Here’s to hoping I have green thumbs

So Dave and I decided to plant a vegetable garden this summer: I have very little experience with growing anything, really. My parents always had landscapers growing up, and though mom did start growing peppers and tomatoes on the deck a few years ago, I was already out of the house, so I wasn’t around to pick up any tips. And though I always wanted a garden of some kind, I was a perpetual renter in grad school, and I traveled a lot in the summer, which made maintaining any kind of plant difficult. Last summer, we were in the process of finding a house here in Weatherford, so we decided to forgo any planting in Norman.

Though Dave has some experience working on a tree farm and he grew up around people who planted gardens, he’s not a huge vegetable eater to begin with, so the mantle of house gardener falls to me. I was excited about this project until I became overwhelmed with all the information–timetables, climate zones, lists of pest. . .then I found this great book at the Tractor Supply store here in Weatherford (because that’s where people shop in western Oklahoma. . .), and I felt a bit better. The book, Starter Vegetable Gardens, offers different kinds of gardening plans depending on space, time, number of people participating in the garden, etc. What’s more, the author offers an extended plan for each garden type–she starts in year one, proceeds through years two and three, and then offers tips and strategies as the garden matures. I opted for the bag garden option she outlined, which involves buying bags of garden soil and planting the seeds in the strategically placed bags (rather than building beds or having to till and/or recuperate the existing soil); you can convert the bags to beds in year 2 or you can opt to continue planting in soil bags. As an added benefit, the bags of soil are supposed to kill any grass or weeds underneath, which makes things easier in future gardening years (I hope).

We decided to go off-book a bit in our seed choices: we went for an array of vegetables and fruits to see what will grow in our climate: we’ve planted 2 kinds of tomatoes, red and green peppers, wild onions, bibb lettuce, okra, carrots, 2 kinds of squash, cucumbers, peas, corn, watermelons, cantaloupes, mint, and lavender. And so far. . .every bag has something growing in it! Now it’s just a matter of getting things to mature so we can start harvesting.

To put things in perspective, here’s what the garden area looked like before we planted:


And here’s what the garden looks like after 3-4 weeks of watering and care:

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Hopefully, I’ll be able to post some pics of our beautiful veggies and fruits soon!


I am an associate professor of English and writing center coordinator at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. I teach courses in composition, creative nonfiction, fundamentals of English, and peer tutoring.

Posted in DIY, Home, How it’s going
2 comments on “Here’s to hoping I have green thumbs
  1. kellelynn says:

    Such a cool idea! And it looks like it’s doing well.

  2. […] planted a vegetable garden in the backyard, and I’m currently waiting to see what grows. So far, the tomatoes and mint plants have […]

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