Post # 104 Veggies Fresh From the Garden!

March 18, 2013 at 3:40 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Okay, since I’m back in the land that raised me, I’m pretty familiar with what grows well and what doesn’t, around here.  So the FinL and I have decided to put in a garden in the back yard.  There’s already a spot for it laid out in a rectangle divided by brick walkways into four equal parts.

The first thing we had to decide was how to keep the Terrorist out.  He likes to chew everything, and from experience back in Oklahoma, I know he’ll chew plants down to the ground.  So, I’ve been looking at fencing options that are going to be sturdy enough to keep the dogs out, and do double duty by providing support for those plants that need it.  Haven’t made up my mind yet, still doing research.  Somehow, I just know that chicken wire is going to feature heavily in this.

Next, we had to decided what to plant.  We want vegetables.  We need vegetable that everyone is going to eat.  You may recall from a post last year that I did container gardening and created a sort of salsa garden where I raised tomatoes, Anaheim peppers, and cilantro (among other herbs.)  I’m doing that again this year, but since I have so much more room, I’m going to add things, too.  So, I’m going to have four cherry tomato plants, and four pear tomato plants.  That’s one quadrant filled.  I’m going to plant several herbs, definitely basil, cilantro, and chives.  So that’s the second quadrant filled.  I want to do green beans because there’s nothing better out of a garden than fresh green beans and they freeze beautifully.  And I want to do a couple of rows of carrots and radishes.  So there’s a third quadrant filled.  That leaves a fourth quadrant empty.  I thought about Brussels Sprouts, or lettuce, or cabbage.  Then I thought about peas, but I’m the only person who’ll eat them.  So I’m still pondering what to put there.

Finally, we had to decide when to plant.  We had a strange winter this year, and late frosts.  You have to wait for the frost to be gone before you plant.  But now, it appears that’s all behind us.  I bought a cherry tomato seed starter kit and have a ton of seedlings growing in my laundry room in the sun.  In about a week, I’ll thin those down to six healthy plants.  Two will be for my sister, and four are for us.  By the time the tomatoes are ready to go in the ground, it’ll be time to plant.

Things grow very fast in the desert.  Part of that is because the soil is so nutrient-rich.  This area was once the bottom of an ocean.  All we have to do is make certain that weeds don’t take over, and that we give them enough water and shade for those that need it, and we’ll be ready.

We’ll even be able to make two or three harvests of those we like.  Once we pull up all the radishes, we can plant them again in the same spot and get another crop in a few weeks.  Same thing for the carrots.  The tomatoes will produce as long as the freeze stays away so they’ll continue on into December.  The herbs will just grow like weeds like they always do.

So it comes down to what to grow in the fourth space.  And what to do with all the extra vegetables.  I’m looking forward to being able to walk into the back yard and grabbing veggies when I need them rather than having to go to the store.

I’ll let you know how it goes.  In the meantime, eat right and enjoy!


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