I've experimented with backyard gardens in the past with varying results. (Mostly not great, if I'm being perfectly honest.) It's been a few years since we've grown any vegetables, but when Mr. Gooder announced he wanted to get a garden going again this year I was ready for the challenge.
Our biggest issue is that while we have a decent sized yard, we also rent, so it limits us in where and how much we can plant. Basically, we're restrained to having a container garden. But... we already had one very clever container garden in the works:
Let me introduce you to the self-watering rain gutter container garden. Ours (Pictured above) looks a little scraggly because it's actually 2-3 years old. It was used the last time I tried to do a vegetable garden and failed pretty epically. I made 2 REALLY big (rookie) mistakes. 1) Too many plants in one pot, and 2) COMPLETELY wrong spot in the yard for sun exposure. My poor plants were getting blasted with the western setting SoCal sun every afternoon and there was no amount of water that was going to help them out. Poor babies.
I'm not going to go into the logistics of the self-watering garden now- maybe another day in another post. This youtube channel will tell you everything you ever wanted to know thoug. Plus, if you are anything like me, you will fall in love with Larry from Brainard MN. (The super smart guy behind this, and several other DIY self-watering garden ideas.) We cleaned everything out, refilled the pots with fresh soil and were ready to go in no time.
We had some already started plants that we grabbed from the garden center, but we also decided to try our hand at starting some things from scratch in seed pods. (I know- party animals!)
And I grabbed this sweet potato that started sprouting on our counter and plunked it in the ground as well. Even if we don't get potatoes, I love the look of sweet potato vines in the garden.
Then I pulled out Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail. I picked it up a few years ago, and it's still one of my favorite gardening books. It explains things very nicely for beginners or someone like me (who knows enough about growing vegetables to be dangerous but could definitely know more.) The back section of the book has individual plants listed out with the best ways to grow them + solutions to problems you may encounter. A few recipes are scattered throughout as well for good measure!
I'm looking forward to giving little updates here and there about our little garden as it (fingers crossed) takes off! Wish us luck!