At Home Gardening, a Fun Hobby for You and Yours!

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Gardening in times of quarantine!  A great way to celebrate Earth Day at home this year!

One of the greatest gifts I’ve received since being a mom has been the raised garden bed my dear sweet husband gave me to put in our backyard.  We used to live downtown in front of Bayfront Park.  Although I had a wheelbarrow full of little container fruits, veggies, and herbs; I had always wanted to expand to a real garden but was too scared to do it.  The raised garden bed was perfect, and I was so excited!  It’s wood, and we built it quickly; the best part about it? We turned it into a family project!  We took our son, Parker, and painted his little hand and foot prints all around the borders of it.  I’m a fur mom too so we took our fur babies’ paws and put their paw prints on the columns!  The gift of gardening couldn’t have been more perfect for Mother’s Day.

At Home Gardening, a Fun Hobby for You and Yours! Ana-Sofia DuLaney
Our garden when we first built it!

My parents got me two more raised garden beds made of beautiful white vinyl the following year to help me expand.  I would recommend either one as both are fantastic additions to your home.  Raised garden beds are available at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Costco, and various other places online.  If you don’t have a backyard or large area, don’t fret, there are so many container options that work wonders too!

Why gardening…

Gardening is something I absolutely adore.  There’s just something about going outside and picking some tomatoes or herbs to use in your dinner or even for some tea that just makes you feel accomplished!  I’ve begun to share this passion with my son who is only two and a half!  Over the past two seasons, we go out and pick cherry tomato snacks straight from the plant and pop them in our mouths. So satisfying.  It is also a way to get away from the world and lose yourself in nature.

When to plant…

The time to plant in Miami is NOW.  Yesterday even!  We’re late in the season but all is not lost!  The one thing I do not really recommend is planting in the middle of Miami’s blistering hot summer.  Don’t get me wrong, things can survive if you take really good care of them, but it’s not optimal to begin new gardening in the Miami summer.  The ideal time to plant is in February or March when it hasn’t gotten extremely hot and most of the cool weather has left. 

What to plant…

Now that we’re home and hopefully trying to go out the least amount possible, we need access to fresh everything.  Some of my favorite things to plant are tomatoes, peppers, along with herbs like mint, oregano, and basil. All these things can be used in your daily meals!

Whether you’re planting in containers or in a garden bed, just make sure you’re planting things that are hearty and can withstand a lot of heat.  I prefer buying sprouts from Home Depot, Lowe’s, or local farms that come already established and ready to be replanted.  Always check the labels to make sure they say they are made to withstand heat. 

Various cherry tomato plants are hybrids that are best for Miami gardening.  Mustard greens, delicious in salads, are perfect for this time in Miami.  I’ve noticed that mint and oregano grow year-round with little to no issues.  That means yummy mint tea whenever you want! I’ve recently begun growing brussels sprouts that seem to truly be thriving, as well.

At Home Gardening, a Fun Hobby for You and Yours! Ana-Sofia DuLaney
Brussels sprouts and oregano growing side by side.

Companion planting…

If you do get to create your own garden in a bed, there is such a thing as companion planting.  The same way tomatoes and basil go great together on your plate, they grow great together too!  The basil will repel tomato heartworms, protect it, and even make tomatoes taste better.  Basil and tomatoes also pair well with peppers for the same reasons.  In the same light, certain things should not be planted together.  Mint, for example, should never be planted next to parsley but parsley pairs well with carrot plants.  Mint grows very wide, as does oregano so if you’re not keeping them in containers, make sure you have lots of room for them to spread out and grace you with their deliciousness!

Make it a family affair…

Set a daily alarm on your phone when you can escape and do your gardening with your kiddos.  Water your plants, observe the changes, teach them about each plant, and then enjoy the fruits of your labor!

At Home Gardening - Ana-Sofia DuLaney
Parker taking pride in the garden!

Do you have a garden at home?  What do you love most about it?  Do you want to start one?  Drop a comment below with any questions or tell me about your gardening or what you’d love to plant!  I can’t wait to hear from you.

 

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Ana-Sofia is a Miami native that chose to never leave her hometown. She attended FIU and is an attorney that graduated from the University of Miami School of Law. Ana-Sofia finally became more than friends with her childhood neighbor after over 10 years, and now they are happily married! She was a proud dog mom before she became a human mom, and after the birth of their now two-year-old son, Ana-Sofia has been lucky enough to work from home. She loves traveling with her husband and son but also loves staying home curled up on the couch. An avid Dave Matthews fan, Ana-Sofia is also a grammar freak, Harry Potter obsessed, Heat and UM cheering, and gardening loving mama that hopes she’s doing right by her son while trying to reduce her ecological footprint. Follow her on Instagram as she tries to live each day fully @TheAnaMachine or her gardening journey on @GardeningInJeans

5 COMMENTS

  1. I have a black thumb, but my husband has a green thumb. Would love to start a garden, but maybe I should work on keeping some indoor plants alive first. Great pointers!

  2. This was such a fun read, Ana-Sofía! I’m going to make sure Michael reads it when he wants to try to grow cilantro again!

    • You’re too funny! I hope it helps! And I’m always here for any questions I can assist with ❤️

  3. Some extra tips on where to place your garden.
    Make sure you get plants and herbs that fit these qualifications too!

    Full sun (6 hours of sun per day)
    Level ground
    Good soil, bring in bags of soil and mix with some of the existing dirt and remove rocks.
    Well-drained area to avoid root rot, especially during our rainy season.
    Clear of trees and shrubs so their roots don’t impede growth.
    Close to a water source for easy watering!

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