At the start of this Covid crisis/quarantine, I was talking to my mother about all that was going on. We began talking about how it has become more and more difficult to get certain groceries. this brough up the suggestions to eat canned fruit and vegetables for now. Because my mother is older than 65, we have been very cautions with what comes into her house. We began talking about whether it was safe for her to eat fresh fruit and vegetable at this point. There have been sugestions made to clean the produce thoroughly before eating. As we talked about all of this, she was reminded of the Victory Gardens that were grown during and after WW2 due to rationing as well as difficulty in getting groceries. She said everyone grew small home gardens because it was so difficult to get what you needed.
Finding Space to plant a Garden
Shortly after these discussions, my husband and I began talking about what we could plant in the cement planters surrounding our pool area. In years past we had planted sweet potato vines. While these were beautiful (as long as we watered them enough) they did not produce anything useful. However, this year we wanted to grow a garden for food purposes. But we had not yet decided where to plant one. So I suggested that we plant vegetables in our potters by the pool. My husband thought that was a great idea. So we stared our victory garden container gardens. We put a tomato plant in the center of each planter and surrounded 2 of the tomatoes with summer squash and 2 of them with cucumber.
Up closer to the house, we planted 2 long containers of herbs. We also plante a large plastic planter with lettuce and garlic (the garlic to keep the aphids from the lettuce). My daughter got into the gardening spirit and planted a small patch up close to the house of cantelope. She has been weeding and water these every day. She treats them like they are her babies. It is so much fun to watch. We tried to plant some watermelon but at this point have been unable to get watermelon seeds. So I bought a watermelon from the grocery store to eat. We will throw those seeds out in the garden and see what happens.
Raised Flower bed for Seniors
Next to my mothers house, we helped her plant tomatoes and lettuce in a raised flower bed. The raised bed is so she can easily access them while using her walker. The raised garden no only is easier for her to reach, but also grows less weeds making it easier for her to keep her garden up. She has always loved to garden and I hated the idea that she could not do that anymore.
A Victory Garden as Natural Pest Control
Another thing I did was to look up natural methods of decreasing the mosquitos around the pool area. I am trying to get away from chemicals as much as possible. One of the ideas I read was to grow mint and basil as well as marigolds. So, we ordered the mint and basil from Amazon and planted it next to the cabana on the side where we sit most of the time in the summer. I will let you know later this summer how it works for the bugs. But even if it does not work well, we can use the mint in tea and the basil in everything.
You can Plant a Victory Garden
Even if you have never gardened before, or if you have a small area, it is so easy to start container gardens. Just purchase some planting pots of various sizes, good soil and pebbles to put in the bottom for drainage and seeds. The seed packets tell you whether to plant in full sun or shade, how much to water as well as when to plant. You can read on the internet what plants grow best with others. That was how I found out that aphids do not like garlic so planting garlic with the lettuce will keep the aphids away.
We are having so much fun with these little gardens, we are already planning what we can do for the fall. There are so many possibilities. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, onions, different squash, maybe even a few ears of corn, who knows. It will be a victory garden container garden adventure!
The Rewards of a Garden
So even if the Farmer’s markets near you do not open this summer, you can still have some fresh produce. It is not only exciting to watch the plants grow, but so good to eat. There is nothing better tasting than a tomato right out of the garden, or a cantelope you grew and picked. When you get the kids involved, they will never look at produce the same. Your children may surprise you and take over the watering and weeding. The little ones may even learn to like a new vegetable.
With all that being said, is there any reason NOT to have a Victory Garden planted in containers throughout your yard? So either get online and order or jump in the car and go to the hardware/gardening store near you. You will build some great memories with this one that will continue to build all summer long.