in the garden - part 2 - the edibles

this pot of perpetual spinach has been producing all winter long!

 I have mentioned before (here and here) that we mostly container garden due to the fact that this property does not have much actual garden space.  The areas that do receive full sun are sadly not where there is bare ground and not many edibles grow in the complete shade garden beside the house.  We haven't let this stop us from growing lots and lots of food in the little space that we do have.  This is what is currently going on out there...

the rhubarb is going to flower! (we've never had this happen?)

the apple trees are budding

"volunteer" parsley seedlings

the green chive shoots are starting to come back

thyme to wake up!  tee hee

the rosemary that I can't use up fast enough!

Planting perennial fruits, vegetables, herbs and teas has been a great thrill for me as they don't die at the end of the season as many "edibles" do.  Every year we can look forward to: strawberries, blueberries, triple crown blackberries, black currants, rhubarb, spinach, green onions, chive, parsley (this actually reseeds on it's own and always comes back), oregano, rosemary, thyme, savory, sage, several varieties of mint, bergemot, lemon balm, calendula (this also reseeds itself) and stevia without a lot of effort on our part. 

new strawberry plants from the runners last year

The other bonus is that these plants just keep getting bigger and bigger,
which then allows you to either:
~ divide them into smaller plants,
~ take cuttings and propagate new plants or
~ separate the "baby" plants to increase your garden crop.

a completely handmade gift:  a basket of strawberry plants, a toadstool pick and a watercolour painted card
With plants like strawberries and blackberries they send off "baby" shoots which then turn into even more plants for you!  We were given about 25 strawberry plants last year and those plants sent out about 50 baby plants which we then potted up about 30 of them to add to our crop this year.  I happened to be at the nursery the other day and saw that they were selling "babies" for $7 each!

Last year we bought a young triple crown blackberry for about $14 from the nursery, and harvested about 30 berries off of the 3 "stalks".  The stalks grew and eventually flopped over onto the ground.  One day I noticed that they were sprouting roots so I put them into a pot with dirt and now we have 3 more stalks for free!

the peas are just poking through, they were planted Mar 4th

Because the perennial plants practically take care of themselves (a quick deadhead in the spring and a sprinkle of fresh compost), we have time to sow the peas, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and other annual vegetable seeds and give them more of our attention.

tomato seeds planted Apr 9th

We have been starting our tomato seeds in one of these seed starters from Lee Valley Tools and it continues to work great year after year.  

I will continue to post about how much enjoyment we get from our container gardening, so check back in about a month to see how the garden is progressing!

Thanks for stopping by,
~ joey ~


  1. I love the homemade strawberry basket and I envy the berries!!! I've heard they don't do well here. I'd love to find a way tho. Gardening is all new and exciting for me. My seedlings are well so far, with much babying!

    1. Never give up! I just Googled 'growing strawberries in the desert' and there are some gardeners that have had success!
      I'm so looking forward to seeing your grids filled with "edibles"!
      ~ joey ~

  2. FWIW, my rhubarb tried to flower last year, and I was advised to cut off the flower stalks each time. Otherwise, she said it wouldn't make anymore fruit that year.

    How big a container do you use for zucchini? My container eggplant lady yeast was a failure (5 gal. Bucket), but my container herbs go gangbusters!

    1. Hi Jess!
      Yes I read that too! We were also told that rhubarb wouldn't grow in a pot at all, but we were given two so we had to try to keep them alive until we move. We don't eat a lot of rhubarb so I'm very curious to see what the flower ends up looking like. I'll maybe keep one?! ;o)
      We've never tried eggplant but I can understand why a 5 gal bucket wouldn't be big enough. They are very heavy feeders so unless you were constantly watering and fertilizing it there wouldn't be enough nutrients to keep it going.
      We've grown zucchini in 10 gal pots before with very limited success for the same reasons as the eggplant (the small round zucchinis did better). This year we are going to try it in a 20 gal pot or, if I can persuade my husband to not get goldfish, the oak barrel that we grew the potatoes in last year.(which btw did awesome!) I will probably fertilize it a couple of times throughout the season to keep it producing. We set up soaker hoses over all of our pots for easy watering and the tomatoes all get a saucer as well so that they don't dry out.
      Thanks for your comment!
      ~ joey ~

  3. Hi Joey, email here right away with your mailing address... you've won the Mermaid doll giveaway!


I really enjoy reading your thoughts and ideas about the posts that I write here. It's nice to just say hi too!
~ joey ~