Sunday, August 12, 2012

Time to Start the Garden

It's time to start our garden! Most of the country is finishing up but way down south it's time to start our seeds. We've had a lot of luck with cherry tomatoes so those are first on the list. I'm going to try some larger tomatoes again this year; maybe by planting around the correct time of year we'll have better luck with those. Collards were wonderful for us last year. I picked up some collard seedlings at Home Depot and those 3 plants were terrific producers. We were able to eat Southern Style Beans with Greens (veggie-fied) about once a week. We grew watermelons once that produced inedible, tasteless fruit after the rest of the garden was done so I want to try a different variety this year. I've been warned that watermelon will take over the garden so I'm leery about planting it along with everything else, but it's a favorite (when it's sweet and delicious) so I want to see what happens. I'm not sure what else to try; I haven't had any luck with strawberries so I'm not going to bother with those even though we love them. (I'll stick with our yearly road trip to some lovely strawberry u-pick fields.) Broccoli doesn't seem like we would get enough from a plant or two, which is all we have room for. I have some cabbage seeds pulled out to give those a try. It's too early (and HOT) for lettuce. I have some basil in a container. A basil plant went berserk for us and grew into a HUGE, lush bush one year, but I've never been able to repeat that particular fluke, try as I might. Beans grow well for us but they don't produce enough per plant to even make a side dish for the whole family; I'd need 20 plants but we don't have the space.

I bought a blueberry bush last year that was developed to grow in our area but we never got it into the ground and it finally died, which is sad. I've been keeping an eye out for another one but I got it at a farmer's market I haven't been back to. One reason I never planted it was because I wasn't quite sure where to put it!

I would love to put in a fruit tree of some sort but we don't have a lot of space for it. What we do have is squirrels, possums, and raccoons, and I'm not sure what to do about them. So far they haven't bothered our garden, maybe because of the dogs, but I think it's only a matter of time. If we had a fruit tree they'd be all over it for sure since it would have to be outside the fenced area where the dogs run around. I don't want to go over board attracting the critters since neighbors have had trouble with them getting into attics.

DH and I have spent some time recently getting the garden prepped for planting. The weeds grew in since I pulled out last season's crops so weeding was called for. We expanded; DH built a pre-fab raised bed from Home Depot for me. He put down purchased compost and organic garden soil for me today so it's all ready to go. The new bed will be devoted strictly to tomatoes. The older, larger bed will be for everything else.

I'd like to get a rain barrel one of these days to use for the garden but we don't have gutters so the rain falls off the roof everywhere; there isn't a good place to collect the water. Oh well; that's a project for another day. Maybe it will be our Earth Day Resolution for next year- gutters and water barrels.

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