This post was sponsored by Burpee Plants, but (as always!) all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that make Lake Shore Lady possible!
Good morning, everyone! If you’ve following along with my stories this summer, you probably already know how proud we are of the garden on our deck. Adam and I (Adam especially!) fell in love with gardening a few summers ago when we moved in together and finally had outdoor space. So as soon as we saw our current (and much larger) deck, we knew we could have even more fun with it this summer!
When it comes to growing fruits, vegetables and herbs, we always go straight to Burpee Plants. Not only do they have a huge variety of options, but they were also created to make gardening easy. All of their plants are trialed and selected to ensure that you have success with them when you plant them at home. They also provide a TON of information about each one – from how much sun/water it needs, days to harvest, and more. Instead of googling like crazy or getting frustrated with your lack of knowledge, they really do everything they can to set you up for success.
Truly, Burpee Plants gets the sole credit for turning us into full blown gardening nerds. We have had so much fun with our extra space this year, and we get so excited every time we bite into a tomato and cucumber that we grew ourselves! Remember that insanely gorgeous tomato I shared on stories the other day? That’s how they’ve all been so far. And it never gets old! Also, if you don’t have as much space as we do, I recommend checking out Kitchen Minis from PanAmerican Seed. They have a great variety of peppers and tomatoes that can be grown inside. All you need is a sun drenched windowsill or countertop!
Am I peaking your interest?! If so, I thought I’d walk you through some gardening tips for beginners. There’s no room for “I can’t keep anything alive” here. Of course you can! Just go to the store locator on Burpee’s website, follow these tips, and try it out!
Gardening Tips for Beginners
Determine how much effort you want to put in.
Before you get started on a home garden, it’s important to assess how much effort you want to put into it. Are you willing to monitor the garden closely on a day to day basis? Will you be out of town a lot or can you water them often? How much time and money do you want to devote to the garden? Garden plants require various amounts of water, sun, and attention.
Determine the amount of sun your space gets.
Figure out where you’d like to put your garden and then pay attention to how many hours of sunlight that space gets each day. Different vegetables will thrive in different amounts of sunlight so it is important to choose the right plants for your sun spots. For example, our patio is best for plants that want a lot of sun and can actually “sun burn” those that need only partial light.
Pick your fruits, vegetables, and/or flowers accordingly.
Now that you know much effort you want to put in and how much sunlight your space gets, research what options fit that criteria! For example, our tomatoes and peppers really love the sunlight our patio gets. We also really enjoy taking care of our garden, so playing around with a trellis for the Gherking Cucumbers and Mexican Sour Gherkin Cucumbers (or cucuamelons!) was really fun for us!
Learn about each plant’s nutrient requirements.
It’s easy to think that you can put each plant in the same soil and water them on the same schedule… but that isn’t always the case! Once you’ve picked out what you want to grow, take a look at what type of soil it likes and the recommended watering schedule.
Research the typical “days to harvest” for each vegetable/fruit.
While harvest times may vary, we recommend taking a look at Burpee’s “days to harvest” to get an idea of when you should expect your fruits and vegetables to mature. Obviously some fruits and vegetables are easier to tell than others – if a tomato is red, it’s probably ready to pick! But you might be growing something new (like our cucamelons!), so it’s nice to have an idea of when to expect them to be ripe.
Research how to use them so they don’t go to waste!
There are few things more satisfying than growing something yourself – and then eating it! I mean, it doesn’t get any fresher than picking it off of a vine at home, and that 100% comes through in the taste, too. We have had no problem eating every single tomato so far, but some vegetables are easy to gobble up than others. Here are a few recipes we’ve used so far:
Pan Con Tomate: Toast a piece of bread (a bagel or english muffin works too!). Slice an end off of the tomato and rub the fleshy side onto the toasted bread. Top with slices of tomato, high quality extra virgin olive oil, and flaky sea salt. You can also rub a garlic clove onto the warm bread before the tomato, too!
Pickled Gherkins: All of a sudden we had a LOT of ripe Gherking Cucumbers, so we decided to pickle them! We followed this recipe, but with less sugar since these cucumbers are already very sweet. We made a big jar for us and little jars to give to friends and family. Soooo delicious!
Pickled Cucamelons: We have just started to harvest the cucamelons – and honestly, they’re great to eat as as snack – but I do plan on trying out this pickled recipe once we harvest some more. Doesn’t it sound delicious?!
Chili Olive Oil: We are currently growing Demon Red Hot Peppers and Armageddon Hot Peppers in our garden, and I have been trying to brainstorm ways to use them without totally overwhelming our tastebuds. Luckily, I found this easy recipe for chili oil and I can’t wait to try it!
More to come…
Of course, I will obviously keep you updated as more of our garden grows in. Especially this squash!! Just the idea of cutting it in half, roasting it, and seeing those “spaghetti” strands inside have me SO EXCITED. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on stories when that happens, too. Maybe I’ll even create a new fun recipe with it, too!
PS. You might also like How To Have A Garden In The City and The Best Container Friendly Vegetables from Burpee Plants.