Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Garden – Update #1

Today is Thursday, May 9, 2013.

Well, it's been a pretty cold and snowy spring this year, and the temperature has not been very accommodating for spring planting until just recently.  Instead of planting seeds as I thought I would, I elected to plant established seedlings to make up for the late start.

My dad made me an 8 x 4-foot raised garden box right next to the one he made for Mom last year. (The sawhorses in the picture are still there from building. Dad will no doubt take them back inside soon, if he hasn't already.)  He also lined it with plastic sheeting and filled it with soil for me.  Then my folks and my sister and I went to a really great nursery in Iowa about a half-hour's drive from here.

In my post on April 1, I wrote that I wanted to plant carrots, potatoes, spinach, onions or leeks, radishes (specifically, the Japanese daikon that looks like a white carrot - they call them icicle carrots here, I think), spinach, and lettuce.  Since I had to choose from what there was at the nursery, I decided to forget the potatoes, except for two sweet potato seedlings, and forgo carrots, radishes and spinach in favor of zucchini and acorn squash.  Instead of leeks or green onions, I chose to plant red onions, and I decided to do more herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (because I'm a child of the 60's), plus basil, mint and chives.  I did get a lot of lettuce.  I should probably have gotten fewer lettuce plants and more spinach, but what's done is done.

Since I've never had the opportunity to cook with fresh herbs before, I will have to do some serious research on recipes with the herbs I planted. I also want to figure out how to dry some of the leaves to store for later use in the winter.  As for the lettuce, the plants already need to be cut, and I may not be buying much lettuce in the store this summer.  Fortunately, zucchini and acorn squash can be cooked and frozen to use later, if I end up with too much.  Or I can learn how to can vegetables.  That might be too much for me this year, but I will learn how sometime.

To mark out the squares for the square-foot garden, I used those screws with a round "eyelet" on top and marked off the sides of my garden box to figure out where to put the screws.  Then I threaded fishing line through the eyelet of the screws and tied it off at the screw on the opposite side.   I had made a "map" of my garden the night before, so I knew which seedlings to plant in which square.  I put all the seedlings in the correct square, then set about planting each one.  When I was finished, I had a horrendous backache, but I was able to take a picture of the garden, and I was really proud that I got all the plants in  before it rained that night.  We've had rain on and off pretty much since I planted the garden, but not so much that it will wash out the plants.

So far, so good....  I'll keep you updated on the garden as the growing season progresses.  :-)

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