Grow Seeds Grow

This year I wanted to try to grow vegetables from seed. Last year I bought all of my plants from the nursery, except spinach. I was such a novice gardener I planted my spinach seeds the first weekend of June. They never grew past a few leaves because we had such a hot summer.

This year I was anxious to start the garden and to plant some veggies from seeds, so I did my homework and learned spinach prefers cooler temperatures. So do peas and carrots. Into the ground they went the first weekend of April and wallah! Look at the progress thus far:

Spinach at 2 1/2 weeks

Spinach at 2 1/2 weeks

Spinach at 4 weeks

Spinach at 4 weeks

Peas starting to spout at 2 weeks

Peas starting to spout at 2 weeks

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Peas at 4 weeks.

I’m hoping this means I am off to a good start and that soon we can eat spinach salad!

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Adventures of a First Time Gardener

My newly planted garden: cucumbers, beans, tomatoes and zucchini.

We decided to plant a garden this year. In another post, I mentioned that part of our yard was once an expanse of gravel. The previous owners did not have a garage. Instead they had a parking pad. We  decided to forgo a garage as well. After all, everyone else on our block parks on the street. One of the reasons was we wanted to keep some yard space and add a  garden.

In order to plant the garden, my husband had to dig up the compacted gravel first.  What a chore. It was a painstakingly slow process for many reasons. First, the gravel was several layers deep. Second, did I mention it was compacted? Third, once he dug down, he uncovered all sorts of uh, interesting yardifacts (artifacts from our yard). Among other things, he found:a bottle from 1965 from a now defunct local brewing company, a radiator belt, rusty nails and screws, glass, pieces of metal siding, pieces of cut up trees, bricks, concrete chunks. I was thinking there might be a body or some bones in the near future.

Needless to say, after unearthing all of that junk in only a small section of the former parking pad, I did not want to grow anything edible in that ground. My talented and handy husband built a raised garden bed instead. I made two trips to the store for peat moss, soil and manure and he filled up the bed. I selected a variety of vegetables at the garden center and with the help of my mom planted them in the ground on June 2nd.

One thing I have discovered with young plants from the nursery is that it is difficult to know exactly how old the plant is you are buying. I assumed that I had a certain amount of days for each plant before being able to enjoy fresh, homegrown vegetables. Already it looks wonderful and all I have done is add water and pick a few weeds.

The Garden a few weeks later

Zucchini plant 19 days after planting

Bush Beans

Tomatoes

Stay tuned for more pictures and highlights about what is happening in my garden.

My Backyard

One of our Blueberry bushes in the backyard.

I know I said a few months ago that I was going to get back to blogging regularly. Rather than bore you with the reasons for my interruptions, I’ve decided to adopt the philosophy of one of Tom Petty’s songs. He sings:

“It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going, what lies ahead I have no way of knowing. Under my feet, the grass is growing, it’s time to move on, it’s time to get going.”

So, speaking of grass and nature, I have been busy outdoors a bit. Specifically in my backyard. When we moved into our house almost two years ago, we knew the yard needed a lot. We had a large, grassy space, a gravel parking pad and a swatch of bright orange day lily’s to work with. We took it easy the first summer and did nothing but acquire a lawn mower and water the grass. Last year we decided to do away with the gravel parking pad and start to strategically plan where we would like to plant living things. We didn’t get very far, only buying annuals for pots and a few fruit bushes.

As this third summer began, I was thrilled to discover fruit ripening on our blueberry plants. I think those fruit bushes are saying they are very happy because this year we have harvested four cups of blueberries from this plant alone.

I can’t wait for the rest of the summer to unfold. Stay tuned for more updates from my backyard.