Disclosure: This post is sponsored by EcoScraps. All opinions expressed within this post are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
Our garden has tripled in size this year, and my mouth is watering at all of the food we’ll be bringing from backyard to table this year…if it makes it to the table. With three boys, they often eat right out of the garden before I can even get it into the house!
My edible gardens are separated into 4 zones: (1) the berries, (2) the large squash bed, (3) the 6 variety beds, and the (4) patio pots. I want to give you a home garden tour to show you where the gardens start early in the season. It is a lot of work early on, but the garden produces well over the summer and fall!
I am most proud of my berry garden. I produce too many berries for my family to eat, so we love to share with neighbors and friends.
The blueberries are technically potted because it is easier for me to control the acidity of the soil that way.
The raspberries cover a 10 foot by 3 foot wide area along the side of the house. This patch produces thornless red raspberries and thorny yellow raspberries. The red raspberries are huge, and the bushes drip with fruit from June through December.
These are my prized blue raspberries. I planted them last year, so I am hoping this is the year they produce fruit.
My tower of blackberries was really poorly placed when I planted them 2 years ago, and this Fall I intend to transplant them. In my ignorance, I thought they would be bushy, however, they are 8-10 foot high vines that produce beautiful fruit, but are in the way of our garage.
The blackberries are starting to flower, too, and have these sweet pink buds.
The Squash Bed
On the far side of our property, we have an 8 by 8 foot bed that we fill with varieties of squash and cucumbers. Although it is shaded for half the day, I find that the squash grow well here.
A string of old buoys that I bought in Key West for $5 are strung to remind us of the island breezes we love.
So far the cucumbers and summer squash are planted. The spaghetti squash and pumpkins are started, but still need to be transplanted.
The Variety Beds
For Christmas I received two kits for a 3-tiered garden bed. I decided to separate out the tiers for more square footage planting space. The beans and peas are already planted, along with the broccoli, kale, and carrots. The peppers (jalepeno, bell, and cubanelle), tomatoes, kohlrabi, and more will go in during the next month.
When I had soil delivered this year, I used the estimate on the raised bed box for how much I would need. However, I ended up with more yards of mulch than I needed. So, what does one do when they do not want soil to go to waste? They build flower beds around the outside of the garden, making it easier to edge the garden without ruining the fencing. The six extra beds cost about $20 in lumber, how can you beat that?
The Patio Pots
Even though I have plenty of raised beds that I use to grow fruits and vegetables, I still keep potted plants on the patio. I have various reasons for doing so. As stated before, because of the specific soil needs of blueberry plants, I find it easier to monitor my blueberries when they are potted. My family basil is very fragrant and the kids love to snack on the leaves, so I like to have that near our outdoor seating area. I also keep some peppers and lavender on the patio – just for fun.
The pots are not particularly attractive this time of the year; yet in a few short weeks, they will be overflowing with greens, purples, and blues.
This big bag filled two 16-inch pots, with a little left over to supplement the blueberries and lavender. I also mixed in some of the Tomato, Herb, and Vegetable Plant Food into the pots that will house peppers, lavender, and basil.
In researching EcoScraps, I learned that in the United States, we waste 40% of the food produced. That is enough to fill the Rose Bowl every day. It sits in landfills producing methane, which is 20X more harmful than CO2. Between 2011 and 2015, EcoScraps recycled 75 million pounds of food waste. EcoScraps is matching that number in 2016 with projected recycling of another 75 million pounds of food waste–this time in just 12 months.
I try to be highly eco-conscious, so I was encouraged to see that EcoScraps was working to minimize the food waste issue. However, I learned that bagged salad, for instance, is one of the #1 foods wasted. If we just bought lettuce for the day we needed it (if we were out of lettuce or kale from the garden), we could do quite a bit to minimize food waste.
Ecoscraps has generously offered one Daze and Knights reader a $50 Walmart gift card to support your gardening this spring. This giveaway is open to residents of the 50 US states and DC who are 18 or older. Please see full terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!
EcoScraps products currently sold at Walmart are: Compost, Garden Soil, Potting Mix, Herb and Vegetable Plant Food, All Purpose Plant Food, Compost Accelerator, Citrus and Avocado Plant Food, Starter Plant Food, Rose and Flower Plant Food, Fresh Start Plant Food, Fruit and Vegetable Plant Food, Compost Accelerator. Products can be purchased online at www.walmart.com/ecoscraps.