Victory Garden “Take Five” Update

As part of the Victory Garden Challenge, I offered to mentor five gardeners through building their first vegetable gardens. Now that the gardening season is under way for all of them, I thought I’d bring you an update.

Gardener #1 lives in Texas, and so far she’s been chasing down wood for raised beds and a handyman to set them up. Haven’t heard from you in a while, A…care to update us?

Gardener #2 lives in Arkansas, and so far she’s built her first 4’x8′ raised bed and populated it with tomatoes, squash, beans, and onions! Woohoo! Our gal loooooves her squash, but I had to talk her into thinning down to just one each of zucchini, crookneck, and spaghetti squash, lest they take over her yard and swallow her family and new dog. 🙂

Gardener #3 lives in Boston, and is doing a combination of raised bed and container gardening. The wood for the beds is in place, the dirt pick-up is being organized, and the planters are in the mail!

Gardener #4 lives in Tennessee, and she’s lined up a nice set of big recycled containers to hold lettuce, potatoes, radishes, chard…the list goes on and on! See pics and details at her new gardening blog, View From the Garden Gate.

Gardener #5 lives in Michigan, and she’s been planting resumes and watering her job prospects, so most of her gardening so far this year has been her existing herbs and flowers. Keep your fingers crossed as she learns more about where her roots will be next year!

And a bonus gardener #6, also in Michigan, has built two 4’x8′ beds. One has been filled with dirt, radishes, peas, lettuce, and spinach. She’s in the process of moving dirt from the driveway where it was delivered to the second bed, which will have beans and tomatoes and other yet-to-be-determined delicousness.



  1. Oldnovice said,

    May 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Texas A here.

    Plans have changed. Not gonna go with raised beds. First reason was that the handyman angle didn’t work out. Second reason is that I read that I really don’t want to get my garden any closer to the sun than it already is. I’d be better off doing ditch gardening to keep my plants cooler!

    Haven’t put much time into anything yet, either. Harvested some arugula seeds from last year’s crop today. If ANYONE wants arugula seeds, I have enough to seed the entire planet! I’m gonna have to carefully pull those plants this week before they seed where I don’t want them to seed.

    My peach trees seem to be doing fine; I’ll soon get some pictures of them up with the peaches wearing little pieces of knee-high stockings. Blueberry bushes seem to be doing well also. Blackberry bushes are NOT doing well and I cut the stalks down to the ground today and sprayed the stubs thoroughly with a green insect spray. Raspberries look like they might have critter competition who eat the close-to-the-ground foliage, so I spread cayenne pepper close to the plants AND on the foliage today. Still haven’t gotten around to planting the strawberries. We’ve been doing other things while too much rain, weather TOO cool, weather TOO hot discouraged me from getting out there. My pantries are super-organized and my inventory files up-to-date, so I’ve made progress in other areas.

    Have some starts which I set outside each day for at least 5 hours. Peppers and tomatoes, mostly from seed, but two tomatoes and one pepper from Home Depot. Also got some onion starts which are in the refrigerator waiting for me to have time to spare. Also have structures that I’d ordered a while back waiting to get beds dug, nourished with compost, planted. We go from too much rain to too hot, so I can drag my feet a while longer and plant a June garden that’ll mature in the cooler fall weather. Back to bread making today and time to punch the dough.

  2. Emily said,

    May 19, 2008 at 11:59 am

    A- Thanks for the update! Net idea about the “ditch beds.” Or maybe you just need a mobile container garden on wheels so you can move stuff in and out of the sun and rain. 🙂

  3. Cloud said,

    December 28, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Do you find that the majority of Victory Gardeners are woman?

    • Emily said,

      December 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm

      Historically, yes. But I think as jobs get more scarce, we’ll see more men turning to gardening as a way to be productive outside the formal economy.

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