Mini Gardening

The famous Pink Bathtub

My greenhouse overflows with plants. With starting up the new business of selling vegetable and herb plants, we didn’t know how to plan for our first year. Although we did sell quite a few, there were still way too many left. It kills this Farm Wife to just let them die, and my garden is already filled to overflowing. So it’s time to get a bit creative.

I originally planned to use the flowerbed beside my house to grow naturally colored cotton. However – around here you have to have written permission, and so far I haven’t heard back from the LA Department of Agriculture, so my bed stands empty. I dislike wasted space as much as killing a tomato plant, so I’ve decided to plant a Dinner Garden instead. What meal will I grow? There are just too many options. Which one do you suggest?


The Pasta Sauce Garden: In it I would grow two Roma Tomato plants. On one side of the tomatoes I would plant a patch of Basil. Between them I would plant Parsley. On the other side a patch of Oregano. A little further down I would grow about six to 10 onions. Beyond that I would plant around a dozen garlic plants. And on the other end I would place a large pot in which I’ve planted a Bay tree. With the exception of a few other items, such as Italian Sausage, I will be able to walk outside my back door and pick everything I need to make a big old pot of pasta sauce. And I will be able to do that several times throughout the summer. At least one of those batches will be doubled, and I will make and can that for the winter months.

How about a Salsa Garden: In it, I would plant two Roma Tomatoes, two Jalapeno Peppers, cilantro, parsley, onions and garlic. That would provide the basic ingredients for several batches of salsa.

Maybe even a Soup Garden: That would consist of red potatoes, carrots, a trellis for green snap beans, a tomato plant, onions, garlic, and thyme and savory for herbs. All I would then need would be an ear of corn and some celery.

Salad anyone? Plant several different types of lettuce and greens, a few green onions, and maybe some radishes.   If you like to make your own salad dressing, toss in some basil and oregano herbs, or whatever you prefer.

Pizza Lover? Plant your Roma tomatoes, along with some basil and oregano. Then go a little wild with your veggies – onions, bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos, garlic, and any other vegetable you like on your pizza. The best part about this is that you can make several at one time, then freeze the ones you don’t eat for later.

All of those meals sound delicious to me, and I have most of the plants already. If you could plant one of these gardens, or something similar, what would you do? Think you might like the idea of a mini garden like one of these? Let me know what your plans are. Will it be Soup? Salad, Sauce or Salsa? Comment, and let me know what’s on my menu this summer, and on yours as well!


Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm.She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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