• jilliankwells

My sweet husband built me a Vegetable Garden …..

I have been wanting a vegetable garden for the LONGEST, y'all. I've been talking about it since we lived in our first house; what it would look like, what we could grow, all the things I'd use our fresh veggies and herbs for. It was the imaginary farmhouse garden of my dreams! Problem: I am a TERRIBLE gardener. Maybe gardener isn't even the right word, but whatever it is, I'm honestly terrible at keeping plants alive. Inside or outside plants, etc. They all die under my watch.

So note, please don't give me an orchid -- you're sweet, aren't they sure pretty, but they will die. I know myself. I've tried so many times!

Fast forward to the here and now -- I have a vegetable garden!

Yes, me! The terrible gardener, the serial plant killer, And despite my best efforts, my plants have survived our first crop of Spring. We are harvesting almost daily and we are so excited about it. Of course, I can't take all the credit. Lets be honest though, I shouldn't take any of it! My sweet husband made my farmhouse dreams come true and made all of this happen - so husband gold stars all around.

But let's start at the very beginning. He researched (i.e., watched YouTube videos) on building your own raised garden beds and spent some nights after work cutting, sawing, building and staining my boxes for me (I snuck a picture -- pic or it didn't happen). All in all, I was amazed, they came out so perfect -- he's literally never built anything himself (or at least I've never seen it happen with my own eyes) and he said it was a simple, doable project for the woodworking beginner! I'll add a link to the video he watched here just in case you need a reference although there are a TON of videos on YT about this topic. He did also add irrigation to them and set them on automatic timers to water themselves -- but I’ll be honest, I'll have to get him to answer questions on that witchcraft engineering magic.

But while he was outside doing the hard stuff, I was inside researching and reading books on Texas-specific fruit and vegetable gardening so we'd have a clue where to start when we finally got to planting outside. If you're an absolute beginner, know literally nothing like me, I'd absolutely recommend the book Texas Fruit and Vegetable Gardening by Greg Grant.

The author is super knowledgeable about Texas soil, weather conditions, etc. as he got his horticulture and floriculture degrees from Texas A&M. Long story short -- dude knows what he's talking about. And I found his book on vegetables and dirt, a book I would not normally gravitate towards, super super interesting! Really good starting point, the book is easily purchased on Amazon here (Prime eligible, haha).

So, after making a list of items I felt like I'd like to grow (i.e., herbs, tomatoes, green beans, squash and zucchini, peppers, etc.), and after getting our raised beds built and set into place, we went around to local nurseries to start picking up our plants. We knew our first go-around we wanted to solely utilize transplants rather than attempting to grow straight from seeds. Transplants are the plants you see sitting outside of Home Depot, Lowes, HEB, Kroger, Ace, etc. that are already established/not seeds - if I'm being honest, I think we just felt like we'd 100% succeed with transplants and therefore, wouldn't be discouraged going forward? But I think we will definitely attempt seeding our own plants next year!

While our transplants came from probably three different local nurseries, one of our favorites here in Katy was Cornelius Nursery. The staff was so knowledgeable and able to answer any of our questions or concerns, not to mention the place is beautiful and had such a great selection of vegetables and fruits to choose from. They also had a great selection of potted plants, flowers, etc. to choose from that I ended up taking home four begonias for my windows. It was a great place to bring Bella to let her run around and be outside, we loved it. Of course, I could go on an on about Enchanted Gardens Nursery in Richmond (now THAT nursery is beautiful) or even Nelson Nursery in Old Town Katy (they have a large koi pond that we take Bella to often so she can feed the fish there) and each one is fantastic. I'd recommend any of them!

And now, here we are! Our garden is going crazy and we are harvesting what seems like every single day and getting to see how vegetables grow - its seriously the neatest thing. I can't wait till Bella is a bit older and can understand a bit more; she does go with me everyday to check on the garden and "water" some of the plants with her watering can (seriously the cutest thing!) but in a few years it will be so fun to really teach her what its all about.

We are so happy to have found this fun thing for our family to work on together -- sure it's farmhouse cute, but its also neat as all get out. I'll be picking some green beans from the garden for dinner tonight! Can't wait!

Now, THAT’s farm to table!

So, of course, I know I didn’t go into every single little detail about this process; this post would have been light years long if I’d have included all you needed to know about starting your own garden. And of course, I’m no expert nor do I claim to be — BUT ... please just email me or find me on social media if you have any questions on anything i may have breezed over and I’ll always do my best to attempt to answer. Until then neighbors, happy spring!


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