Starting an Edible Garden & Painting Rocks

My First Herb and Veggie Garden

Spring is looking beautiful around here these days! There was record-breaking rain this winter so now there are so many pretty blooms in my community. This year I decided to give it a shot and go all in at growing a garden in my patio. 
My freshly planted strawberry plants in a window box. I love looking at all the pretty pink blooms in the bushes. Last year there wasn’t any.

Tommy and I dreamt of having a small garden where we could grow our own peppers, herbs and tomatoes to level up our homemade pizzas, salsas, and his hot sauces using fresh ingredients. This was something we were really looking forward to when we bought our house. We even added that to our house wish list, a “small patio or outdoor space with enough room and sunlight for a container garden” (and room for a grill or pizza oven). Last year I didn’t have the energy to start a garden (the first half is a blur to me; I don’t remember much other than how painful and hard it was dealing with the grief). This year the time felt right, but I was also highly motivated because groceries are getting crazy expensive! I decided it would be a good opportunity to start a new, fun and productive hobby. So far it’s been enjoyable and the time flies without me realizing it.

I started planting my seeds a little over a month ago when the night time temperatures were still too cold outside for most plants. It’s been exciting seeing the new plants appear. I haven’t had too much luck getting decent-looking lettuce plants, so mostly I’ve been feeding them to Gold. My tomato 🍅 and pepper 🌶 plants are looking nice and healthy!

With the exception of strawberry starter plants, I’m growing most of my garden from seeds. I have an indoor growing set up in the art room with full spectrum LED lights. The start up costs are higher because this is my first year and I’m starting from scratch, but Mr. Gold and I are really enjoying spending time together with the plants. He loves when I thin out the seedlings and he gets salad time. There’s been some trial and error but so far most of my young plants are doing well. I planted cherry tomatoes, brandywine pink tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños, cucumbers, a few varieties of lettuce, spinach, cilantro, basil, oregano, broccoli and zucchini for my parents. I’m looking forward to being able to pick herbs, veggies and fruits right from my patio.
Mr. Gold smelling the cherry tomato and bell pepper plants. 

My first harvest, if you can call it that. The other day I thinned the the cilantro seedlings and added them to my guacamole, like a garnish. It was so refreshing and delicious! It got me excited for what’s to come in the next few months.

Painted Garden Rocks: Strawberry Plant Decoys for Birds

There is so much to learn about gardening! I am reading a lot of blogs and websites and learned that birds will eat your strawberries and tomato fruits. There are many ways to deter them but one of them that I liked the best was to use decoy strawberries painted on rocks. The idea is that birds will peck at the fake fruit and realize they aren’t edible so eventually they will ignore the real ones when they ripen. I had no idea that was a thing! So of course I painted my own river rocks to make them look like strawberries. That was a fun project and they turned out really cute. I had no idea how creative and fun working on a garden would be 😁.

My fake strawberries. The long one looked like a hot red pepper so I left it as is. Not sure what I’ll do with it yet, if I’ll put it in the garden or use as home decor.

Some step-by-step pictures. I painted the rocks with white acrylic paint to use as a primer then mixed some yellow and magenta to make red. Then I added the leaves and seeds. Finally I added a layer of gloss medium to serve as a top coat.

Pictures of the strawberry painted rocks in the planters. Hopefully they work and the birds won’t eat my berries 🤞


Other Posts of Interest