How to feed your family with a vegetable garden!

plants

Each year, we plant a HUGE garden.  We start out seeds indoors in March and then come May we are ready to plant these little whippersnappers in the ground.  These plants will feed my family for most of the year, if not all of the year.  It saves me thousands of dollars and my kiddos really enjoy it!

We have tried a bunch of different types of planters and pots and we settled, on the jiffy pots.  They have never done us wrong and each year you can keep your tray and just buy refill pots. Here is what they look like and where you can get them. Walmart Peat Pellets. The only problem we have come across is OVERWATERING.  If you overwater your plants, the bottom leaves will start to turn yellow and fall off.  If you UNDER WATER your plants, leaves on the entire plant will start to turn yellow and wilt.  So if you have yellow leaves, determine if its just the bottom leaves or if its the entire plant.  That will be the determining factor whether or not you are giving too much or too little water.

The first week in March we plant Peppers, peppers and more peppers! We plant every color pepper you could imagine. These are a few that we’ve had a lot of success with:
iconPepper, Sweet California WonderCalifornia Wonder Sweet Peppers

Pepper, Sweet Carnival MixSweet Pepper Carnival Mix

Pepper, Sweet, BananaSweet Banana Pepper

We also start our flower seeds in March. This year I planted impatients, African daisies, zinnia, echinacia, and galardia   Then the first week in April, we plant tomatoes.  This year we planted 120 tomato plants. Here are some that we have had the most success with

Tomato, RutgersRutgers Tomato

Tomato, Roma VFRoma Tomato

Today, my husband starts plowing.  He plows up and tills the ground for the garden.  Then in another week he’ll hit it again with the tiller.  On memorial day, all these little plants will go into the ground.

Along with the plants we start indoors, I also grow:

green beans

yellow bean

zucchini

yellow squash

onions

lettuce

spinach

carrots

spaghetti squash

acorn squash

pumpkins

and sunflowers (I listed these because we plant them around the garden and in the fall, we harvest the seeds and bake them, they’re delish!)

So from all that I plant in my garden, here’s what I do with it:

canned salsa

canned spaghetti sauce

canned pizza sauce

canned tomatoes

canned ketchup

canned soup

canned carrots

canned beans

Things you can freeze:

spinach

zucchini

yellow squash

carrots

acorn squash

spaghetti squash

Things I like to bake:

pumpkin pie filling

sunflower seeds

Not to mention that all summer the kiddos run down to the garden and bring me up fresh produce for dinner!

I know most people cay not have the space to put in a garden this big unless you have a large lawn.  Even if you have a small lawn you can fit a lot in a 5′ x 10′ garden.  If you don’t have the equipment to start seeds indoors, you can easily buy plants from your local garden store.  I don’t buy any food for side dishes throughout the entire year because its all canned in my pantry.  This will save you tons of money!

Other things that I can during the summer (and you can too)

applesauce

apple pie filling

strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, and grape jam

grape juice

peaches

pears

apricots

You can buy this produce from local markets by the bushel and save yourself a bunch of money.  My favorite part…there are no preservatives in stuff you can at home!

Yes, gardening is a lot of work.  Canning is a lot of work.  Both of these are very rewarding as a mom!

 

 

 

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