Wednesday, March 5, 2014
So recently we found these little guys, Gourmet Baby Lettuce growing in the oddest of places, between two railroad tie steps. Is life not amazing?! It's survives and strives & pushes through! I tend to baby my garden. I fret and fuss about the soil and how much water is enough or too much. This little lettuce had a lesson to teach me and Mother nature seemed to be saying, "look here's where baby lettuce wants to grow". The steps here get very little direct light. So, this set us on a new course.
My goal is to someday have enough vegetables to feed us, year round. I would love to can tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, salsa, pickles, all of it! To do that we'll need a bit more garden space I think. So I'm observing our yard anew to see where we can grow and how we can grow using what we already have.
This led us to dig out a new, in ground garden bed.
I'm so excited about this bed. It's on our side yard very near a large pine tree in our front yard. It's easy access from the kitchen, yay! Because it's so near the pine tree the soil seems to be perfect. It was easy to dig out. Michael and I finished it all including placing the rocks in under an hour. The soil is so rich and wonderful feeling, we didn't need to add a thing to it. We already had the rocks that we've been pulling out of the back yard in order to make more room for flowers and veggies. This area of the yard gets mostly indirect light so I researched plants that might like that (besides our baby lettuce) and today we planted Everbearing Strawberries, Purple Bush Beans, Contender Bush Beans, Lemon Thyme, Chamomile, Greek Oregano, Onions, Italian Parsley, two Spinach varieties, Kale, some of that rougue Gourmet Baby Lettuce and red cabbage.
In the Southwest the biggest garden hazards, that I've noticed at least, are the sun and Spring winds. I'm learning that the rules of Sun/ Shade & where veggies like to be planted are very different here than in other parts of the country. Now when I pick up a plant that says "plant in full sun" I chuckle a little bit. Unless it's a cactus almost all plants like a little shade here. I'm hoping these veggies will be happy. Eventually I would love to see the strawberries take over.
New in the garden this year are potatoes! I've never grown them before so I am super excited to see what happens. We started them in the mostly shady side yard in a big pot and coffee sack.
Last year, despite excellent soil, the plants in this bed did not do so well. After observing it for awhile we notices that the sunlight is spotty. Last year I tried planting nasturtiums, Sunflowers, cucumbers, zucchini and watermelon here, all sun loving plants. This year I'm trying some of the colder weather root crops like onions, Carnival Blend Carrots and leeks. We've planted spinach and lettuce here as well.
One of our square foot garden beds is also planted with Spring veggies, beets, spinach, Red Sail lettuce, Kale & Red Cabbage. This bed is in full sun so it will be interesting to see how it does.
Our tepee is planted with Peas at the moment. Purple Triumph Pole Beans will be planted around the poles. We're hoping for a play tepee by midsummer!
This bed at our front door is all about Spring flowers at the moment. The boys were so thrilled to plant flower bulbs. We're going to scatter seed here soon for Summer flowers and see what comes up.
We've been working so hard at getting our garden beds ready and I'm tired but it hardly seems like work to me, I love it so much. Are you beginning your garden planning? Any planting yet?
Until next time...