Sunday, May 20, 2012

From Garden to Table

As we plan our summer gardens, we always seem to either not have enough time, space or help. Okay - I have enough of them but I'd rather be doing something else during the critical times to get things done.
This year, I got some help from my neighbor and master veggie gardener, E.S. She came over and I showed her my space, asked what would work well in the hot summer I think we'll be having and we brainstormed until I got a great plan under my belt. Tomorrow, I'm planting corn and zucchini and watermelon. I'll add to my small crops of lettuce, beets, spinach and the one surviving carrot. There's a row with all four of them in it that I planted the day before a rainstorm. Not surprisingly, the largest seeds survived the best. My peas are a little more than ankle high and I have great hopes for them. Now to weed the strawberry patch and thin the pears and peaches. So much to do....
When we plan our gardens, it's good to get as many of those in the house willing and able invovled. Also, I find it helpful to have the rows far enough apart that my garden rake and hoe weed for me (18" to 2 ft). Getting on my hands and knees to weed is not my idea of fun. Planning for the harvest to happen when we're in town is sometimes a challenge too. So this year I'm trying the staggered planting that so many have told me about. And I've added a mulch pile to dump everything (that doesn't have dairy or meat in it). Add the grass clippings and leaves and it's not bad for a start.
When I look for seeds, I avoid the hybrid varieties. That way if I'm ambitious at the end of the season and want to store seeds for next summer, I have seeds that will grow.
Good luck to everyone in their plans, execution and harvests.

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