Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Girl's Garden

OK, I know I said it was going to be a small container garden with not that much in it.... But I decided that I wanted fresh salads, which meant planting spinach and carrots and two kinds of looseleaf lettuce. And then there were the four *old* seed packets that my mom gave me, which I didn't want to throw away but don't really expect to grow. And I thought that maybe I ought to plant a few more beans, and now I really have to stop adding things to the garden before it takes over our lives. ;)

Part of the reason for my obsession is because I have really gotten into researching what varieties have the characteristics I'm looking for, and picking the seeds accordingly. When I was first starting (that is, with the peas, radishes, tomatoes, and spearmint) I just picked the first thing I saw at the store that looked good. Since then, I have devoted many hours to studying which type of vegetables would be best for our family -- and consequently wish that I had gotten a different type of pea, for example. Oh well. I'm sure we'll like them anyway. Below is a picture of how things look right now (please excuse the mess).

At current count we have:

  • 4 tomato plants. One is an Early Girl that I bought as a seeding, the other three are super marmandes that I grew from seed. I only have two hybridized vegetables in the garden: spinach and the early girl tomato plant. I prefer the more natural ones, thank you, but I could not find a single type of "regular" spinach at the store! The tomato plant... well, we were just a bit eager to have tomatoes is all I can say.
  • 1 radish plant. The others have been harvested already, and I have more than I need, so no second planting. They're Cherry Belles.
  • 19 pea plants beginning to bloom. The variety is Alaska, which is a more starchy type of pea, rather than sweet. :P But they are very early, which is a good thing.
  • 9 bell pepper plants, Chinese Giant.
  • 7 Henderson Bush Baby Lima bean plants, and three more just sown today. I wanted to determine which conditions were the best for growing butter beans, so I've tried several different methods.
  • 3 sweet basil seedlings, with more seeds recently sown but not yet germinated.
  • 1 window box sown with spinach, of the Correnta hybrid variety. Just today we spotted about 10 seedlings! Joy!
  • 1 pot sown with Chantenay carrots.
  • 2 small pots of lavender (from 1 seed pack dated 1998, and 1 seed pack that has previously failed to produce viable seeds).
  • 1 small pot sown with lemon balm, package dated 1998.
  • 1 small pot sown with rosemary, seed pack dated 1994.
  • 1 hanging pot sown with spearmint (not shown in picture). I since learned that mints cross really easily, making them hard to grow to type from seed. If these don't come up tasting like I want them to, I might chuck them all and just buy a mint plant. :) The seeds have just started to germinate.
  • 1 window box sown with lettuce (not shown). Half is Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, and half is Salad Bowl lettuce. Both are loose leaf lettuce varieties, and I'm fully expecting at least the Black Seeded Simpson to last me into the winter. I also bought a pack of Grand Rapids lettuce for a fall planting.
And that's IT. No more! I think.... :)

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3 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Alan

    People who didn't watch you grow up have no idea how amazing this is. I can't remember you ever having dirt under your fingernails before this spring. ;-)

  • Harmony

    Who says I have it now? I wear gardening gloves. ;)

  • Michelle

    That's a lot of plants! I am so scared to plant anything, as everything I touch ends up dying. I do know a family that grows a lot of their own stuff. They buy natural seeds from a company. If you want, I can find out the name of the place for you.