A garden is a friend you can visit any time. – Unknown

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The last few days in Southern Oregon, hopefully the frost is behind us, the soil is warm, and it’s time to start planting our garden. But if you read my last post, we’ve already done a bit of planting. This is our first year to use an AeroGarden and I’ll tell you a little about it.

If you’re new to RE, let me update you with my last few gardening posts:
Gardening and Building Raised Beds in the City
Gardening and Amending the Soil for Gardening in the City
8 Money-Saving Tips on Gardening in the City

My husband was tired of spending so much money on starts, as we’ve done the last 5 years that we’ve gardened on our city lot, so he started researching online. He viewed mixed results from inexpensive greenhouses, so he decided to take a look at growing plants from seeds ourselves.

We looked online and bought an AeroGarden from Craig’s List for $60. It was the best money spent all winter long! We’ve now moved it onto our back patio where it seems to be doing well with the Spring air.

The first thing we did was map out our garden plot, using Territorial Seed online. (We love supporting Oregon companies!)

What Is An AeroGarden?
AeroGardens are foolproof, dirt-free, indoor gardens-so easy to use that anyone can grow their favorite plants, all year round. What’s cool is there’s no dirt, no weeds, and no gardening experience needed. They say that success is 100% guaranteed, and we agree.

What we did differently with our AeroGarden, instead of using a 7 pod system, we took little stainless steel condiment cups and added 5 more to the garden.

Which made 12 starts in less than a month. Soon my husband will take their starter kit and will be growing 66 starts.

We’ve been really, really pleased with the results. We’ve already transplanted the plants to the cold frame with multiple layers of protection. Gardeners cloth on top as well as 2 layers of thick plastic because we needed to get the next round of starts growing (because we’ve had very cold weather in OR).

Just as photography is much about light, gardening is about heat. So that’s where gardening cloth comes in and really makes your plants grow.

Why use Gardening Cloth?
1. It helps protect the plant from cold weather (frost barrier)
2. It does a great job of protecting the young/starter plants from being eaten to the ground by insects.

We also use a lot of straw. Here’s our potatoes peeking up!

We often plant vegetables before it’s recommended, and most times we’re happy with the results. Kale, chard and leaf lettuce are always the first things we plant in the spring. These are planted in a cold frame, or protected with either growers cloth or straw. Currently we are growing basil, lettuce, chard, and peppers.

Here’s the lettuce that is in the beds right now. Ready for a fabulous salad!

AeroGardens make gardening really simple. They tell you when it’s time to add water and nutrients, and even turns grow lights on and off to simulate the sun.

Here are some creative ways to use an AeroGarden:
Harvest fresh herbs year round for cooking
Start seeds indoors and transplant into your outdoor garden
Grow fresh flowers year roudn to decorate your home
Grow fresh lettuce for salads and sandwiches
Bring your garden indoors each fall with cuttings from your favorite plants

We’re pretty sure we’ll be using ours year-round, especially with herbs in the wintertime.

Next round … and in the ground our little seeds of love will go!

I’ll keep you updated with the progress. For now we’ll be eating lettuce, chives, and potatoes this week!

Do you grow your own starts or plants by seed?

(This post was not sponsored by AeroGarden or Territorial Seed.)

The WINNER to the “MAKE ONE MOM HAPPY” Giveaway is Linda T, from Reminisce … this and that. Congrats, Linda!