Growing up we always had a HUGE vegetable garden in our backyard. I remember many summer days picking beans then cleaning and snapping them in the kitchen sink (maybe a few didn’t make it into the bowl….). Since then, I’ve always wanted to have my own vegetable garden. This past week, I finally started one in our boiler room. It’s dark and warm in there so the seedlings could grow. And grow they did!
We bought a small cold frame greenhouse at the Tractor Supply Co. out in Batavia, it’s 8′ x 3′ x 3′, and we put it together on Saturday. Most of the seedlings grew very rapidly in the boiler room and were already outgrowing the container they were in, so I transplanted the strongest on Saturday, leaving about half still in there incubating.
We’re attempting to grow vegetables that we will actually eat. We planted Kale, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Strawberries and Sweet Banana Peppers. Still have Carrots, Onions and Organic Lettuce incubating and will plant those when they’re ready. We also have some Cilantro growing, along with one of the strawberry plants, in an outdoor container in the backyard. This strawberry plant is already yielding small strawberries as well!
I always forget to take pictures along the way when we’re doing a project, but I remembered to do it this time, and I’m going to outline it below. 🙂 (Just in case you were curious as to what we did).
I checked them this morning and they’re all looking good! We even have some small strawberries on our 2 plants already. 🙂
First things first, get a power drill and put a 1/2″ drill bit in it.
Next, select the totes you’d like to use for your container garden. Thanks to our recent garage sale and Salvation Army donations, we had several unused totes already laying around, saving us money. I used two 30 gallon totes and one slightly smaller tote. Drill drainage holes in bottom of each tote.
Once drilled, place totes inside greenhouse.
Next fill totes approximately 1/3 of the way with either stones or mulch (we used the old mulch from our backyard since we have to replace it anyway. Saved us a TON of money!) Don’t skip this step! You need to have proper drainage so the roots don’t rot. Fill the rest of the way with potting soil. Thank You Mark for doing the heavy lifting!!!
Next, start planting. Using a black sharpie marker, make sure to mark each row on the container so you know where you planted which vegetable. Don’t forget to water after planting!
Close up the greenhouse when you’re done to keep the heat inside to help the plants grow with the greenhouse effect. You can leave the vents open during the day for more air and close at night to protect your plants from any colder weather. Water as needed.
As our vegetables continue to grow, I’ll keep you updated on their progress. Hoping to have a lot of yummy goodness for the summer!