Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Garden Girl.

When I woke up yesterday, I wasn't feeling too well- a bit achy and sluggish.  I was worried that I might be coming down with some sort of illness, to which I thought, "Oh no! Not now, I've got too much to do!"  I forced myself into a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt, walked into my kitchen, poured a large glass of milk and walked out onto my back patio.  The scene was not one I was proud of: crabgrass, dandelions and birdseed that had exploded into random weed-like wildflowers every which way but up.  The persimmon badly needed to be pruned, the oak trees had dumped a sea of thorny leaves that blanketed the flagstone... Our roses looked absolutely splendid, but it was clear that the rest of the yard needed some much deserved attention.

I had promised myself to have the edible garden planted by the end of March and with several trips planned in the upcoming weeks, it was time to buckle down and get to work.  OSH was calling- no, screaming my name and there was no way I could ignore it.  The weather was perfect, and although I wasn't feeling 100%, I pushed myself to begin the daunting (but awesome) task of getting absolutely knee deep in garden dirt.

First thing was first- buy plants.  I made my way deep into Clayton to our favorite homeowner haven, Orchard Supply Hardware.  Thank goodness I'd already decided what I wanted to plant or I would've spent about five hours wandering the aisles in sheer awe of planting possibilities.  Instead, I chose a cart full of goodies that we'd find useful in our kitchen, along with a few fun wildflowers to toss about. I chose Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, Mortgage Lifter heirloom tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, poblano chili peppers, Dixie yellow squash, Funny Face orange pumpkins, red potatoes and green onions. Our yard gets unbearably hot during summer months, so we try to farm hearty, warm weather plants that thrive in the 100+ degrees, 80% of the time in full sun.  We've had success with all of these veggies, along with our plums, cherries, persimmons, apples and fresh herbs.  

Before I was able to actually plunk these sweeties in the ground, I had to make sure the soil was deep enough and at the right moisture level to receive them without throwing the plants into shock, once free from the cozy confines of their seedling pots.  I purchased two 40 pound bags of organic compost garden soil, rich in nutrients to add to my rows and got to work turning the fresh soil into the native soil, little by little.  With the help of a few curious neighborhood kitties (batting at the corks I kept tossing around) and my oh-so-modernized watering system (i.e. me standing there with a 50 foot long hose), I was able to create the perfect planting conditions in just under an hour.  Yay!  In the little sprouts went.

I ended up actually running out of space for every single plant I purchased- three tomatoes and 3 chili peppers are still waiting for their permanent homes, but I'm pretty satisfied with the results thus far.  The potatoes and onions were easy, as you can just push them into the soil here and there.  I'm off today to collect a full home-kitchen herb garden, because as we all know, growing fresh herbs is far superior to using dried if you have the resources .  It's always a gamble choosing where to set up our herb garden, due to the changing plant environment and sun exposure throughout the season, so I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

I'm glad I got out there yesterday, looks like the weather is turning a bit grey and chilly today.  Hopefully it wont last too long, so I can get back out there to dig up more fun.

Be well,


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