Back in March, I knew wanted to grow my own vegetables again this summer. We eat a lot of vegetables (I’m vegetarian!) and I wanted to reduce our trips to the market – especially in light of the pandemic. Being a little more self sufficient felt like a great idea given fresh produce is such an essential part of our diet. I also thought it would be a great hobby while we are staying home more often!
I had made my foray into gardening last summer at our apartment in Chicago. I went to an event hosted by Burpee Plants in the West Loop and came home with a few Burpee plants as gifts. I wasn’t sure I’d have any luck gardening given we lived 30 floors up in a high rise and only had a balcony to grow the plants on which was shaded for most of the day. I’d never had success growing anything before! Turns out, the plants grew very well! Also, Burpee trials their plants before selling to ensure your gardening success which is really helpful if you’re new to growing your own vegetables and herbs. Growing my little garden was easier than I’d thought plus, I had picked up a few tips from Burpee on their Instagram (they respond to messages too!). I got one of these mobile planters from Amazon, a bag of soil, a shovel, a watering can, and a pair of gardening gloves. That was it! That’s all it took with a little time!
This year, I knew I wanted to try growing more varieties of plants. Growing your own vegetables makes your ingredients the freshest and most flavorful since they are right outside your door! I knew I wanted to stick with Burpee plants this year given the success I had last year. Matt and I love spicy food so I got 4 varieties of peppers:
- Ristra Cayeene II Hot Pepper (only Burpee carries these!)
- Jalapeno Sweet Poppers Sweet Pepper
- Basket of Fire Hot Pepper
- Sriracha Hot Pepper
I think I was most excited for peppers since we eat so many of them! I also got Sweet Thai Basil, BOOST Tasti-Wee Small-Fruited Tomatoes, Rutgers DMR Obsession Basil, Sweet Thang Cabbage, and Sweet Slaw Cabbage. You can find Burpee plants from your local garden retailer – there is a Find A Store option on their website to find a location near you! Burpee also has herbs and flowers. When we have our own home, I’d love to have 2 large planter beds: one for herbs (lavender, mint, thyme, cilantro, and oregano) and one for vegetables. I’d love to add cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, watermelon, brussel sprouts, spinach, lettuces, and onions to the mix next year! Looking at that list, I might need 3 planter beds!
We planted them in the same mobile planters we used last year so we could move them around my mom’s backyard since she was letting us borrow her space! We put 3-4 plants in each planter depending on the instructions on the Burpee website. You can plant them in individual planters and cute pots too. Since I’ve grown Burpee plants in both the city and the suburbs, I can tell you that you can grow them anywhere!
So what has grown so far? After just 2 months, we have all of this! We had more basil than we knew what to do with after about the first 2 weeks but it has been so exciting to see everything else come in! I’ve been looking up recipes on the Burpee to find new ways to incorporate our fresh vegetables! I’m so impressed by how much everything has grown. It really doesn’t take that much effort – just a bit of patience to grow! It’s also extremely therapeutic and rewarding to see what you’ve grown!
Have you tried gardening? Tell me what you’ve grown!
*This post is in partnership with Burpee but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!