Virtual ZoomCast! Get Garden Ready While in Social Isolation

Watch the entire "zoomcast" here!  We are social distancing and took our first stab at recoding an episode over Zoom.  

In this new world of social isolation and schools being closed, it’s a perfect time to start a family garden. Kids will learn everything from planning a garden plot, how food grows, patience while waiting for it to grow and have another reason to play outside. You don’t need a big garden to produce a large harvest. Growing high-yield vegetables is an easy way to maximize your growing space.

You can save big money by growing your own vegetables and fruits. You will spend some dollars on seeds, plants, and supplies in spring but some things will be one time purchases (like containers or trellises). If you are getting garden ready for the first time, here are 6 things to plant to get the most bang for your buck.


Try grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes if you want plants that will produce fast. Larger tomatoes, like Big Boys, will be ready later in the summer. Grape tomatoes do well in a large container, like a 5-gallon bucket with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. Try canning or simply chop tomatoes and freeze them to use in the winter. A Food Saver is a perfect tool for this and saving other garden produce.


Basil is a perfect herb for beginners all the way to pros.  It adds tons of flavor to pasta, chicken dishes, anything Italian and makes caprese salad and pizza taste amazing. If you are new to herbs, start with basil.


Zucchini plants take up a lot of ground space when full grown so space them apart according to directions on your seed packet or plant insert. Zucchini plants pump out a ridiculously generous harvest so plan to use it all summer (zoodles, chopped, shredded, zucchini boats…). It’s low in calories and a filling veggie.


You may have noticed the price of lettuce has gone up and bagged lettuce is $3 to $4 if it’s not on sale. Growing your own is pretty simple and will save you a lot of money. Just be sure and prepared to wash it well. You’ll have little bugs in there that are well washed away in store-bought bagged lettuce! Spring mixes are easier to grow than head lettuce like iceburg.

Bush green beans:

Be sure to get “bush” and not “pole” beans for your garden unless you plan to trellis the beans (or just take our word for it and get the bush beans!). They produce a ton of green beans, so be prepared to freeze or can them when they are ready to pick. These are a great on for kids to get out and pick.


Use a potato box or bag to save space and still grow plenty of potatoes in any variety. Here is an example of a potato box and a potato grow bag.