I'm happy to participate in the 7th Annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop. So glad you stopped by.
Make sure to leave a comment (with your email address to be used only for notification of winnings) so we'll know you visited every site and you can enter to win the grand prize of an e-reader (winner's choice up to a $200 value). Second place winner will receive a $25 gift card to the eBook retailer of their choice. Winners will be posted on both the first (Dianne Venetta) and the last (Bloomin Thyme) websites listed on the links below by April 29th. See the main event page for full details.
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Click here for links to all participating blogs, but before you go...
If you leave a comment you'll also be automatically entered to win my basket of goodies, including a leatherbound journal, a book of puzzles, adult coloring book, assorted teas and honey, and a handy carrying bag with swag items. Also included is a signed copy of my holiday novella, Sami's Christmas Wish List.
(Applicable to US Residents only).
Let me know you signed up for my newsletter, followed me on Twitter, or "liked" me on Facebook to be awarded extra entries! Winner will be posted here by April 29th.
The hop runs April 18-April 27th.
Feel free to browse around while your here. Sign up for my newsletter to receive an e-copy of SOUL REDEMPTION, the novella prequel to the Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy. You can also download the eBook SAVAGE CINDERELLA, the award-winning novel that began the Savage Cinderella Novella Series. Get it FREE for a limited time.
On to the yummy part of this post where I share a favorite recipe with you.
While writing my latest novella, Sacred Ground, book three in the Savage Cinderella Series, I was researching Native American foods that might be found at an Indian Pow-wow. I came across this recipe for Indian Tacos and had to try it. Slightly labor intensive but totally delish!!! I didn't want to post the recipe here because I want to give Hilah's Cooking Blog all the credit, but I'll share the link here and you can judge for yourself.
As for gardening tips, I haven't had a huge garden in some time. I still grow perennials and have some lovely hanging baskets every year, but my herbs and vegetables are strictly grown in pots on my front porch these days. So much easier on my lower back, and with only two of us, it doesn't make sense to have big garden beds anymore.
It varies from year to year, but typically I grow lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, string beans, snap peas, peppers, and various cooking herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano and dill. I've done root veggies like beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, and garlic in deep pots, but with a short growing season, I need to start them early in the house or let them winter over. Nothing is off limits though! Be creative and have fun.
The herbs are easiest. I buy already established plants from a local greenhouse the third week in May. We almost always have a late frost up here in the hills so I wait until Memorial day to plant anything. The dill goes in it's own pot in a sunny far corner of the deck since it grows tall and bushy and is very aromatic. You can plant violets or nasturtium with it for a beautiful splash of color against the green. Both flowers make tasty and attractive garnishes to salads and dress up any summer dinner plate. Oregano, thyme, and basil go in one pot just outside my kitchen door since I use these most often for cooking. And rosemary gets her own hanging pot , so I can bring her in and use the fresh herb for soups, stews, and seasoning meats through the winter.
My husband built me a bean trellis with deer fencing and 2x4s attached to my deck--which also works for small pickling cucumbers. I plant the seeds in long window boxes just below the trellis and they grow, grow, grow until the trellis is bursting with beans and cukes. It's good to stagger your planting every few weeks so you keep them going all summer. Weed out older plants as they start to grow leggy or the beans get tough.
The same applies to lettuces and spinach. To have a long, productive season, you need to plant new crops about every two to three weeks. I line up three foot window boxes along my deck railing and across a long garden bench and grow all my leafy veggies in a row so I can pick and choose my salad mix, clipping off a few of each variety. Don't forget to grow several different types of greens, including kale, swiss chard, and romaine for a healthy selection.
All of this is providing your porch gets at least 6-8 hours of sun. I have to put my big tomato pots on wheels so I can move them easily since an oak tree is beginning to cast shade on our front deck and tomatoes need lots of sun. I plant two or three varieties of tomatoes, including cherry and grape tomatoes in one container and beefsteak, roma, or another meaty variety in another. Just a few plants produce more than enough tomatoes for us right into late summer, early fall.
The best porch gardening tip ever though, is automated irrigation! My husband has automated the watering by setting up a food grade PVC tubing drip irrigation system (similar to what they have in greenhouses and grocery stores) set on a programmable timer for ten minutes twice a day. This is especially helpful when going on vacation. All I have to do is plant, fertilize with compost, and watch my garden grow until everything is ready to pick!
I hope you've found this helpful and that it inspires you to try to grow your own front porch garden.
Please share in the comments section if you have any other container gardening tips!
Peace and blessings,