different reasons. Hopefully, you’ll see a little of yourself in their stories.
Abbi is a lifelong friend of mine. Our parents were friends before either of us were born. We grew up going to the same church and we graduated from the same highschool. I was a bridesmaid in Abbi’s wedding and we have remained close as we have both had our children.
Abbi has four children under 6 years old, so needless to say, she has a lot on her plate. She and I had chatted back and fourth on Facebook brainstorming ways that she could start a garden at home with minimal effort and expense. They had moved into their current house not long ago and were still familiarizing themselves with it. Up until recently, she had focused her energy on getting settled and organized inside the house, but spring was tugging at her heart so while she was waiting and gathering materials to build a small raised bed, she decided to pull some weeds in an area of her sideyard and found this:
She discovered three of these beds in her sideyard under the weeds. They already have nice ammended soil and an automatic drip system! Score.
Abbi is organized, calculated and research driven. Before she began planting, she wanted to make sure that she laid out her garden in a way that maximized her space and allowed for continued harvest. She used GrowVeg.com to plan her garden layout and cross referenced the suggested plants for zone 9 against the Urban Farm planting calendar that is linked on the sidebar of this blog. You can’t always trust Zone 9 planting recommendations in Phoenix because of our extreme heat, so I always recommend that desert gardeners double check their planting dates against a local source.
Once her plan was complete, Abbi and her kids planted some seeds and a few transplants into their new garden!
And, a few weeks in, many of her seeds have sprouted and are starting their journey towards harvest!
Here are Abbi’s answers to the questions that I asked all of my first time gardeners:
Have you ever grown vegetables before? No, this is my first garden. Why did you decide to start your garden this season? I needed something else to do. Just kidding. I thought it would be a good experience and something fun to do with my girls. Also, I’m looking forward to eating from my own garden. What are you most looking forward to harvesting from your garden? Zucchini or watermelon. Probably watermelon. If you could give first time gardeners one tip, what would it be? Square foot gardening is the easiest method. Row planting is not.
To see more from other first time gardeners, click here.