Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How the Garden Grows

 by Deb

It's that time of year again, and I'm so excited. I love planning my garden, starting the slow-to-ripen ones indoors, watching them sprout and begin to grow. And every year I learn valuable lessons. For example, part of my garden gets a lot of shade. That means lots of leafy veggies will grow longer and better. So here's what I'm trying this year besides the old standbys like spinach and lettuce:
  • corn salad, aka mache
  • summer savory
  • garden sorrel
  • arugula
Last year, I grew mustard greens for the first time and loved them, so I'll do more of those, too.

What I learned about leaf veggies (although too late for last year): If I cut them off a few inches from the ground, most of them will grow back! And that includes beet greens. Cool.

Inside, I'm starting tomatoes (an Amish paste I discovered last year for sure), Barker's X-Hot chile seeds from my Left Coast Crime goodie bag, pumpkins, and basil.

What I learned about germination: Many of last years leftover seeds are viable for years, so I don't have to buy new ones - beets, radishes, cukes, tomatos, lettuce are a few.

There's something magical and soul strengthening about growing what I eat. Especially in these disturbing days of economic turmoil. Not to mention unknown chemical agents and who-knows-what.

You can join in, too. If space is limited, plant in pots. I've heard you can even grow a garden in a hay bale! That eliminates all the digging. And of course, you can always support your local growers by shopping at the farmers markets.

Heck, I might even try canning this year.

So tell me what your plans are. What's growing in your garden? Are you trying anything new?