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Happy Earth Day, everyone! I woke up and checked out my own little piece of earthy goodness that I put together this weekend. I now have a vegetable garden and I have an Instagram to prove it. Go me!

photo-3This is my second attempt at gardening actual food instead of just the tropical landscaping plants I had in Florida, which took more pruning than help in growing. Thanks to the warm weather and long rainy season, they did that with absolutely no assistance from me, and thank goodness for that. Because of my unexplainable success with native flowers and bushes that had been planted and matured before I was placed in charge of them, I fancied myself an apt and able gardener. Feel free to giggle at that. In that same sandy yard, I attempted to grow tomatoes and peppers. Now, the jalapeños grew remarkably well. I had several harvests and even made my own red pepper jelly from them. Turns out, it’s pretty hard to mess up jalapeños in Florida. They love sandy soil and hot temps, don’t require fertilizer, and the bugs don’t really like them too much. Plant and go! That works for me.

Tomatoes, it turns out, are entirely different. They like soil with a certain pH – 5.5 – 6.8. They want fertile soil rich in organic matter (read: not Florida sand). Tomatoes do well with a ground cover, attract bugs, and even have their very own special wormy caterpillary looking thing called a tomato hornworm. It is icky! My tomato “crop” ended up being nothing more than pathetic looking bug fodder. You’re welcome, every bug in three counties, for that special feast!

So, my jumping in head first was a mixed bag with the garden. I swam, nah that’s giving me too much credit, I was fished out of the pool with my easy-to-grow peppers and smacked my head pretty hard on the bottom of the pool with the tomatoes. That’s ok, I learned a lot from my failure and when I did look up tomato info on sites like this one, what they were talking about made a lot more sense to me.

Time to jump in again! This time we are in Tentucky (Fort Campbell is in both Kentucky and Tennessee, therefore, I have thusly named it “Tentucky”). I bought a raised flower bed from Sam’s Club, soil from Lowe’s, and I’ve read up on my chosen plants: black zucchini, summer strawberries, my faithful peppers, and one hopeful Roma tomato plant. I’ll let you know how is goes.