Everything’s Coming Up Vegetables
It’s the beginning of June, and I’m finally seeing the fruits, or should I say, vegetables, of my early spring efforts.
I started seeds for the first time in late winter indoors, under grow lights. That was a fun distraction from the gray cloudy days in the Pacific NW area I live in. So neat to see the little spouts of lettuce and Brussel sprouts popping up! I transplanted most of those into my raised garden beds and pots on my deck. The lettuce has done the best! I put in a pot (and yes it’s way too crowded) but thin it out when I need lettuce for a sandwich. There’s a little frog that lives in that pot, hidden by the lettuce, and pops his head out when I clip lettuce.
My raised garden beds are doing great! (The M-Braces from Art of the Garden look better and better on the large raised bed.) I call myself the Guilty Gardener because I’m usually planting things incorrectly or late or early. But what a joy to see the miracle of little seeds sprouting, and potatoes coming up! I pulled my first radish this morning. I discovered how yummy radishes and Brussel sprouts are slightly browned in garlic, onion, a little bacon and olive oil in a pan. Can’t wait to get a full bunch of radishes and try that out with produce from my garden. My tomato plants are starting to get little yellow flowers, and the blueberry bushes are developing berries.
In the raised beds, the Oyas I inserted prior to planting are paying off. I fill them with water about every 5-8 days, and I can tell the plants closest to the oyas appreciate the water that seeks into the soil around them. Plan on using more Oya’s next year. You can see them in photo below sticking their necks out of the soil.
I also started my shade garden, and the bare root hostas and astibles are doing great. There’s also some new plants from that gardeners heaven “Annie’s Annuals” in east bay San Francisco area, north of Oakland. I have an artichoke plant from there that’s taking off wonderfully! I’ve always loved them full grown, they’re lovely just for the plant foliage, even if you don’t eat the artichoke it produces.
The lesson in all of this: You don’t have to be a Gardener with a capital G. You don’t need fancy tools, or a perfectly planned out garden plot. To garden, JUST START. Plants seeds in any old pots you have. It doesn’t matter if they match or color coordinate. Dig up a plot of grass, add compost and top soil, and plant some summer seeds right into the ground. You’ll learn so much from everything new you try. Some plants will fail, or get eaten by slugs, or stepped on. But others will flourish either with, or in spite of the care you provide to them. Flowers will bring you joy in the colors and fragrances, and watching bees buzz around them. Herbs will leave scent on your hands with you touch them, and liven up foods when you cook with them (try fresh herbs in tuna salad sandwich from your garden….so good!). Add some fresh mint to your iced tea or mojito in the evening and sit on your patio. Vegetables from your garden will taste so much fresher and amazing than what you eat from the grocery store. Get your kids involved in helping you. They’ll LOVE planting the seeds, helping to water and harvest them, and they might find they like foods they’ve resisted in the past.
Just get started. You’ll discover a green thumb you never knew you had.