4.02.2008

What's growing in our garden

We are on-again, off-again gardeners who have decided to start taking our gardening seriously again. This year our daughter is three and a half, old enough to be very interested in growing things and to even be some help in the garden, so it is much easier to get out there and work than it was when she was two. Our main garden this year consists of six raised beds (four of them 4x10', and two of them fashioned by closing up the three-foot aisles between each pair). Next to it we have a small strawberry bed with half its plants in their second year and the others new plantings. We're in zone 8ish so spring comes early.

Last year we created a growing frame/shadecloth scaffold out of bamboo and it has served us well. It needs a few minor repairs but this year it will help support some of our tomato plants and some squash vines. We'll write more on the workings of the plant support system we've devised in another post.

Other than the squash, which we've had a tough time with in the past, we're growing things we have proven in years past we can succeed with. That means peppers (lots of habaneros and serranos, plus a few bell varieties for some balance), cherry tomatoes (we have a few full-size tomato plants in the ground too, but it's the cherries that really take off for us), salad greens (above, mesclun mix, and some spinach elsewhere), and okra (direct-seeded later in the season). Beyond that we have some herbs in pots which are destined for an herb garden in another location if we get around to clearing it.

We're also making a second annual attempt to start some more fig trees growing. We have one that is about 15 years old and produces a fantastic crop most years, and this year we bought about ten fig tree starts at a local horticultural garden plant sale for a steal at $5 each - green figs, brown turkey figs, celeste, and other varieties we haven't even heard of. Something has to take.

We learned a few years ago that gourds, of all things, do really, really well in our garden. One of my gardening resolutions for this year is to get these gourds into the hands of some people who can use them - kids, crafters, and so on - which could be a fun project in itself.

We haven't exactly needed many of these gourds since they cured, but I have to say, looking at this pile, particularly the gourds of dinosauric proportions, and remembering their lush growth and summer hardiness, makes me want to grow some again. It would be time to get them in the ground now, if not earlier, so that may not happen for another year. Maybe we should get rid of these first!

2 comments:

Karen said...

This looks like a fun site! Can you tell me if you have information on cedar mulch use in a garden? Thanks and good luck?

Karen said...

Sorry I meant THANKS AND GOOD LUCK!!!