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How to Start a Garden

Are you getting your garden ready for summer? So many people tell me that they envy my “green thumb” for gardening but getting started with a garden is easier than you might think. I would love for you to enjoy fresh strawberries, delicious rich salad greens, yummy tomatoes, and more, like we do all summer long. We involve the whole family, teaching the kids about how to grow their own food, how to tend plants, and when to plant each type of vegetable.  We're not only building memories but carrying down a strong gardening tradition from both of my grandfathers; my Irish grandfather who was a master at growing tomatoes and berries influences my love of growing both, while my Mexican grandfather grew peppers, avocados, and figs, making the most of a small urban yard. I definitely miss that avocado tree and wish my climate would let me grow one! I had no idea how expensive avocados were until I was in the Army and bought one in the grocery store. Yikes! Growing your own food is a tradition we enjoy as a family and I hope that my kids carry it on when they start their own families. If you don't yet have this tradition, that is okay; you can start any time with the tips and tricks I share in this post and create the tradition for your family.

Like I said, my family tradition of gardens goes back further than I can remember, starting in my lifetime with my grandfathers. Here's my paternal grandfather in one of his rose gardens:

AldegundoNevarez

Do you see that blue truck in the background? That's mine now and will be Katie's when she starts driving.  I wish I had more digital versions of family gardening photos but I'll have more posts about gardening coming and hopefully I can locate more of these to share with you. He was certainly proud of those roses! He also had a bush that he trimmed to look like a horse, on the other side of the yard. Grandpa kept his garden looking spiffy by doing regular Spring cleaning with products like Ortho & Round-Up to keep walkways clear and his brick work looking pretty. I remember my Grandmother using SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO with her hose and sprayer over the plants in the front yard. We keep those same traditions using those same products to beautify our home for Spring.

Supplies for Raised Bed garden JPriest

I recently shared about how we installed raised beds in our garden and it has made a world of difference in our garden. Once the dirt is installed in the raised beds, they're ready for planting. This is the part that really stumps alot of people! It's a good idea to start your plants off indoors if you have cold weather late into Spring or have rodent concerns. Yoda, my garden cat, keeps the squirrels, birds, and mice in check and out of the garden so my plants can grow. Since I can plant outside, I like anything that makes planting easier, like SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO Groables that I received from SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO. They come pre-packed with seeds, mulch, and fertilizer, ready to plant. If you don't have space to garden, consider using these to grow a garden in pots indoors or on a patio. Here's how SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO Groables work:

Planting a Raised Bed garden JPriest

Make a depression in the dirt so the pot will fit in but the top will be even with the surface of the garden.

How to use Miracle-Gro Groables JPriest

Peel the label from the top of the pot.

Planting Miracle-Gro JPriest

Spread dirt around the edge of the pot. Water daily.

Pruning with Miracle-Gro JPriest

I also received a set of SCOTTS Yard Care Wet/Dry Grip gloves and SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO Floral Cutters. It is super important to take care of your hands while gardening. I always wear gloves to protect my manicure and also to help prevent my hands from drying out. These gloves have a breathable upper of knit fabric and a thick rubber underside that resists water and dirt. I am constantly pruning my berry plants because they grow like weeds and these gloves were great for protecting my hands from the thorns as I prune and trim down berry plants growing where they shouldn't. You can also use Ortho & Round-Up to control weeds in the pathways of the raised bed gardens.

Here is the progress of the garden from early 2009 through 2013 when we started putting the raised beds in, until now:

Garden History

Big changes over time, right? I am expecting a huge berry crop this year and already have lettuce and kale in huge bunches. Over Easter we had our first harvest from the garden – a mesclun salad made completely with lettuce from my garden!

Pick up SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO Groables, SCOTTS Yard Care Wet/Dry Grip gloves, and SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO Floral Cutters at your local Walmart. And get tips for your garden on the Mi Jardin Alidad website. Enter to win a set of these here on my blog! Use this widget (below) to enter to win one of TWO boxes I am giving away, filled with SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO goodies. Leave me a comment sharing how you would use SCOTTS products to beautify your yard:

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Our garden really has evolved over the years as we learned what works for us, what doesn't, and discovered products and techniques that make things easier for us. If you garden, what kinds of tricks do you have for making gardening easier and more successful? Keep up with our adventures, craft ideas, and frugal living tips by subscribing to the Just JP Newsletter. Jennifer Signature Block-JUST JP April 2015 2 Remember to always read and follow label directions for the referenced products. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Scotts . The opinions and text are all mine.

About the Author

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Jennifer Priest is a 20+ year designer in the arts & crafts industry and home DIYer with a passion for creativity. An Army veteran raised on a ranch, from her experience, she shares smart DIY projects that save money and fun craft ideas that anyone can make. Besides blogging, Jennifer is a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, Hypnosis, and MER, and coaches other online entrepreneurs on money mindset, business, and living an intentional life. When not blogging, Jennifer is having adventures in the wilderness, on road trips, playing with her cats, and making paleo food.

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