Growing Your Own Food: Planning a Tabletop Garden

growing your own food

my tabletop garden

This is the year.

I am determined to grow at least a small portion of our produce this summer. I’ve tried and failed several years in a row for one reason or another, but this is the year. I can feel it.

To make it happen, I’ve recruited Mike Lieberman from Urban Organic Gardener to be my go-to guy for all things gardening. Having someone to answer my questions along the way will definitely help, as proven by his first piece of advice:

Start small.

You see, every time I start dreaming about planting a garden, the same thing happens. First, I think about the delicious tomatoes that I’ll be able to pick from my own backyard. Then I start thinking about how expensive cucumbers are these day and I add them to my list. Next comes winter squash. Strawberries. Zucchini. Summer squash. Carrots. Green beans. Peas. Canteloupe. And…

Well, you get the picture.

Mike convinced me that starting small and doing it well is much more valuable than starting big and failing, and I’ve decided to take his advice.

growing your own food

my tabletop garden

My husband built a 4×2 tabletop garden for me following Frugal Dad’s plans, and we’ll divide it into eight 1×1 foot squares once it’s filled. I’m going to use the soil mix recommended by Mel Bartholomew — the creator of the square-foot gardening method — which is 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 compost.

In those squares, I plan to plant:

  • roma tomatoes
  • grape tomatoes
  • strawberries (x2)
  • winter squash
  • zucchini
  • cucumber
  • marigolds
    **because I have an extra square and they help keep pests away

I’ve also decided to just purchase starter plants this time. Although I really, really enjoy the process of starting plants from seeds, I want to be realistic, and I think skipping that step may be better for us this time.

Mike offers tons of information about starting with seeds at his blog, though, so if you’re ready for that step,  be sure to read through his how-to guides!

Each week, I’ll share our progress — including challenges and successes — here on Green Your Way, and I hope it will inspire some of you to take the plunge and grow some of your own food as well.

If you have any questions, I’m sure Mike would be happy to answer them, so be sure to leave those in the comments and I’ll pass them along to him!

Do you have a garden? If so, how did you get started? If not, is it something you’ve thought about doing?