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Nine Ways To Screw Up Your First Home Garden

7. Don't follow directions

I love homegrown celery and last year the few I had were so awesome I over-planted this year and didn't space them far enough apart. As a result my crop was very thin. Still tasty, but thin. It would have been better to plant all over the garden willy-nilly as long as there was sun instead of plant all together in rows in a raised bed close together. Celery needs more room than I thought. Still, it's a great vegetable to grow and so much more flavorful when you do it yourself compared with anything you'll find in the grocery store.

When I identified the problem, I thinned out the bed and the remaining celery did recover. In fact, by the beginning of October they started going strong and are still growing! Garden celery has many fine uses in the kitchen. First, it is much greener and darker than store-bought celery and also has incredible flavor. The leaves are wonderful for salads, soups, and even chopped up in meatballs! One of my favorite recipes I invented for garden celery is a crockpot chicken potpie.

Crockpot Chicken Potpie

Chop chicken breasts (4) and put in bottom of crockpot

Chop up celery, carrots, onions, cauliflower (and anything else you like in your potpie -- peas?) and throw on top.

Place 2 T of butter in a pan and melt, then add 1 to 2 T of flour and whisk into roux. Add half a cup of cream or milk and whisk and then add as much chicken broth as necessary to get the roux to a creamy sauce texture. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste. Pour over chicken and veggies in crockpot. Top with refrigerated/canned rolls (like Pillsbury or similar) and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

No matter what vegetable you are growing, be sure to pay attention to plant spacing. It can make or break your harvest.