Gardening + Planting Our Own Food

Hi guys! I’m really excited about today’s blog post because I think it’s something that will not only bring some joy into people’s lives, but also food! As many of you have seen on my Instagram stories, we’ve been doing a lot of gardening at the house. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. But I’ve always put off because life got too busy.

Why We Started Gardening!

The reason I’ve always wanted to do it is because I’ve always known that the kids would absolutely love it! Do you guys remember when Molly was two and she would walk along our street and stop and smell every single flower? It was the sweetest thing ever! She’s always been fascinated with nature and things that grow so I knew she would love this. And loving it she is! We planted our first pot with a few seeds that we got from an event I went to last month about two weeks ago. And as you can see from the below photo little sprouts are already starting to come up! I think it’s the beets and the carrots that are sprouting but I’m not really sure because the kids moved the signs so I don’t think they’re next to the right seeds. Ha! Oh well, we’ll find out soon enough.

After we planted those initial seeds in that big pot, I started thinking more about how I wanted to do more gardening with the kids not only because they love it, but because it really hit me this month how important it is to have control over your food supply. And while some of the things we planted will take anywhere from 30 days to a few months to grow, I’m still happy we’re doing it because I’m just so unsure about what’s going to happen over the next few months.

vegetable gardening seeds planter box

 1. RAISED GARDENING BEDS | 2. HAPPY FROG POTTING SOIL

I wanted to share this with you guys because I’m sure a lot of you have also thought about gardening right now. Whether it’s to fill the time, bring joy to your family, or strictly to make food for yourself and your family.

By the way,  I’m linking the things that I bought, but in general if you have a yard you can just plant the stuff in the ground and save a lot of money on gardening beds, planting towers, and soil. But I’m not an expert on gardening, so definitely look up the best way to garden straight into the earth. Seeds are extremely inexpensive so this is something that hopefully people on tight budgets will still be able to do if you do have a yard or even an extra pot lying around.

And don’t worry if you don’t have a ton of space. Some of the options I’m going to talk about are perfect for people that have very limited space or even just a balcony in an apartment complex. Let’s start with those with with limited space.

Space-Saving Gardening

This tower is perfect if you don’t have a yard. Or even if you do have a yard it’s still a great space saver. We have a yard, but it’s pretty small and we already did one raised garden bed, but we didn’t have enough space to put everything we wanted. So I actually got two of these towers. However these towers work great if you have a balcony in an apartment complex as well. I got the idea to use this one from my friend, Willa. She has been gardening forever. She’s a farmer’s daughter so it’s in her DNA. In fact, I highly recommend checking out this video she did showing you guys how to plant in the tower. Honestly, this entire blog post is inspired by her. She’s the one who suggested that I start gardening and recommended all of the supplies to me! So definitely check out her video if you need some help with how to garden. Ans she has a code for money off the towers!!!

gardening tower

1. GARDENING TOWER | 2. HAPPY FROG POTTING SOIL | 3. STRAWBERRY PLANTS | 4. HERB SEEDS

Ours just arrived and we planted some of our extra strawberry bulbs in it, and I think probably some more herbs!

Raised Gardening Beds

So the name for these raised gardening beds is a little misleading, it doesn’t necessarily mean raised off the ground. It is referring to the sides being raised, which I have read will help to keep out some critters. If you saw over on my Instagram. we got this gardening bed from Wayfair. I also just found a few that are raised off the ground if kneeling to garden is challenging for you in anyway. I’m going to link a few options below for you!

gardening planter box

 1. RAISED GARDENING BEDS | 2. HAPPY FROG POTTING SOIL | 3. STRAWBERRY PLANTS

If you don’t want to purchase gardening beds, you could easily plant any of your veggies or fruit straight into the ground. And if you’re feeling DIY-happy, there are tons of videos online that you can use wooden boards to create your own gardening bed edges.

Time to Begin Gardening!

You could truly plant any fruit or vegetable that you like and would do well in your climate. To start, we used Happy Frog Potting Soil, which Willa recommended as the best one! We filled up our gardening beds, making sure to lightly pack the bottom layer of the soil.

happy frog gardening

 1. RAISED GARDENING BEDS | 2. HAPPY FROG POTTING SOIL | 3. STRAWBERRY PLANTS

I’m not claiming to be some green-thumb gardening genius and I don’t know what plants grow the best this time of year from seed, so I would definitely recommend looking into that depending on your weather! Seeds are a super affordable way to begin your garden. It does seem like seeds are taking a little longer for delivery than it typically would. I’ll link some of the individual seeds below that will arrive within the next few weeks. There are also these super adorable seed kits, one made just for kids, an herb garden kit, and a salad seed kit. The kids kit comes with 8 different seed types and the herb and salad kits each contain 6 different types of seeds. So buying these kits might actually be more affordable and quicker than buying them individually.

We planted strawberry bulbs, kale, carrots, tomatoes and a bunch of different herbs. Speaking of tomatoes, you will definitely need a cage for them to grown onto. We got these ones, but there are so many sizes and styles. I’ll link a few below for you!

vegetable gardening seeds

If you didn’t see in my Instagram stories, Willa was super nice to leave some tomato cages and some squash plants. So if you are a little more tight on money and it would be hard to buy some of these supplies right now, maybe ask some of your friends first to see if they have any supplies you could use.

Sunflowers Grow So Fast

And if any of you just want something little to grow in your home (or outside) that will grow quickly sunflowers are a great option! We planted these a week ago and look how much they’ve grown already! Molly loves checking on them every day and seeing how much they’ve grown. I’m honestly shocked how quickly they grew. And PS, it’s pretty blue sweater I’m wearing is $12 if anybody is looking for super affordable comfys to wear at home right now.

Using the Scraps

A great way to save money is to use scraps from some of the produce that you get from the grocery store or farmer’s market. While many seeds from grocery products won’t grow correctly, you can use scraps from a handful of produce to regrow from the same plant. We are really excited to start trying this, and it truly makes that $2 head of lettuce last so much longer. I’m going to link to this site that I found online because it has a pretty comprehensive list of produce items that are good for regrowing from scraps.

After talking with some friends, surprisingly enough, a handful of them do this! Once they start to grow some roots and regrowth of leaves, that’s when you would transfer to your pot or garden bed. Again, we are so excited to try this, especially because I think Molly will find it so fascinating.

One thing that I’ve learned is really cool about lettuce is that once it grows back, you can continue to pick the leaves from it and they will re-grow!

My assistant, Madi, decided to try this out the other day, so I’m adding her pic below. She said, “After we talked about growing scraps, I went ahead and gave it a try with some bok choy that I was cooking with. I placed the bottom scrap in a small bowl with a little water and placed it in my windowsill, and changed the water each day. After 3 days, I could already see the new bok choy plant growing!!!!” And this makes me even more excited for us to try it too! This is such an affordable and easy way to grow your own food.

bok choy scrap

Good luck!

If you do decide to start gardening or even try the method with scraps in your kitchen, please let me know! I’d love to hear all about what you are growing. And like I said, I am no expert! We are all just learning together.

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21 Thoughts

21 thoughts on “Gardening + Planting Our Own Food

  1. Huge thank you Ali! I have always wanted to plant something and never got to do it, since I have no experience with gardening. And it is such a good idea to get the kids enjoy playing a longer time outside the house.

  2. Omg I love this! So informational! Thank you for sharing. As I mentioned on FB, this is definitely something I’ve been wanting to do with my two kiddos. We have been planting flowers because they were the only seeds I had at hand at the time. Now we want to plant veggies. We have loved watching the plants grow so I’m sure we will enjoy watching the veggies grow and eventually cook with them. This is great especially as you said we don’t know what’s going to happen within the ne t few months. Thanks again! Happy rest of the week Ali to you and your fam! Xoxo

    1. So glad you liked this post Perla! Molly is LOVING watching her sunflowers grow. They grow SO FAST! But the veggies are also so so so fun!

  3. Hi Ali! Thank you for this blog post — I actually saw your gardening photos and it inspired me to purchase the gardening tower and follow Willa. I’ve had Earth boxes for peppers and tomatoes. So, I love the compactness of the garden tower which would be perfect for my deck to grow lettuce/greens. I only deck garden because I like that I can watch it grow from my kitchen and not forget about it (I have a brown thumb). It’s still early to plant here in Colorado, but am excited to receive it and be ready just after Mother’s Day. May I ask, how many bags of Happy Frog soil did you need to fill one tower? Stay safe and well.

    1. Willa will give you so many great tips!!!! And the tower needs at least 3 bags of the Happy Frog soil. I used 2 so far but I still am waiting for more soil to arrive to fill the rest of the tower.

  4. Thanks for this post! We’re moving next week and I just ordered the raised garden beds you recommended so we can start our own garden! I think my kids will love helping!

  5. I am planning on growing herbs indoors…l.got the soil and l am waiting on the seeds… l.have always wanted to have an herb garden…so now is the time.. l love to cook with fresh herbs .. Cant wait to start!!

  6. hi Ali
    trevor & i planted a herb garden, did you put small gravel and a barrier beneath the soil in your raised beds? today I put the end part of green onions, lettuce, and 2 carrot roots in a small dish with water! I don’t have a green thumb but I’m excited to learn more about planting & growing plants & to watch them grow. I’m finding that gardening is helping to lessen my stress, these past weeks.
    I wish you & your family a happy Easter. 🐰
    stay safe everyone.

  7. Thank you!! I have ordered and my girls and I are so excited to grow! How many bags of the soil did you order for the garden bed?

    Kerri

  8. Celery is fun for kids to watch grow from scraps🙂. Ours has been growing for about 5 weeks now. Happy gardening from Berkshire county!!

  9. Thank you for inspiring me to start my own raised garden with my toddler!! She will love it!! I did have one question though, did you only use the Happy Frog potting soil in the raised garden or did you layer in other materials?

  10. Even though we’ve hardened before, our space was neglected. Your videos and this page have inspired us to grow our own this summer and we’ve cleared the weeds. Now waiting for our raised garden bed to arrive. Since we’re in Seattle, it’s just getting warm enough for most veggie starts. Thanks for inspiring our family!

  11. Have you tried trimming your hedge? Are you going to have to cover your boxes when you do that bc won’t all the clippings drop in there?

    Just spent last night using PictureThis app to identify what’s been growing in our two boxes from last year. One all junk minus a shoot that looking like it was from an avocado from composting. The app will come in handy for you next year but Molly might like snapping pics of everything to learn what things are.

    Are you gonna try composting? We are on year 2. It’s helpful but can get a little drippy. Not sure if you have the space for it.

    Going to check out your links! 👍🏻🌵

  12. Thanks for the inspiration! Purchased your raises garden beds. Way overpaid for happy frog soil at Walmart.com (35 for small bag.) Got a much larger bag at local nursery for 25.

  13. This is awesome…you have inspired me to create a garden.
    What did you specifically plant in the towers vs. the raised flower beds???

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