Earth Day Tradition

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You may have read on my twitter or Facebook page that last year for Earth Day, I celebrated by planting my first vegetable garden. You can click here to view how that undertaking went.

Well, I’m happy to announce that I think I’m going to make the planting-of-the-garden an annual Earth Day tradition! IMG_1170

Even though I had to work on Earth Day, I managed to carve out about an hour or so to plant some seedlings for my 2011 garden.

Rewinding a bit…let’s start with breakfast!

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I got The Flying Biscuit take-out for breakfast! I’ve been craving this stuff all week. They brought breakfast in for some people on my floor and where should they get the goods? TFB! And did I get any? Heck no! Sad smile 

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Well guess who got a giant, sugar-topped biscuit afterall? Moi! It was gooood, too!

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Hubby ended up picking up local donuts, too. Nom!

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After my heavy breakfast, I wanted a light lunch – cannellini bean, kale, and rosemary soup. I had some whole grain toast on the side. It was just what the doctor ordered.

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After wrapping work up, even though the day was rainy and cold, we headed out to a local nursery, Blackhawk Hardware, to pick up some seedlings.

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I really like Blackhawk because they’re a small business with very friendly staff. My extra fave reason is because they carry lots of unique, interesting, and heirloom seedlings that you won’t find at many other nurseries.

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I knew exactly what I wanted to get (tomatoes, bell peppers, and companion plants), so I was able to pick out some seedlings pretty quickly.

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The goods.

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And after only about an hour, I had seedlings in the ground! (I have some space saved near the front for some seeds I plan to plant later.)

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I planted 3 golden bell pepper plants (I think this means they’ll turn yellow and/or gold when they’re ripe!).

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And I planted 2 types of tomatoes – 100 cherries and green zebras (I think they’re both heirloom).

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Check out this giant swiss chard that survived from last year! It’s asking to be eaten, no?

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Last year I grew my garden sans pesticides and this year I plant to do the same. I think this is one of the biggest benefits of growing your own veggies – being able to do your own quality control.

My preferred method of driving away pests is by utilizing companion planting.

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Companion planting is when you plant particular vegetables, herbs, and flowers that deter pests.

Marigolds are probably the most popular and versatile of the companion plants I’ve researched. They’re also the most common and can easily be found at almost any garden center.

I planted marigolds here and there all around the outside of my square foot garden.

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I also planted a couple geraniums in pots just outside of the garden. I’ve heard these are supposed to be good companion plants.

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The bright green plant with the small leaves is called “Creeping Jenny.” It’s not a companion plant…I just like the way it looks.

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And I found a new pest-repellant plant to try – scented geraniums! Supposed these will deter mosquitos. I planted them near our back patio in hopes of keeping those dreaded mosquitos away when we dine al fresco. Supposedly these geraniums will flower and look pretty, in addition to being useful. We’ll see.

I do know that the leaves smell like lemons!! So cool!

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Anywho, I made a bit of a mess with my gardening gloves, but I had a great afternoon of planting and preparing.

I have a couple other things I want to plant. My mom has purchased several herbs for me, so once I visit her, I plan to bring those home and plant them in the herb garden and possibly some in the vegetable garden (some herbs are good companion plants, too!).

I also have some seeds I want to plant: heirloom tri-color string beans and heirloom beets in the square foot garden – and heirloom squash in the circle area in the backyard.

I just can’t wait to start getting some tasty vegetables off of my plants! There’s nothing like cooking with vegetables that you’ve grown in your backyard! Smile

How did you celebrate Earth Day?

And do you plant any vegetables or herbs around your home?

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