I know very little about gardening.  But what I lack in knowledge I more than make up for in enthusiasm (and in willingness to while away my evening hours reading gardening blogs), and in that spirit I present to you the Grand Plans for my summer vegetable garden.

1. Container garden

We can use our CSA share to buy a wide variety of garden plants, including flowers, herbs, and vegetables.  This year I’m going to try growing two varieties of small tomatoes, one staked in a large pot and one in a hanging basket.

We’ve already started some carrot and lettuce seeds in empty egg cartons.   (This is truly instant gratification gardening and preschoolers LOVE it — charming little sprouts take just days to emerge.)  I used a peat moss seed starter, but you can use compost if you have it.  The seeds (and the weather) should be ready for transplanting outdoors by (I’m guessing/hoping here) May 1.  I’m going to try planting in two old window boxes — I figure I can grow four heads of lettuce and a dozen carrots at a time.  The carrots won’t get very big in a planter that’s less than 8″ deep, but that’s okay — I doubt my eager little pickers could wait for full-grown carrots anyway.

2. Porch-side herb (and flower) garden

Last year I planted mint, thyme, and sage in the ground, against my porch.  The sage lasted through Thanksgiving!  Supposedly all three are perennial and, with luck, will reappear on their own.  In a few weeks (our last frost date is at the beginning of May), we’re going to sow morning glories and sunflowers in sunny spots around the fence.

3. Compost, compost, compost

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, and this year’s ambitious yard projects (and my frugal nature) have finally tipped the scales.  Many towns in the Boston area sell compost bins to residents at government-subsidized prices.  Maybe your town does, too.  We produce an awful lot of kitchen and yard waste — it’s about time we started putting it to good use.

4. Raised bed garden

Oh, Google, you are my undoing.  Once I saw this I had to have it.  The only place in our yard that gets 6+ hours of sunlight in the summer is on a 20-degree incline, so this project will involve a bit of earth-moving.  But my vision of two, 3×4-foot, terraced, cedar-edged, “square-foot” vegetable gardens — visible from my kitchen table, no less —  is so blindingly awesome that I’ve been unable to focus on anything else for days.  I guess I’d better get that compost bin this week.

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