Have you ever wondered how to start a garden? The secret, we’ve found, is starting small.
Even as small as three tomato plants.
Our personal gardening adventures began a few years ago when we had been living near the coast in Connecticut. We were gifted a few tomato plants by a friend, and those seedlings were the catalyst we needed to take a closer look at where our food came from. Our son Keegan was turning one, and so we thought, what better way to spend early summer evenings than starting a small garden and harvesting its bounty to grace our dinner plates!
So we went ahead and planted those three tomato plants, and promptly began tending to them like they were our own babies. Those plants proved to be the inspiration we needed to start expanding our garden plot, too. We soon added herbs to our beds and even planted potatoes and pumpkins! Though we had absolutely no idea what we were doing with our backyard vegetable garden, the enthusiasm we felt during the process showed us that we were tapping into something exciting.
Keith, being a professionally-trained chef, is the primary food maker in our home. He creates the most amazing dinners, and the vegetables and herbs we were growing soon inspired him to take his culinary experiments to new levels. We ate well that summer, but even more important, we discovered a new family hobby that got us spending time outside together.
Leaving our little garden was sad when we relocated to Charleston, South Carolina, but we knew that the warmer climate and humid air was what we needed for starting a backyard garden that was better than before.
As a bonus, Keegan entered a quaint Montessori preschool nearby with a children’s garden on the premises. In no time, our little student was coming home from school with far more garden knowledge than we had and enough passion for all of us. This was all we needed to start constructing our own garden again.
When we started the design process, the Rita’s Roots garden consultation company came highly recommended to us. Rita is the most amazing gentle soul, and we quickly fell in love with her gardening spirit and what she had to teach us. This lovely lady showed up to our home on the first rainy afternoon in a month and proceeded to seek out the sun in our yard using a gorgeous sundial globe. During that same visit, she assured us of where the planting box should go and gave suggestions to help us order our Biodynamic seeds from Turtle Seeds.
With Rita’s guidance, we selected our ideal garden bed, a raised bed that was simple to tend. From there, we eagerly began plotting our vegetable choices. The first priority was growing all the veggies that we love to cook with, so we opted for a lot of leafy green lettuces, Asian greens, and herbs. Fortunately for us, Keegan really loves broccoli, so we added plenty of this beloved brassica to the planting mix, too!
Keegan himself helped us prepare the potting soil and the seedlings, and he was beyond excited to put his school garden experience to use. After he mixed the soil, Keith punched tiny holes in the bottom of our used Apple + Pear Sauce cups to accommodate soil and seeds. We also bought tiny peat pots since we had so many seeds to plant.