Posted on 48 Comments

our big box!

Ok, here’s the big gardening project we’ve been working on… our very first vegetable garden!

We figured it was finally time, we’re growing two kids we could probably handle a few vegetables. Last year we figured out our best spot and left it bare so it was ready to go this Spring. Tim did all his research and then built us this beautiful 8′ x 4′ cedar box. We love it so. It was so satisfying just to have a big tidy box of new dirt, that we sat and pondered it for a while. Yesterday we went ahead and took the plunge and bought our seeds and plants.

We’ve got tomatoes (celebrity and roma), peppers (hot and bell), lettuce (red leaf and romaine), arugula, swiss chard, zucchini, basil, cilantro, chives radishes, green beans and a melon. We’ve got the box and a patch going on the ground too. We’re all so excited. Oscar’s super into it, especially planting from seeds. Phoebe’s thrilled that we’re outside working on projects. Tim is pleased at our first baby step off the grid. And me, I just keep thinking about salsa. By the time this garden is ready to harvest I’ll be mostly, if not all the way done with the book. I have big plans to fritter away my days, margarita in hand, making salsa from my garden.

48 thoughts on “our big box!

  1. Congrats on the garden. It looks wonderful and the salsa and margaritas will be much deserved.

  2. Replanted our first garden too and thoughts of salsa are on my mind too. 5 types of tomatoes, a tomatillo plant, cilantro and jalapeños.
    I’m also looking forward to making some homemade pickles.

  3. And by “replanted” I mean “We planted.” Doh!

  4. tomatillo! I forgot those. I’ll need to get one lickety split.

  5. I am trying to convince to husband to let me plant veggies. We haven’t got much room, but I remember how good the things we had in our garden back home used to taste – and California is supposed to be perfect for growing most things.

  6. oh, margaritas and salsa sounds divine.

  7. The 2×4’s that we basically threw together for our first garden are lookin’ mighty shabby, so we just picked up our cedar planks yesterday. Say, did you stain them or just leave them au natural?

  8. Watch out for rabbits! One of my containers has already lost some plants – chewed down to nothing. Little jerks.

  9. It’s stained with a semi-transparent stain.

  10. yes, our bunny wire! tim’s putting that up today.

  11. Yay! This is our first year to do more than container plants – hubby built one raised bed, then added a second. We’re in a very warm climate (west central Texas), so our garden is already looking quite lush, tho only the lettuce is ready to eat. It sure is beautiful to look outside and see everything growing tho :).
    Enjoy your salsa & margaritas this summer!!

  12. I’m looking forward to making salsa again this year. Still trying to get it right. I have had good luck with the celebrity tomatoes here in N. IL. My romas didn’t do too well last year, maybe not quite enough sun, darn tree overhangs just a bit on the backside of the garden.
    Love those sunset magazines!

  13. Ooo, good for you! Be sure to give that zucchini LOTS of room! Even the dwarf varieties seem to turn into gigantic garden hogs in no time.

  14. ahhh, if only tequila grew on trees…

  15. I think you’ll want to turn that tomato cage the other way — with the prongs going into the ground and the wider, round part at the top. Those plants are going to get a lot bigger than they are now. 🙂

  16. Lisa’s right about the tomato cage — works best opposite of they way you have it in the picture. Recycled chopsticks are great supports for pepper plants or anything that might need help for windy days. Have you seen the plastic molds for squash?,2200&p=51543
    Your box is enviable. Nice job!

  17. yeah ours is dwarf. hope it does okay b/c everything is pretty crowded

  18. ah, good to know! thanks 🙂

  19. Congrats on the garden! I really want to have a garden, but I think I need a yard first. haha

  20. good job Langs! You are one step ahead…we have no plants, but I am just itching to get them! By the way, Whole Foods by you guys have tomatillo plants…saw them yesterday!

  21. Ha! I just made a 4×4 box for a veggie garden last week. Yours looks way nicer than the hack job I did with the drill. Isn’t it exciting to take on a whole new hobby? I have many grand plans for my little box too.

  22. Hooray for the raised beds! We now have 3 raised beds, and were thrilled to discover Square Foot Gardening (by Mel Bartholomew), which is a great way to think about how tightly to plant different veggies, as well as how much of each kind of plant you really want. We’re making plenty of mistakes, but it’s so FUN! (And tasty!) Enjoy your new veggie garden!

  23. We made the exact same bed from Sunset. I love raised beds because they make gardening for a beginner (like me) so manageable. I followed the square foot guide lines and broke my bed up into squares. I planted some edible flowers too, which my kids LOVED. Eating flowers?!?
    You are going to love it! Enjoy the bounty.

  24. We’re going to do a raised bed next year. Starting small with containers this year – have only just got a garden! Looking at yours I can’t wait! Enjoy!

  25. I only have room for herbs in my backyard this year. But I have lots of them: chives (garlic and regular), basil (lemon, red and regular), parsley, coriander, thyme (lemon and regular), rosemary, and then some more of which I don’t know the English word for… It feels so good to grow your own stuff. Your box looks lovely! Now let those green fingers go!

  26. Good for you. I would love to have a vegetable garden. I plant tomato plants in pots and I’ve picked up a strawberry plant this year. I just have to figure out where to put it.

  27. I am so jealous. We just went to the garden center to find little gloves for serious little hands. Ogie and I were drooling over the vegetables we want to buy. Vegetables can’t be put in the ground until June here in fair MN, you just never know when it will frost or snow in May.

  28. My first year too Hillary! I’m blogging the process at if you want to see. I found these antique victory garden posters you’ll love I’m sure. My 6 year old is enjoying it too.

  29. HAHA!!! i’m so jealous!! don’t you just love the smell of new garden dirt? 🙂 it looks just beautiful!

  30. I noticed the tomato cage, too, but I see you’ve been instructed already! I have 5 raised beds, but not nearly as pretty as yours. I do love my little gardens!

  31. Wow, that looks beautiful and delicious! Fresh veggies are the best… I can’t wait for it to warm up a bit more here so I can put my little seedlings in the ground!

  32. That looks great!
    How do you guard against rabbits and other little beasties that might set their sights on your lettuce etc?

  33. We really wanted to do a veggie garden…it almost seems to be a prerequisite to the whole homeschooling thing. However, our home was built in 1929 and eating anything from the yard, from a raised bed or not, is iffy. I can only imagine what’s in the soil surrounding our home (lead comes to mind). Oh well, your’s looks great, though! I’ll live vicariously through your veggies and keep buying mine at the grocery store!

  34. yum! looks great. for kids (of all ages) sunflowers are pretty amazing to grow 🙂

  35. Awesome; LOVE your box. We’ve got raised beds made with moss rock borders. Also are growing our herbs this year in containers. Last year’s tomatoes were so good we doubled our plants for this year. We are also trying (first time) pumpkins. They are planted in our entryway and we’re hoping will be ready just in time for Halloween – maybe the Great Pumpkin will visit! Have a great summer.

  36. You garden looks great! We just started our first garden as well. And we’re excited to see how everything turns out. Though I’m a bit afraid that we’re going to end up with a rosemary tree if we aren’t careful.

  37. awesome. i just took pics of our new raised beds and all the contents….which sound quite a bit like yours. i posted my m-i-l salsa standard in this post if you would like some variations…

  38. Ooooh it looks lovely! It’s so wonderful to be able to pick your own vegies straight from the garden. I love growing my own food too 🙂

  39. Great food choices! I love swiss chard and chives. We only have a windowbox herb garden with mint, basil, parsley, thyme and sage. I can’t wait until the day when we have enough ground for a real garden. Living in an apartment means that windowboxes on the balcony will have to do for now. Maybe next year I should plant lettuce!

  40. Ok, now I’m inspired. It’s outdoors and grow boxes for me. Thanks–your garden is beautiful!

  41. Now that you’ve got me thinking about gardens in the salsa/margarita sort of way, I’m starting to think I need to plant one too!

  42. we got a strawberry jar too. we’re very excited about that!

  43. I need to update the pics. We flipped our tomato cage the right way and we put up fencing to keep out our resident bunny.

  44. Oscar was dying to buy pumpkin seeds. He was very disappointed that we didn’t have the room. That will be so fun this Fall!

  45. The garden looks great! I made the same mistake with my tomato cages the first year … who knew!? We’ve had a small veg garden for a couple of years now and love it! I call mine my “greek salad” garden as I plant tomatoes, pepper and cucumber! Enjoy it!

  46. I love your little garden! I just planted more space this year in mine. If you need a good salsa recipe I live in Houston and have a really simple easy recipe.:)

  47. My girls (2.5 and 5) made some really cute stone markers to go in the garden this year. It was a great activity for them to do once they tired or the planting.

  48. your garden looks great!!!!!
    be careful to plant your two hot and sweet peppers far away from each other or you may end up with hot-sweet peppers.
    i discovered this site
    do you know about it??

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