Sunday, February 22, 2009

Garden Dreaming

I am laughing that our fine editor-in chief, Mrs. Betsy, has listed me as a gardener with "lots of experience" ! If I happen to have any more experience than any of these ladies it is merely because I am the only one with a significant collection of gray hair and an age that is dangerously close to having a "4" as the first digit! Anyway, I am thrilled to be able to record our gardening journey this season and share what I am learning.

This February afternoon finds me stuck in the "reading, planning, dying for spring to arrive" stage of gardening. I have been intending to buy supplies to get our seeds started, but regular life just keeps happening all around me! As I have been able to create a spare moment I have been reading garden encyclopedias and books and jotting down notes to help in my planning (when to sow indoors, when to plant outdoors, companion planting, and so on). Our biggest challenge is that we are living right smack in the middle of a city and have very little sunlight. Last year I had several little garden patches scattered around the yard. I believe this will continue to be our only option, so I am having to plan carefully. I am also trying to aim for continuous crops this year and am attempting to take careful notes about which plants need new seeds sown every 10 days, which ones we should plant early-summer/mid-summer/ late-summer and so on. My focus is always on producing the foods we eat the most of: peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, and as many greens ( Swiss chard, spinach and lettuce) as I can possibly fit in our garden spaces! * Although I miss my herb garden dearly, I am trying to limit my herbs to window sills and containers so the sunny ground can be used for produce.
The book pictured about is one of my recent reads. It is packed with interesting and educational material. Although our family of 7 consumes everything our tiny garden produces, it gave me lots of ideas about storing locally grown summer produce. I highly recommend it! And now, regular life is calling again...happy garden planning to you!
* As an aside, this year I was able to keep Swiss chard going nearly all year round. I love my daily green smoothies and being able to go out and pick my own greens ( and organic greens at that!) was a huge money saver. Next fall/winter I am going to try some kale as well.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so interested in this book! Can't wait to check it out. I, too, usually just grow enough for our family to eat during the season, but in years past I've done massive applesauce and salsa canning with friends' garden produce, farmer's markets, and orchard produce. Maybe I can branch out this year. Still not sure about greens in the smoothies! Not sure I'm on that bandwagon yet. But I am planning to stagger some crops. I planted just a few greens--mostly because I had a few spots left in my little tray. The husband was delighted we'd "finally" planted seeds although I think it was a tad on the early side!