Sunday, April 17, 2011

Grow Your Own Produce: Strawberries, Romain, & Snow Peas!

One of the best ways to save money on your grocery bill in the spring and summer is by growing your own fruit and vegetables. Last year I attempted a small vegetable garden at my parents house but it didn't go quite as planned since it was harder for me to get outside with Brooklynn than I anticipated.

After watching Brooklynn devour strawberries off her plate a few weeks ago, and then steal the ones off my plate I new exactly what I was going to grow this year, a strawberry patch, but in a pot. Oregon is said to have a great climate for growing berries so I have my fingers crossed for this to be a very low maintenance project.

Strawberries will need direct full sun and grow best in well-drained soil with some organic matter. Planting in raised beds will help with drainage. The planting depth is very important! Dig a hole for each plant large enough to accommodate the roots without bending them. Spread the root mass and set the plant at the same depth it was in the nursery container.
Don't have the space for a garden? No problem try growing produce in containers. In today's beautiful weather I filled two different pots with strawberries. No idea why the strawberries on the left side are wilting in that picture haha. 
I really like the idea of container gardening because you can move things around for better light if you need to. The Oregon State Extension Service has an article you can check out here on container gardening along with lots of other informative gardening articles.
I used whiskey barrels to plant romain lettuce and snow peas from starts and some sweet basil from seed. The sweet basil seeds were so tiny that I'm not really sure they will sprout in the dirt I used, we'll see. The closest barrel is full of mint from last year, I ripped out half of it to make room for the peas. Later in the season I hope to plant zucchini and a couple types of pumpkin.
Brooklynn ran around with her daddy in tow while I planted, pausing just for a moment to check out some rocks. And this picture reveals a place I missed some weeds, guess we'll be back outside this week! 

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