May 9, 2009

Gardening, Part 1

Oddly enough, I suppose due to the beautiful weather we've had, I've had several customers and friends mention they are starting gardens for the first time. Congratulations if you're starting one too!

Growing up, we always had a huge garden. I resented it every morning at 7 am when Mom would drag me out of bed to weed and water the garden. And I took for granted the yummy bounty of beans, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, etc that we pulled out of garden.

That is...until I became an adult. Just a few years on my own and I was yearning for a garden. We lived in an apartment for several years and I had a balcony garden...herbs, flowers, and more. I never tried veggies since we didn't get a lot of sun.

Now we're in a house and our landlord was sweet enough to let us put in a garden last year. We chose to do raised beds, partly so we could avoid tearing up our rented yard and partly so we could control the soil quality. Last year we grew a little of everything...tomatoes, tomatillos (those didn't work at all), potatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli, bell peppers, beans, swiss chard, romaine, spinach, garlic, zucchini, strawberries, blueberries, cantelope (that didn't really work either) and gosh, probably even more that I've forgotten.
This year we're growing fewer things but more of them. More beans, more broccoli, spinach, more carrots, swiss chard, and garlic have been growing since March. I just bought a couple of pepper plants today. We're still planning to do zucchini just because it's so fun and easy to grow.

Does it sound overwhelming? I promise it's not. We use a method popularly known as "Square Foot Gardening." More on that in Part 2!