The Victory Garden – Growing Our Own Food

Growing your own produce is one of the healthiest things you can do. Not only for your body, but your wallet as well.

With the skyrocketing price of great produce this year — $3.99/lb. for tomatoes, $2.99/lb. romaine lettuce, and even more if you want to have an artichoke or some asparagus with your meal — I am once again getting ready to grow some of my own.

I have tried many times in my current house to  have a vegetable garden, but we have problems with the wildlife eating everything we try to grow. I have had great success with herbs, they seem to leave them alone, but my strawberries and tomatoes are another story. I have decided that this fall I am going to try a cold frame, so that I can grow lettuce and spinach. I will post more pictures as this evolves. I am also going to try planting in pots and trays on my deck. I have done that in the past with limited success, as I found that things dry out quickly, so I will try putting them on trays with waterwicks.

My border of oregano

The herbs this year seemed to grow exceptionally well. I had a combination of pots, and many in the ground. I have an entire row of oregano which is now blooming, and cascading over on to the back walkway. Each year it gets more full than the last, and is as pretty as it is delicious. The other in-ground herbs I grow are chives, lemon balm, sage and thyme. These are all perennial and do best when they have become established. I grow the rest in pots: mint, because it is invasive; oregano, so that I can move it to a more protected winter spot; basil, because it is so sensitive; and catnip and cilantro for the same reason. I am hopeful that this year we will get some of the figs from my tiny little fig tree, but then again I think the chipmunks already have their eyes on them.

My fig tree, a cultivar from Mt. Vernon estate.

I am also looking forward to trying a cold frame to see how long I can extend my growing season into the cold weather. This has been such a hot and dry summer it wasn’t too appealing to spend long hours outside, so I am hoping that we will have some great fall weather, and do some catching up with some new projects.

 

Putting herbs in pots lets you maximize their best exposure.

My plan is to construct the cold frame by layering bricks about five courses high and placing my old storm door panel on top. The nice thing about doing this is you can change

location easily from year to year simply by moving the bricks. They also hold the heat and provide great insulating value.

I’m curious to know what others have and will try. So please let me know. Here’s to your health!

By the way, the beautiful “Sow the seeds of victory” vintage poster was created by James Montgomery Flagg in 1918.

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