Much to my husband’s dismay, I have a back yard vegetable garden. We live in downtown Beaver, so the size of our yard is pretty small to begin with. While this project started innocently enough with removing some grass and plopping down a few tomato plants, since its inception five or six years ago, the garden has spread and now it is referred to as The Farm. It’s amazing how many things you can plant when you have a plan!

I used metal fencing around the plants to keep the critters out in years past, although there WERE frogs in there. Not sure that they really hurt anything outside of my ego. My screams echoed through town, I am certain. Reptiles are pretty gross. Anyway, a neighbor swears by saving her cats hair and burying it around her plants for critter control. No fence needed! I might give this a try this year. A metal fence and a toddler sound like a big disaster! 

Last year, I started from seed. This was my first attempt at this process and it was only moderately successful.  I had a whole setup in the basement with lights and trays of dirt pods. While the veggies did sprout and they were adorable little babies, they were really small and it took forever to get anything from them once they were outside. Talk about garden envy. Everyone else had tomatoes – I had itty bitty plants with no flowers. Sadness had come over The Farm.

I thought maybe it was a timing issue, so this year I started my seeds much earlier. Same process, just about a month earlier – so at the beginning of February. It is with great sadness that I report none of my plants thrived this year. A friend gave me some awesome (and different) pepper seeds and I had some leftover ugly tomato seeds from last year – But now, I have trays of dirt and, well, just more sadness.

What to do now? A newly expanded *again* plot of land and no plants? Ugh. I guess I will have to buy all of the plants. Here are a couple of places that I have used in the past for plants.  Do you have any that you use??

DiPietros, Beaver

Right next to Diary Queen (talk about convenient!) on 3rd street is DiPietro’s. It is a mixture between a farm stand and greenhouse. While it may look small from the street, the size is really deceiving. They have veggies, herbs and tons of flowers, but get there early because they do sell out quickly! Out front they have seasonal fruit, veggies or flowers for sale. The corn is delicious, as are the apples! Ok,

Beaver’s Farmers Market, Beaver

Beaver’s Farmers Market is held in the Courthouse parking lot starting in May on Saturday mornings from 10am-1pm. This is a fantastic spot for plants and flowers! Again, get there early because they do sell out quickly (I’m sensing a trend?) Along with the plants and flowers, they have other things like cheese and meat, and even baked goods.  Definitely worth a trip to check it out! I can’t speak to the other farmers markets in the area, but this one is really nice.

Beaver County Fruit & Garden Center, Center Twp.

This is another great spot to hit for plants and produce all at once. There are a few Beaver County Fruit & Garden Centers scattered throughout the county – One in Beaver Falls, one on 51 near The Grand Valley Inn and this location on Broadhead Road in Center.  Great place for plants and local produce!

Janowski’s Farm, Clinton

Janowski’s Farm is just outside of the county line and it is my favorite! There is a massive greenhouse with a great selection, a market that sells their own (and otherwise local) produce and a bakery. A bakery. With homemade baked goods. It may be the pregnant in me shining through, but their cookies are sooo good. Back to point – They have a great selection of plants here and I always seem to have luck finding what I am looking for. Definitely worth the drive.

I’d love to hear your own garden tips and tricks! My goal is to be the female equivalent of Farmer McGregor, although looking at my dead starter plants, it might be a little lofty of a goal ☺

Anastasia Beaverhausen is a married, stay-at-home mom of three kids. She was born, raised and still lives in downtown Beaver. Her main goals in life are making sure everyone lives through the week, the house doesn’t end up condemned, and teaching two (so far) small people how to “people” properly. In her free time, Ana enjoys running, knitting and gardening, although free time is a pretty tough thing to come by these days. Follow her on twiter @bcBeaverhausen!