So I've toyed with the idea of a small garden, either in a raised bed or container garden, for a couple of years now. Kelly agreed this spring to build me a bed, so I asked for some advice from others around here who keep gardens and dove in. You see I have two problems when it comes to this sort of thing.
1. I have, if not a black thumb, a very grey thumb. I seem to do ok with shrubs and bushes and certain flowering things, like Mexican heather and lantana, which are indestructible anyway. But annuals, perennials, and many other green things usually don't stay green very long under my inexpert care.
2. Most gardening books and websites don't apply to the climate down here. Plants that say "full sun" can't always take the full sun of a San Antonio summer, which is approximately 7 months long. Ask me how I know.
So part of my procrastination has been fear of failure. But I finally felt adventurous enough this year - and have girls old enough to be of real help with it - that I dove in. Kelly built a raised bed for me, I filled it with a rich garden soil/compost mix. We got started little late so I started mostly with plants, which is the more expensive option I realize. But this fall and next spring I can start with more seeds and save a lot of money.
Right now I have a squash and a zucchini plant, two bell pepper plants (one green and one red, I think) a jalapeno plant, a tomato plant, and a grape vine. Even though some people told me it was too late for seeds, some said it was still ok. I decided it wouldn't hurt to try, and it would be a good educational experience for the girls. So we also bought a seed starter kit, which acts like a little greenhouse. We planted green beans, onions, and a pumpkin seed. Sure enough they are all sprouting. Hopefully they will stay healthy and thriving long enough for transplanting to the bed. Then the real test begins. ;-)
This fall I can't wait to plant lettuce and next spring: strawberries!