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Adventures of Growing Vegetables in a City

It's the beginning of 2023 and we're trying something new this year because of a newfound love of plants combined with food prices steadily increasing.

For my birthday this year, it seems everyone was excited to support my plant love! I am now a member of the plant of the month club with a local shop, I have a stunning Kokedama that just joined my collection, and I am the proud new owner of a cold frame which is a mini greenhouse of sorts.

If you don't know what the heck a Kokedama is, I didn't either until I opened the gift! Turns out it is

a spin-off of the Bonsai tree that has these beautiful red flowers and a mossy bottom!

The cold frame is by far going to be the biggest undertaking for us yet. The gift also included a guide for how to grow your own food 365 days a year called, The Year Round Vegetable Gardener. Many of the tips I'll add to this page either will come from this book or will be inspired by it. Grab a copy for yourself if you want the real thing though because I tend to change details and experiment a lot.

This is going to be a big undertaking because we don't have anywhere to plant in the ground, so everything will be in trays or pots. Since we are currently still in Pittsburgh, the weather will make it easier (there's little to no snow), but we do have the added challenge of only having 5-6 hours of direct sunlight on our back patio area.

So this adventure might be a total flop while we are in Pittsburgh but I will keep updating this post as we go!

The first thing we did was figure out how we wanted to handle growing the little plants from seedlings. There are a few ways to do this, but I opted for an actual growing system to make my life a bit easier. I have not used one of these systems before so this is a learning experience too! The one I purchased is in the Amazon product image you see to the right -->

The next thing we did was turn back to the book to see what seeds should be planted in which month to be able to harvest the food for as long as possible. Here's a little breakdown of what the book shared with us (this is not inclusive of all herbs and veggies, but just a few of the ones we are considering). Personally, I prefer to shop on Amazon when I can, so I also linked all the seeds we decided on from Amazon.

Plant seeds in February:

  • Celery

  • Leeks

  • Broccoli

  • Cabbage

  • Kale

  • Mustard

  • Green Onions

These are the specific ones we purchased, but the links on the list above will also take you to more seed options! As of Jan 28th, we stopped at purchasing these 3 because, to be perfectly honest, I want to pace myself so these plants have the best chance of growing.

Plant seeds in March (these are what we will purchase in Feb so we can start planting them in late March):

  • Tomatoes

  • Peppers

  • All lettuces

  • Fennel

  • Parsley

  • Asian vegetables

  • Brussel Sprouts

Plant seeds in April (will likely buy these in March assuming all other seeds are off to a good start!):

  • Cucumber

  • Zucchini

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