My vegetable garden beginnings + a Giveaway! | picklesnhoney.com

My vegetable garden beginnings

My vegetable garden beginnings + a Giveaway! | picklesnhoney.com

In a few short weeks, Aaron and I will be moving back into our condo. We had planned on renting a cheaper place and keeping our current tenant, but a couple of things came into sharp focus when we got back from our year of travel: 1. Boston got crazy expensive! I mean, it’s always been pricey, but this last year was sort of my tipping point where I was like “Forget it! If we’re going to pay this much to rent, I’m getting a beach house in Santa Barbara.” 2. Taxes. Did you know you have to pay regular income taxes on your rental income? We did not (oops), and our accountant kindly informed us that we’d be taking a big loss for last year, which made renting out our condo for a second year not worth it.

I’m anxious about taking on our mortgage because we started a new business, but I’m also over the moon excited about having our own space again. Our own kitchen! Our own laundry! Our own deck and tiny yard! This will be our first summer at our house because we moved in during the fall, then booked it across the country in the spring, and so we have grand plans to build some raised garden beds and maybe even a small greenhouse…maybe. For now though, we’re taking baby steps, which means a handful of very manageable potted plants.

My vegetable garden beginnings + a Giveaway! | picklesnhoney.com

We took a trip to Walmart earlier this week to pick up some EcoScraps organic potting mix and tomato, herb and vegetable plant food to kick things off on the right foot. What I love about EcoScraps is that in addition to being chemical-free and poop-free (yeah!), for the last six years they’ve been working to make sustainability a lot more mainstream. Between 2011 and 2015, they recycled 75 million (!) pounds of food waste, and they’re matching that number in 2016 with projected recycling of another 75 million pounds. This is really important because in the United States, we waste 40% of the food we produce. Crazy, right? Unfortunately, instead of going to feed people, it sits in landfills producing methane, which is a whopping twenty times more harmful than CO2. So, by reusing this food waste, it stays out of our landfills, and we can put it towards something really positive: growing gardens. That’s a cause I can get behind 100%.

My vegetable garden beginnings + a Giveaway! | picklesnhoney.com

To start us out, Aaron and I planted a few of our favorite greens: organic kale, dill, sun gold tomatoes, and brussels sprouts! I’m especially excited for the brussels sprouts. The plan is to keep the baby starter plants in containers and get them going strong, then (gently) transfer them to a raised bed once we’re able to build it in June. I cannot wait for salads from our little garden!

My vegetable garden beginnings + a Giveaway! | picklesnhoney.com

My vegetable garden beginnings + a Giveaway! | picklesnhoney.com

A big thank you to EcoScraps for sponsoring this post! Keep en eye out for their lawn and garden products at your nearest Walmart, and check out their new YouTube video to learn more about growing gardens, not landfills.


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  1. Love, love, LOVE THIS! (And only a teensy bit jealous). I remember thinking your condo was so gorgeous when I first saw pics and now thinking of a lovely little garden of your very own, well, you’re living out my home fantasies! Can’t wait to see/read updates. And, welcome home!

    1. You’re too sweet, J. <3 It feels so special to have a small yard in the city. I'm excited to see what we can grow! Right now, we're thinking a few raised beds and then maybe some lilac bushes because that smell is my version of HEAVEN.

  2. Becca says

    I’ve been wanting to do some container gardening and your post is inspiring me to get started. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Sally says

    Companion planting helps reduce bug problems when gardening organically. Planting basil near tomatoes and peppers helps everybody! And you get some basil from that space in between your tomato plants – bonus!

  4. Denise says

    Beautiful photos. I love the glowy sunshine and those baby tomato plants. My best gardening advice: remember to water your plants. I’m very bad about this! 😉 Would love to win the giveaway!

  5. Sharon says

    Just planted some yellow sweet pepper and basil with the “help” from our 14 months old girl. Okay…. She was really just into playing with the dirt. Our first experience in vegetable gardening. 🙂

    1. I love that! I now have the cutest image of your little girl “helping” you plant vegetables. <3

  6. Sam says

    I have an herb garden on my windowsill. I’m growing basil and it’s so nice to have it fresh for recipes. Plus it smells incredible. Thank you for the giveaway.

  7. Connie Green says

    Wow! Kale and brussels sprouts sound great! I wonder if they would do well in a container garden. I just discovered EcoScraps at Walmart a couple of weeks ago and have used it of my container garden. Sadly I don’t have enough space for raised beds. I am growing several varieties of tomatoes, a few peppers and assorted herbs such as parsley, thyme, a few mints, a bay tree, basil (keeping the basil close to the tomatoes to repel white files) and rosemary.

    1. I think kale and brussels sprouts can be grown in containers (well, big containers that are deep enough). It sounds like you’re definitely maximizing your small space–that’s a good variety you’ve got going on!

  8. Liz says

    I’d like to get some herbs and a couple of vegetable plants. I always think tomato plants, but brussel sprouts like you would be great!

  9. Alexandra Robertson says

    Gardening has been a struggle for me in Arizona, but I am hoping to grow some tomatoes and herbs successfully this year.

    1. I can definitely understand why having a veggie garden in AZ would be tough. Tons of (HOT) sunshine, not-so-much on the water. 😉

  10. Deanne says

    I am growing kale, chard and lettuce in milk crates. My garden has heavy sun and is perfect for tomatoes and peppers. I grow most of my herbs, basil, parsley, dill, sage, thyme, etc. in containers. Everything I grow is organic. We make our own compost in a compost bin and we NEVER USE PESTICIDES OF ANY KIND BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF BEES. Good luck with your garden! It is all about starting with as much knowledge as you can find and enjoying the harvest.

    1. Love what you said about keeping your garden organic and bee-friendly! That’s awesome.

  11. kate says

    Cannot wait to see how the sprouts and kale turn out! I just planted my peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries. Looking forward to a nice, warm summer to make up for this chilly spring.

    1. Ah, strawberries! I really want to grown my own. Do you find that they’re pretty hardy?

      1. kate says

        This is my first time growing them! I will let you know as soon as I know 🙂

  12. Marie says

    This product looks great. I plan on growing a variety of herbs and peppers. I wish I had some advise for you, but I’m still learning too.

    1. We can learn together. 🙂

  13. Katie says

    I love a variety of herbs since they can be so expensive and wasteful to buy at the grocery store. Tomatoes are also a big deal for me since they are easy to grow and always produce a nice crop!

  14. First of all, this product is genius!! I cannot wait to try it out!

    This year, our garden is doubling in size, as we plan to use a bunch of large containers to grow our tomatoes and other larger veggies. We are also doing smaller containers of herbs in our sunroom since we tend to cook with a ton of herbs.

    Our tip is to not plant mint in your regular garden bed – it is like a weed and will take over your entire garden! We even removed it from our bed last year and it is already taken over the entire thing this Spring. I guess it is fine if you are obsessed with Mojitos! Containers are the best for growing it.

    1. Great tip! We grew some mint in containers a few years ago (including chocolate mint!) and it grew like a weed and also came back the next year even after being totally neglected. I can see how you’d want to keep it separate, though we do enjoy mojitos…

    2. Congrats, Stacy! You won the $50 Walmart gift card! I’m passing your email on to my contact to coordinate. 🙂

      1. YAY!! That’s so exciting! Thank you so much Amanda! 🙂

  15. I am patiently waiting for the long weekend to start planting. Hopefully there will not be any frost afterwards. I am most excited about my asparagus. I finally have a place for the next few years and will be investing in a lifetime of asparagus. 🙂

    1. “investing in a lifetime of asparagus” <--- Yessss!! Adding asparagus to my list now. 🙂

  16. anna huff says

    I plan to grow basil again this year in pots on my deck. I”ll definitely seek out Ecoscraps!

  17. Abby says

    I’m finally planting my herbs this weekend!

    1. Fun! Good luck with the herb garden, Abby!

  18. Stephanie Taylor says

    Save seeds from your best performing plants. Doing this over time will give you varieties that are best adapted for your environment. It’s worked very well for me in the desert!

    1. Awesome tip! I would not have thought to do that but it makes total sense. Thank you!

  19. kim says

    I want to plant herbs, like basil and cilantro so I could easily add some as I cook my meal. 🙂

  20. manda overturf says

    I plan to grow tomatoes.

  21. Sharon says

    Yes, I will be planting a garden but due to a move it’s going to be a late one. Tomatoes are my favorites, and I just started my asparagus bed last year! My best tip (other than tilling in lots of compost) is to bury matches near your peppers.

    1. Interesting…I love learning all of these little tips and tricks. Thanks, Sharon!

  22. Amelie_yes says

    Hello !

    In my garden, I love to grow tomatoes. It’s much better when it’s homegrown 😀

    Thanks for the giveaway ! <3

    Amelie_yes

  23. Michelle P says

    I love to grow tomatoes. Nothing is better than freshly picked tomatoes.

    1. Totally. And when the tomatoes are still warm from the sun…gah, so good!

  24. Julie Wood says

    I follow Ecoscraps on instagram-instagram.com/jewel5888 I am growing tomatoes, green peppers, strawberries and herbs!

  25. Mami2jcn says

    I follow ecoscraps on instagram. I’d like to grow cucumbers.

  26. HS kraftmaking says

    I follow EcoScraps on Instagram @kraftmaking, hs. We are growing zucchini, parsley, peppers and tomatoes.

  27. So so excited for your little garden Amanda! And for you two to get to move back into your home. It must feel so nice to get to settle back in, and is so crazy that is will be your first summer in it too! Come winter tho, southern CA hopes to see you 😉 xoxo

    1. I think it’s just starting to really hit me that we’re moving HOME (!!!). What an amazing year this has been…I need to take a moment (or 5) to stop and let it all soak in. Crazy crazy awesome. <3 We SO want to get back to southern CA for winter. That would be a "livin' the dream" kind of moment for us. Gotta keep busting our butts to make it happen! xo

  28. Serge B says

    I plan to grow some tomatos!!! IO follow Ecoscraps on Instagram!

  29. David says

    I follow you both on Instagram as 1froglegs.

    My best tip for gardening is to plan for the small critters that will eat your harvest before you can harvest it. Rabbits will eat anything that grows, and we learned that the hard way. A little chicken wire will go a long way. It is attractive, but it gets the job done.

    1. I love bunnies (and we do see them where we live), but oh man, I’d be so bummed if they ate all of my produce. I think the chicken wire is a great suggestion. Thank you!

  30. Brenda Haines says

    We are growing 10 different varieties of tomatoes, my personal favorite are cherokee purple tomatoes. We also grow peas, beans, peppers, cabbage, kohlrabi, corn and squash.

    1. I think I’m jealous of your garden, Brenda. 😉 That sounds amazing, especially all of the tomatoes!

  31. Elena says

    I am planting some basil and parsley this spring. Follow EcoScraps on Instagram as elena1509

  32. Lisa Brown says

    I plan to grow tomatoes and zucchini. following instagram as https://www.instagram.com/lisalubrown/
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  33. janet says

    My one piece of advice would be to not Over Water…I remember destroying many plants by not wanting them to dry out but didn’t realize over watering is just as bad 🙂

  34. Elle says

    I follow on Instagram and I love to grow tomatoes every year, all different kinds and sizes.

  35. Dawn M says

    I want to plant pumpkins this year with my grandkids. I think they would enjoy that more then buying them in October.

    1. I love that idea! I’m sure your grandkids will have so much fun planting and then picking pumpkins from their very own pumpkin patch.

  36. Jennifer W says

    I plan to grow cilantro and other fresh herbs this year. My instagram name is vicvac07.

  37. amy stonger says

    We are growing all kinds of things, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon.

  38. David says

    One thing that we grow every year is watermelons and cantaloupes, and that is because our kids want those and will help in the garden for them.

    1. Growing watermelons and cantaloupes would have made me want to help out in the garden as a kid for sure. 🙂

  39. Susan Christy says

    I follow as susitravl – I’m going to grow some tomatoes.

  40. Kristen says

    We must grow tomatoes! The ones in the store just never taste nearly as good….

  41. Amanda Sakovitz says

    Following on instagram as pokergrl8 and id grow tomatoes!

  42. Tracie Cooper says

    I follow via instagram as @traciemichelle05 and I would love to start a veggie garden with green, yellow, red peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes! My email is traciemichelle0515@gmail.com

  43. Laurajj says

    Oh I container garden too and love it so much! We are going to do green red yellow and orange peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, pea, and green and yellow beans this year! I would have to say my tip is if you have problems with the bug on a certain one…I put a lightweight netting over it to protect it!

    1. That’s a really great idea to use a lightweight netting. Thank you!

  44. Annette says

    I’ve never had a garden, but my dad always did and I often helped him. I’m looking forward to having my first one, which will be on my patio. I’d like to plant tomatoes and herbs like basil and sage.

  45. Serge B says

    I follow ecoscraps on instagram and I am planning to grow peas, beans and tomatoes!

  46. RebTarMa says

    I’m going to try to grow broccoli sprouts

  47. Allison Swain says

    Following them on insta as @allisonrsd

    I plan to grow lots of veggies and herbs this year.

    thank you for the chance to win 🙂

    allisonrsdswain(at)gmail(dot)com

  48. julie says

    Done! And we love growing strawberries

  49. Emily Smith says

    I’m following on Instagram as @emilyt1218
    I am growing sweet peas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, thornless blackberry plants, cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini. Got most of it in the ground already.

    1. That’s awesome! Also, I didn’t know there was such a thing as a thornless blackberry plant. 🙂

  50. donna says

    We plan on growing tons of zucchinis like we did last year

  51. Rita says

    Great info. Will definitely check out Walmart. Going to grow herbs and salsa veggies.

  52. sarah k says

    This sounds like a really great product to use, I don’t really have any tips, but would like to get some potted plants, maybe some honeysuckle or jasmine.

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