Tuesday, May 18, 2010

planting a vegetable garden - stage 1

Today I planted seeds in the garden beds around my house. I did some preliminary reading in a book I picked up out east. It's called Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens. Though I didn't copy author Barbara Pleasant's garden plans precisely, there is a great deal of valuable information and useful tips to starting small but thinking long term about the use of your garden space. With lots of useful diagrams and beautiful garden photography, this book is a valuable addition to my food library.

Most of my edible plants were planted on the south side to maximize sun exposure. Tomatoes are especially fond of direct sun and heat. I'm waiting on leads for heirloom seedlings to put in after the long weekend. If you know of any nurseries nearby I would gladly promote them on my blog. I will check out the downtown farmer's market as soon as I have a work-free Saturday morning.

Other things I planted:

Lettuces risk burning their leaves if droplets remain on them as the sun comes overhead. They need a bit of morning shade. I planted Boston butter crunch and arugula behind the shade of our big stupid air conditioner and have already resown once.
Along a trellis in the yard I started sugar snap peas a week ago and then planted scarlet runner beans today. My strawberry plants took a licking from the unexpectedly hot temperatures and my ineptitude at getting outside to keep them hydrated. Some made it and I'll pay extra close attention to them, I promise. My dad replanted his rosemary plants outside after a long winter on the kitchen windowsill. They are hardy mamma jammas and I think will do even better now that they have all the extra sun and fresh air.

Around the back of the house there is a large box planter that I visited last fall with an abundance of tulip bulbs. I seem to have only used one side of the bed though, and now it is home to my little herb garden. Today I planted Genovese basil, slow-bold cilantro, Greek oregano, and garlic chives. The chives have incredibly aromatic purple flowers when they go to seed. I don't know if the oregano will mature this year. It might do better next summer, but the seeds are in the ground at least. I am very excited for the basil. This varietal produces big sweet leaves that make amazing pesto if your crop does well. I think I want to pick up some mint and sage too. There is a bit of room yet in the box and the tulips wont mind.

I'll keep you posted on whatever comes up and any more additions I make to the garden. Maybe some nightshades... or some sunflowers. In the meantime, get out and enjoy the sunshine!

1 comment:

  1. just make sure your mint is contained, else it will spread everywhere!