Saturday, May 7, 2016

Planting My First Culinary Garden

Much like learning to cook Mexican food by taking our family's recipes, cooking them and then blogging about the results of our cooking learning experience, I decided to learn to grow a culinary garden and share my results with you, via blog articles.
This is my raised ledge

I've tried doing research and reading up on the what, when and hows of planting an herb and vegetable garden. And there is SO much information it just feels overwhelming. I couldn't figure out if I needed a raised garden bed, given that this ledge I was planning on using for my herbs and vegetables, is already raised off the ground.

After our recent house remodel, we had a nursery come out to meet with us and provide some landscaping suggestions. I spoke with him about my herbs and veggie garden and he basically said, just start experimenting. What you see at the nursery is ready for your garden. Use good organic soil specifically for herbs and veggies. And BONUS, my dirt ledge IS in fact my raised gardening bed. However, if it wasn't raised, it would've been a good idea to use one of these cool Raised Garden Beds. After working on my planting for an afternoon, I was really glad my culinary garden ledge is 3 feet was very friendly on my back.

So I decided to go for it, and here is my first shot at it. Joanna Gaines' suggestion is to start small...and start small is what I did.

I went to my local Lowe's and picked up my goodies. They have these fantastic, eco-friendly, biodegradable herb and vegetable pots. You just cut off the shrinkwrap around them, soak them in water, let them drain for a little, tear off the bottom of the cardboard pot, stick them in the hole and cover them up with dirt. It's supposed to not create transplant shock and minimizes waste.

Bonnie Plants Biodegradable Pots

This is what I planted:
Bonnie Plants Cilantro
Bonnie Plants Mint

Bonnie Plants Italian Parsley
Bonnie Plants Chives
Bonnie Plants Jalapeno Pepper
Bonnie Plants Bell Red Pepper 

I also picked up some Seeds of Change Arugula seed packets. Heck, while I'm experimenting and learning...why not? I've never planted seeds before so this is also a first. I just followed the instructions on the packet. Created four rows in the dirt and drumped seeds in them. I'm pretty sure I probably did this wrong, but hey...this is all a learning experience. Says it takes 40 days so we'll see if in 40 days I start to see sprouts. 

And finally, I already had a large-ish basil plant in my kitchen and a tiny dying rosemary. I've planted and successfully grown basil before so I'm pretty sure this will be no problem However, the tiny rosemary was literally almost completely dead, so not sure this will be happy with it's new home and decide to spring back to life.

  Basil to the farthest left

Still need to get some oregano from mom's this Sunday. 

Really looking forward to learning, and growing a larger garden. Next year should be larger if all goes well. And maybe if I am successful EL NOVIO (the boyfriend) will let me have a chicken coop. But that's a far s--t--r--e--t--c--h. Wish me luck with it all!

Yup...that's my culinary garden.
I know it's not impressive, but it makes me giddy!
Have you grown a culinary garden? I'm in Southern California, so any tips for this area would be helpful.


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