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Garden 2012 & Weekly Menu


Another year. Some more planters.

I broke the Midwest gardener’s rule of thumb, planting not one, but two weekends before Mother’s Day this year. With the mild winter, spring sprung early and the weather forecast looked favorable. So far, good choice. My tomatoes have probably grown 30% in the past 14 days and I have some green tomatoes that are growing rapidly.

As much as I was against a planter garden last year, it yielded a generous amount of tomatoes, bell peppers, and zucchini. Other than cilantro, my herbs were BOUNTIFUL. My oregano, sage, and thyme x2 even survived the entire winter. Though my neighbors were confused as I trekked out to the back of my yard with kitchen scissors and returned with fresh herbs in the middle of December and January, I saved a ton of money!


I decided not to grow bell peppers this year and in that planter, I put in parsley and rosemary (which did not survive the winter), as well as chives. I fully realize these are jam-packed in there, but I’m trialing this to see how it goes. I can always transplant them later, right?

Herbs are one of the “best buys” for garden space if you do a lot of cooking. Herbs are so expensive in stores!


I planted my basil in the same location as last year, in an “island” of landscaping, at the back of our yard. I did 2 plants last year, but I think 1 will be plenty. Unless I go on a pesto kick (highly likely), in which case I may buy a bunch at the farmer’s market (about $1 around here).

Basil does well for me…outside. Inside, I tend to kill it and kill it fast. Oops.


And in my other planters, I have a blueberry bush (compliments of my father) and a zucchini. I had a hard time choosing what veggie to put in this year, but zucchini is a favorite and it’s so versatile. I love that it’s good raw, grilled, in veggie enchiladas, in muffins and breads…and much more.

Plus, it is usually one resilient plant and even I have trouble not getting great yield 😉


There’s my little “garden” this year. Even though it’s not as big as I’d like, I always remember the line in Food, Inc. where they remind you that even a small garden helps save the planet 🙂

Weekly Menu: May 13th – 17th

Sunday: Slowcooker Cuban Pork Tacos
Monday: Baked Tomatoes with Quinoa, Corn, and Green Chiles
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Thursday: Chicken in a Tomato-Basil Broth over Couscous

Mr. P and I both have oil changes this morning and not too much else on the agenda today. Last night, we went out to dinner and split a salad and a goat cheese and mushroom pasta dish and then made our way to a local brew shop, grabbed a beer, and sat in their window display and chatted. A little date night – it was fun 🙂

Be well,

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  1. May 12, 2012 / 10:48 am

    Jealous. That is all I have to say! Maybe we will try zucchini in a big pot this year.

  2. May 12, 2012 / 10:51 am

    Love all these plants and your garden! Our home was burnt in a Ca wildfire, and our garden went too ๐Ÿ™ hopefully we can get one started soon! It’s so wonderful to walk in your backyard and pick all these fresh organic ingredients!!

    • Nicole, RD
      May 13, 2012 / 12:05 pm

      How horrible ๐Ÿ™ I’m so sorry. Thank you again for your help yesterday! ๐Ÿ™‚ xo!

  3. May 12, 2012 / 11:45 am

    We were just at the local garden center, and now seeing how you did your plantings, I’m very inspired! Thank you!

    I have those baked tomatoes flagged too…mmm they look so good.

  4. May 12, 2012 / 4:41 pm

    Oooh, I love seeing gardening stuff! It’s so nice that you can plant so early, we have to wait till the last weekend in May here ๐Ÿ™ But that just means that we’re growing things inside earlier before they can go out.

  5. May 13, 2012 / 4:29 am

    I’m gardening vicariously through you!

  6. May 13, 2012 / 7:01 am

    NIck and I planted our seeds last week (ok, Nick did….) and plan to plant in a few weeks. Believe it or not, we debated just using pots like you do, because it’s easier and like you said you get so much bounty! I think next year we might do that……and maybe even for some things this year.
    Enjoy your weekend Nicole! Happy Mother’s Day (your sort of a mom, right?!)

  7. May 13, 2012 / 11:41 am

    wow, that is amazing! I started my plants from seeds, so they are still pretty tiny. Plus I can’t plant outside for quite some time now. But I do have some plants inside doing good! It is fun to see your garden!

  8. May 13, 2012 / 3:09 pm

    Your garden looks amazing – it’s really coming along ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait until we have a yard!

  9. May 14, 2012 / 3:21 pm

    Our rule of thumb in Ontario is no planting before Victoria Day (the Monday on or before May 24th). At my house the planting occurs when my mother-in-law does it.

  10. Sara
    May 15, 2012 / 6:05 pm

    I’ve tried container gardening in the past and it never worked for me! Looking at your pictures I want to try again! I think I planted WAY too early last year and that’s why I never got anything.

    • Nicole, RD
      May 15, 2012 / 10:26 pm

      After seeing my in-laws containers grow like crazy I gave it a shot last year and had great yield! Try again!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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