Grow, Grill and Garnish


Our friends at S&S ACE Hardware offer tips to transform your outdoor patio into a space full of fresh herbs and vegetables perfect for your next outdoor barbecue.

By Scott Snedecor of S&S ACE Hardware

Spring and summer have always brought people out into their yards. Throughout the pandemic, hobbies and interests involving the home and yard became even more popular. We also saw this trend 10 years ago when the recession took the wind out of many folks’ vacation plans, making staying home the affordable option. This is when we first heard the term “staycation.” During the pandemic, people once again embraced the staycation. While some suffered financially, many people still had a disposable income, they just weren’t using it for traveling. Obviously, this was one of the factors of the current real estate home remodeling boom as well. While so many television shows feature major expensive remodeling projects, many homeowners are enjoying the rewards of their own efforts through simple planting and gardening projects and following up with outdoor cooking and relaxing.

It doesn’t take a farm and acreage to plant some herbs, vegetables, or a few tomato plants. As a matter of fact, with our Georgia clay, bringing in better soil with more nutrients and better drainage is often a prerequisite to getting things to grow. Sometimes deep tilling can be difficult, so many people opt for 8-inch boards or other means to create a raised bed that can be filled with the good soil plants need. Taking this a step further, containers like 5-gallon buckets, large flower pots, or raised planters can be the basis for easy gardening anywhere — especially around your deck or patio. Special “raised bed soil” is composed of nutrient- rich soil that allows for maximum drainage and proper compaction, all part of a good soil base. Another important consideration when using raised beds is to be sure to allow for good drainage to not over-soak the soil.

Seedling plants “pre- started” can accelerate your plant growth by more than a month and are readily available at the hardware store or garden center. When choosing which herbs to plant look for thyme, oregano, basil, parsley (regular or curly), cilantro, and mint (for drinks), which are all good staples. Cherry tomatoes, Italian tomatoes, and a small pepper plant (bell or hot, maybe tabasco), are all popular home garden options. A couple marigold plants can add some insect prevention, and the combination of all of these will make your outside living area colorful and alive! When caring for your garden, consider adding Miracle Gro or Fertilome fertilizer to your water, and be sure to occasionally pinch off the dead leaves to keep your garden healthy and beautiful!

Gather up the fresh herbs and tomatoes for your next barbecue! Then, later in the evening after dinner, kick back with your fire pit and enjoy the simple pleasures of your own backyard — with the savings of two years of pandemic- deferred vacations!

S&S Ace Hardware & Mower has two locations: 4160 Buford Drive, Buford, 3740 Village Way, Braselton.

Enter S&S ACE Hardware’s Grow, Grill & Garnish giveaway for a chance to win a 22-inch Weber Grill; Breeo Smokeless Fire Pit; and a raised bed planter with a tool and trowel set, organic soil and vegetable plants! (Total value of nearly $1,000!)

Deadline to enter is May 31, 2022.

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