How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Well, it's springtime, and for many would-be gardeners, that means it's time to start planting for a summer harvest. I'll admit, I'm not a big gardener. I'm not really a fan of all the dirt and weeds and maintenance that encompass the life of a gardener. I certainly appreciate the fruit of all that labor, but so far, I have not been one to spend a lot of time with my hands in the dirt. However, starting my Spring Garden is one of the things at the top of my To-Do list.
Fall Tower Garden
"Why start a garden if you don't really enjoy the prep work, the planting and the tending?" you might ask. Well, the truth is, I get bogged down in the logistics of things. I asked for years for hubby to build a raised bed garden. "We'll have to move all the sprinkler heads and rework the sprinkler system," he argued. Picture me with my head hanging low. It's not a hill I'm willing to die on...
Green Beans on Tower Garden
So, last year, my dad gave me a Tower Garden to try out. It's an aeroponic vertical growing garden that doesn't require any dirt, doesn't grow weeds, and won't require us to redo our landscaping. You purchase nutrients to add to the water that gets pumped up from the reservoir. While it's not free to garden this way, it's been a bit cheaper than building the raised beds, hauling in dirt, and moving sprinkler lines.
Choosing Seeds for Tower Garden
I didn't get started until August of last year, but I was really excited about the growing process, which I also used as an excuse to teach the kids about botany.
Seedlings to put on the Tower Garden
I started the seeds in rock wool at the beginning of August and was planting seedlings within a couple of weeks. Here's what I planted on this little tower: tomatoes, green leaf lettuce, gourmet red lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, cilantro, parsley, dill, jalapeño peppers, bell pepper mix, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini.
Seedlings in Tower Garden
Most of the plants just started taking off; however, some never made it beyond the seedling.
Tower Garden
Each week, the anticipation grew as more leaves sprouted.
Jalapeño on Tower Garden
Then, little buds formed. Flowers and tiny fruit.
Tower Garden
It continued to grow...almost all of the original seedlings grew into beautiful plants.
Harvesting Lettuce on Tower Garden
I harvested some of the tender lettuce pretty early on.
Green Bean Harvest from Tower Garden
Then, the beans sprouted and produced a handful or more a week.
Tower Garden
I watched the squash start blooming, then die off, always keeping the large gorgeous leaves.
Large Squash Plants on Tower Garden
The cucumbers started growing...a couple actually matured enough to eat. The tomatoes produced lots of flowers, and some little tomatoes, but soon the temperatures cooled off too much to ripen them.
Tower Garden
I had a couple of large broccoli and cauliflower plants that probably would have produced some delicious fruit, if not for the frost that took them out in early November.
Full Grown Tower Garden
Last year's Tower Garden experience was truly an experiment for me. I learned a lot about what works and what doesn't, I learned about protecting the plants from the elements and about pollination, and I learned that I really do love the nurturing and pruning part of gardening. I am so excited to get going on it this week, to start those seeds and see what delicious bounty I will have this season.

Are you a gardener? Have you already started your seedlings? How does your garden the ground, raised bed or containers? I'd love to hear about your gardening adventures and experiments!
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  1. I can't wait to see what you'll grow on your tower garden this spring!! xx

  2. I wondered if those towers really worked. Looks like a convenient way to grow a variety of veggies. I usually use containers - and I need to get started! Good luck with your harvest this year! :)

  3. Looks GREAT! Our tomatoes just started blooming -- so exciting! XO, Aimee

  4. This is seriously SO cool! What a great way to grow veggies in a small space and the variety - wow! Love this!

  5. Wow, what a unique way to garden! Crazy cool!

  6. The tower garden is interesting. I like ways to be able to get more garden in a small space.
    Thanks for sharing,

  7. Interesting tower. Haven't seen one of those before!

  8. I have never heard of this before, only that Topsy Turvey thing. What a great idea, and everything looks so healthy. We are not doing a garden this year. We had a garden the last two years, and if you remember, the AZ Spring growing season is pretty short. We have a really good Farmers' Market here in our neighborhood and Sprouts, so it didn't seem worth the work. I like that whole growing your own veggies concept, so I have a great big pot of herbs that is doing very well!

  9. Did you make the cage for the Tower Garden? If so, I was wondering if you could describe how you made it.
    I have a Tower Garden and need some supports for my peas.



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