Tuesday, April 29, 2014

our little garden and heirloom tomatoes

My dad grew up on a farm in Kansas, and although he left and moved to California in his early 20s, his heart was still that of a farm boy.

My dad, siblings, and I planted a fairly large garden in our backyard every Spring . . . tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, strawberries, green beans, and squash. I have so many fond memories of tending our garden with my dad . . . and, of course, reaping the rewards of our care. We were proud little farmers!

My husband and I have talked about building a small garden box for a few years, so that we could plant a garden; but I wanted to wait until I knew that our little ones would be old enough to participate in its care.

~ my little gardeners hard at work ~

I thought we would try a potted garden this year, and depending on its reception and participation, maybe we'll build a garden box next Spring.

We got a head start on our tomato planting when our dear family friend gave us 3 small tomato plants; two heirloom varieties and one sweet cherry tomato plant. She did the hard work for us and researched varieties that are strong, so that we can enjoy a healthy crop. Thanks, Lisa!

I bought 3 large pots and two big bags of dirt. We mixed Miracle Gro's Moisture Control Potting Mix and Miracle Gro's Garden Soil for flowers and vegetables. The first protects from over and under-watering (which is important when you have little ones who like to water their plants to death), and the latter provides nutrition for growing strong plants. It turned out to be a great combination, because our tomato plants have grown 2 feet in 3 weeks! And the best part, we have 6 small cherry tomatoes  . . . and 2 small heirlooms. The kids and I are so excited!

~ our first heirloom tomato ~

Since planting our tomatoes, we've added two varieties of strawberries, and green beans, to our garden.

I'm pleasantly surprised at the ease of caring for a potted garden. The pots are easy to move, as needed . . . and our kids have enjoyed staking claim on their own tomato plant/pot, which makes gardening more fun for them.

When our oldest daughter, Charley, found out that I was going to share photos of our garden with you, she drew this picture to show you how plants grow . . .  from seed to bloom

Did you notice the strong roots!?

Next on my planting list . . . HERBS!

Basil, Italian flat leaf parsley, and mint are my favorite herbs to grow in late Spring and Summer.

Speaking of herbs, have you seen, or heard of, a Savour Greek Basil Tree? I can't get enough of this basil topiary. I'm excited to share photos of the two that I bought. I need to finish aging the terra cotta pots that I found for these beauties, and then I'll share them in a post. They'll be a part of my kitchen decor through the Spring & Summer months.

How about you? Will you plant a garden this Spring?

LET'S STAY in touch!


  1. Where in the heck are you that you have tomatoes already!?!? Soooo jealous. I haven't even planted any yet. I'm gardening obsessed, so this is by far my favorite time of year.

  2. Wow! Tomatoes already? I just transplanted some into larger pots,but they are remaining indoors for a few more weeks. Gardening with children can be so rewarding. Beautiful photos.

  3. Loved this post and the little hands in the dirt! :) I have tomatoes started but can't put them into the ground until the end of May here ( Southwestern PA ) because we can have frost up to that point. I have some Mortgage Lifter heirlooms starting from seeds...seeds left from last year, and then some standards for our area..cherry tomatoe, Early Girl etc. Last year my grandkids had so much fun helping to water, pick things such as tomatoes and cukes, etc. It's great to start kids gardening, because as you indicated, once you do, you are raising a gardener just like your dad did :)

  4. What a great idea to get your kids gardening! Fresh tomatoes are so delicious and you're kids will be so proud eating them!

  5. Don't plant a vegetable garden here, but we do have an herb garden. Happy Gardening!

  6. Have fun with your garden! :-)

  7. Adorable! They will have so much fun picking and eating their tomatoes! Great experience for little ones...
    Come to my blog and see what we are growing or have grown....try planting beans...bush beans for pots....they are wonderful to watch grow...

  8. Looks like lots of fun. I live in an apartment so I have to do container gardening too. This is great inspiration. Thanks for linking up to Snickerdoodle Sunday.

  9. How fun for your whole family! Suzanne...you're creating the most wonderful memories!
    I was hopeful that this year I would be able to grow tomatoes....I too wanted to grow heirlooms...they are sooo tasty. Since that won't be happening...outside of a miracle....I'll be buying mine at the farmers' market. Next best thing!!

    Thanks for sharing your garden inspiration with us a Project Inspire{d}!!

  10. I am growing heirloom tomatoes too - our season is a bit behind though so no tomatoes growing yet :) And I love growing with my kids they always help in the garden it is great for them to see where food comes from. Thanks for sharing

  11. I got my love of gardening from my Dad. He grew up on a farm in Virginia and when I was little we moved to California where we planted gardens in our backyard - thanks for the wonderful memories - I can see you're starting some wonderful ones yourself! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  12. I got my love of gardening from my mother. Love your daughters sweet drawing! I planted heirloom tomatoes for the first time yesterday. Can't wait! thanks for sharing with SYC.

  13. We've got teeny green tomatoes too! It's so exciting to watch them grow. Our children love it! Love seeing your little ones with dirty hands too. ;)

    Thank you so much for sharing your creativity at our Show-Licious Craft & Recipe Party! Join us again on Saturday to show off your latest projects!

    ~ Ashley

  14. Oh, I love your little garden...homegrown tomatoes are the best! Thanks for linking this up to my Creative Ways Link Party! Have a wonderful week.


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