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It's Time to Prepare a Suburban Garden

It has been over a decade since I attempted a garden, but I have sworn I would do one each year since the last one. However, I have allowed my "Americana Apathy" to take charge of my life and put it off, just like I have so many other things. I want to break through that laziness this year and plant a suburban garden.

Like many things, inspiration and, in some sense, competition are great motivators. I have some friends up in New Jersey who planted a garden the past two years, and I have to say it was one of the most extraordinary things I have ever seen in a backyard. It has also set a target for me to strive for.

One would think that planting a garden would happen next spring. One would be correct in that assessment. However, now is the time to start planning for that garden and doing a lot of the preparation for the garden. Rather than waiting until March or April to do everything, I'm spending the weekend and the following week building garden boxes, preparing the section of the backyard I want to use for the garden area, and taking care of the items that do not involve the actual planting of seed and tending to the boxes.


A garden should be planned before planting. There are plenty of websites to get ideas and even free plans for your garden. Planning your garden beforehand will save you frustration later on.

My idea is to make four raised beds 2' wide by 2' tall by 8' long to form a square from which potted plats will reside, like tomatoes. Inside this green courtyard will be planters for other garden plants and some other features. I plan for a brick pathway that will dissect the space in between, filled with pebbles for better drainage when it rains, but a pure pebble area works as well.

Several of these would make for a great garden!


I live in Texas, so it will make sense to grow southern-climate vegetables that do well in the climate here. The final list is still TBD outside of tomatoes and okra. Contenders include zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, cucumbers, and lettuce. Additionally, there will be herbs and flowers as well.

Another factor is how deep into the season I want to maintain a garden. Do I want to shut it down at the end of summer or would I like to grow into the fall? This is an important decision to make.


More than helping offset the cost of the grocery bill in this time of inflation, creating an enjoyable outdoor living space is paramount to my family. The idea is to enjoy a little bit of nature in an area that has largely been stripped. Heck, I may even consider placing a bench inside the square for relaxation or perhaps creating a dining area to enjoy the vegetables of our labor!

Stay tuned for before and after pictures of a suburban garden makeover!


I'd love to see photos of your suburban garden! Please share them with me.

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