I have limited garden space, and rather than fight the slugs and shade that wreaked havoc on my veggies last year, this year I planted lots of stuff in pots that I'd collected from garage and estate sales. I can place the pots in the best spots for optimal light. I planted kale, red and green lettuce, and Swiss chard in the side yard. These were late summer-fall crops. I already had cherry tomatoes and two kinds of basil thriving in pots on the deck. I looked for plants for the side yard that would do well with some shade, and placed the tomatoes and basil in the spot on the deck with the most sun. The tomatoes and basil were close to the house to give them a little protection from the inevitable cool weather that Seattle experiences. This year, though, we had an unusual abundance of sun and warmth, and a shortage of rain, and you do have to water pots.
When I discovered a critter had been digging up my baby plants, I stuck wooden skewers into the dirt, and that seemed to do the trick.
I couldn't believe how quickly the plants grew. I don't have enough kale yet to feed us continually, but we've had several meals from it. The lettuce is abundant, and all we need. The Swiss chard, which was planted later, is still too small to pick, but much larger than when the photo was taken a couple of weeks ago.
The tomatoes are winding down now, but have been fabulous. Next year I'll plant more than one because one wasn't enough. In addition to the pots I've shown you, I also have some containers with herbs like rosemary, mint and thyme.
Also in the side garden, I've started a strawberry patch, and last year planted several herbs which are doing well, like the golden oregano in the photo above. There's parsley, and salad burnet, too. The salad burnet is a very pretty herb that's supposed to taste like cucumber, but mine doesn't. There are also chives planted here and there, but they don't do as well as they did in Madison. Maybe I'll try them in a pot next season.
With last year's parsley and a new plant this year, we have all we need.
I love rosemary, and between the one in the pot and the one in the ground, we have an ample amount.
At our house in Wisconsin, we had a large garden where we had been enriching the soil for years from our compost bin, but here, the dirt sucks, is very stoney, and hard, and we don't have a good spot to make compost. Our backyard is compact, so we don't have the luxury of spreading out. The large pots have really worked well for adding gardening space to our limited yard, and they look good, too! Plus, as I mentioned before, no slugs. Have you tried growing vegetables and herbs in big pots?
How to wash produce to protect your health
I found the video about how to clean produce (and why you should) very interesting, though I have to admit I haven't put the ideas into practice, yet. I do wash all our produce, but just in plain water. Do you use vegetable wash? Have you ever become ill from not washing produce well?