Monday, February 22, 2010

Giveaway: Your petit potager

When I look outside and still see snow covered gardens (and roofs and cars) it's hard to imagine spring, but this is the time to begin planning a kitchen garden. Very traditional in Europe, a kitchen garden is a simple way to bring a bit of France into your home.

Last year I posted about my container garden, mon petit potager, which I've maintained for many summers. Planting containers of my favorite herbs means I'll have fresh basil, parsley, chives all through the summer and into the fall. Then last week I saw this post on Apartment Therapy that inspired me to add lettuce to my mix.

Baby lettuces are perfect for warm weather salads, when dressings tend toward lighter vinagrettes. Many varieties of baby lettuces are ideal for small container gardens and will begin producing within a month of planting the seeds. Sometimes referred to as "cut and come again" greens because each cutting encourages new growth.

I've ordered my seeds online from The Cook's Garden. True to their name, The Cook's Garden, located in Londonderry, Vermont, has everything you would want for a kitchen garden. Imagine, no more packaged baby greens for your salads! I'm eager to get mine started.

So how about you? Would you like to try to grow some baby greens? I ordered three extra seed packets to giveaway on my blog. If you'd like to participate, post a comment about your plans for the seeds, and I'll put your name in the virtual hat to win a packet of seeds to grow your own lettuce cutting mix. Winners will be announced on Saturday.

And, if you have experience with a small kitchen garden, especially baby greens, I would love to hear from you, too. I'll need all the advice I can get!


  1. Count me out, regretfully. The only advice I can offer is how to kill plants. :o(

  2. No, no! A little cache pot with some baby greens on a window sill is easy. You should give it a try.

  3. I'm really excited to have a garden again this year. Last year,I attempted to start plants from seeds (a first for me), so I bought a greenhouse with pellets. I planted lots of herbs, lettuce, beans, tomatoes, etc. It was going well, everything was growing- so high in fact I had to remove the lid. I set the base on a chair in the guest room for max sunlight. One night about midnight, Chester was wandering around and gagging. He ravished all my plants. There was nothing left. I was too defeated to try again.

  4. I'm going to try it this year. I ordered a small olive tree for the first time and I'm going to try potted herbs too. I love the idea of growing lettuce!

  5. Leigh, you will have great space for a garden this summer!

    Stephanie, from where did you order your olive tree?

    I'll enter both your names in the drawing, oui?

  6. A,
    Are you starting the seeds inside first? I've thought of doing this for years but never have. I usually wimp out and buy seedlings in the spring.
    Stephanie, if I lived ina warmer climate I would totally attempt an olive tree AND a lemon tree. I dream of a lemon tree ...

  7. Even before you mentioned a giveaway, I was intrigued by the idea. Chives and parsely I would NEVER have thought of growing myself, much less baby greens. I use these items SO MUCH in my cooking it sounds like an idea I should pursue. Glad to know that you have grown them successfully here-maybe I will get lucky at my attempt! How much sunlight would these plants require and should these plants be kept indoors or outdoors? Please enter me in the drawing, thanks!

  8. I live in Alabama and have a small yard. A man from California just moved in next door and has planted corn in a mini greenhouse he built out of old windows we were throwing out. Please send me some of your lettuce seeds and I'll have something growing at my house as well.

    Love your blog site - Lizzy

  9. Annecy, I literally kill everything, despite having a great southern exposure (indoors). I didn't used to be so lethal when we had apartments, but my house just might be hexed. When I had tender herbs (like basil, parsley, and chervil) last year, they developed bugs that I couldn't get rid of till I threw all the plants away. I kept a rosemary tree alive for two months, but it still looked dessicated despite all of the water it seemed to require, so it got the heave-ho about a month ago. I have two Christmas cacti that I'm desperate not to execute. Outdoors, the jury is out on my muguet de bois till April or so, but don't be surprised if they fail to thrive as well.

    Maybe it's not so much that I kill the plants as they commit suicide??

  10. Ma chere amie,

    I have been so remiss in my note-leaving, but I have been visiting because I do so love your blog.

    Pop over for a visit chez moi, I have a little something for you.

    Warmest regards,