how to: dollar store garden

Do you ever feel like you’re halfway through a project, but no matter how much more work you do, it still feels like you’re no closer to completion?  My garden is one of those things.  Every day I work on it a little, and bit by bit things are coming together, but there is still so much left that I want to do!

I’ve made a couple more dollar store purchases to add to the garden, all at Family Dollar.  Of all the dollar stores in my town (Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and Dollar General), I’m definitely the most impressed with the garden-related selections at Family Dollar.  That’s where I picked up a few shepherd’s crook hooks, allowing me the space for even more hanging pots.  They have them cheaper than anywhere else I’ve looked – $4 for a four-foot-tall hook!  So far I’ve added four of them to the near end of the garden, and I plan to add four more at the far end.

So far only two of the new hooks have pots until Family Dollar gets in some new stock, since I bought the last two plastic hanging pots they had the other day.  They’re nothing fancy, but at $1.50 each, I’ll take ’em!  By the time this part of my garden is done, there will be a total of 22 hanging pots and baskets!

I want the hooks to stay flat against the clothesline posts that I’m using to hang the rest of my pots.  However when I added the weight of the pots, the hooks started leaning outward.  My solution was to secure them to the posts with some wire ties that I got at Dollar Tree.  In order to wrap all the way around the post and both hooks, I connected three wire ties end to end to make them long enough.

You’ll also notice that my paper lanterns are still hanging in there, literally!  I’ve been conducting an ongoing experiment in weatherproofing them and will be bringing you a full report soon!

Most of those 22 hanging baskets and pots will hold one of my husband’s favorite things: tomatoes!  We love, love, LOVE tomatoes around our house, so we’re growing a bunch of different varieties of them.  This is the first of what should be many, many tomatoes, and it’s getting noticeably bigger every day!  (For all you garden geeks out there, it’s a Jet Star plant!)

The tomatoes aren’t the only things growing like crazy around here.  So far my bean plants are loving their home in the shoe rack nailed to the side of the shed!  I’ve also purchased two more shoe racks that will flank this one, each filled with  different variety of beans.  My next door neighbors on both sides are really, really excited about my wall o’ beans, maybe even more excited than I am!

Another of this week’s garden accomplishments was re-arranging the pots along the fence.  Before I had them all grouped together in one big line, but I rearranged them into smaller groupings instead.  I did this for two main reasons:  1) to make sure that the larger plants would have ample room to grow, and 2) some of the neighbor’s flowering plants have crept through the fence, and the new pot arrangement allows for us to enjoy some splashes of color in between!

What’s growing in these pots?  Peas, eggplants, peppers, broccoli, chives, rosemary, oregano, dill, basil, and cilantro.  And I have more seedlings and plants to add as I keep acquiring more pots!

Meanwhile elsewhere in my yard, I’ve laid down two old pallets that I’m using to grow radishes, carrots, and beets.  Don’t worry – they are old enough that they aren’t made from treated lumber!  As you can see, I still need to finish packing in another big ol’ bag of soil so I can finish planting the rest of my seeds.  But the rows that are full of soil are already sprouting tiny little radish plants!

So much done, and so much left to do…  One of these days soon, all of my lovely little plants will have homes!