Blog

Jun 1, 2018
First-time backyard vegetable garden
Kevin Taylor  Guest Burpee Blogger

My wife and I bought our first house at the end of the summer last year, and with it, I had big plans. It was the first time we've owned enough backyard to make a garden. Having a toddler, it was important to me that I could grow some of the fresh food that we all would be eating. But I've never been a gardener before, so I knew I had a learning curve ahead of me.

Creating a garden from scratch, and then taking care of that garden, seemed like it would take up a lot of time. Between working full time, having a family, and a new house to take care of, adding a garden on top of everything seemed like an almost impossible task.

Thankfully, with Burpee, I have options to choose from. My initial idea was to use our fantastic Take 2 combos as well as other container-friendly plants. My toddler loves to eat an easy-to-make pesto chicken pasta recipe I have, so I definitely wanted to make sure I had plenty of Pesto Party Basil to go around. I built a container garden on my patio, at least for my first year. Container plants are great for small space-gardens as well as people, like me, who don't yet have the confidence to take on something more ... ambitious.

However, with just a little more planning and effort, I was able to build a raised garden in my backyard that could be filled with all the plants I was hoping to grow. I used a simple store-bought kit and some extra plywood to build my garden. I set up an inexpensive soaker hose system to simplify my watering. I also was able to fill it using a soil-less mix that I was able to get from a nearby nursery relatively cheaply. By going this route, now I won't have to worry much about soil health or weeding. Instead, I can focus on the good stuff: The delicious plants I'm growing!

Another thing that has helped make my gardening adventure easier was focusing on disease-resistant plants. I don't have much time to worry about nursing sickly veggies back to health. It's reassuring, then, to have something like Atlas Beefsteak tomatoes, Shimmer small-fruited tomatoes, or Jungle Parrot sweet peppers growing. (Check out these new options at our mail-order website Burpee.com.) Healthy plants mean more veggies for my family, and that's my whole goal with this garden.

With a few minutes every couple days of pruning, and making sure the plants have plenty of water and sun, I've already started to see the fruits of my labor. I'm so excited that there is only a little while more to go until my family will be able to enjoy my first harvest!

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