Budding Vegetables & Gardening Zen

You can only read so many books and web articles about vegetable gardening before you just have to sack up and do whatever is that you have been reading about. By reading and reading and reading, we ended up putting off transplanting for a really long time. Luckily, it hasn’t done any lasting harm to our plants. Check out the buds on the tomato, jalapeno, and bell pepper plants. I am woman! I make vegetable!

What’s that you say? You can’t see the buds? Well, they’re really small, OK?

Annnnnnyway, some form of procrastination leaked into the rest of our original planting schedule and temporarily poisoned our will to plant. I don’t know why we kept putting it off, but eventually we were reading packets that said to plant “2 to 4 weeks after temps reach 65 degrees” or some degree indicative of early springtime. It is so not early springtime anymore. But who cares, I say! I laugh in the face of seed packets! I am woman! I make–you get the point.

So last night when I got home from work, feeling a little tired, a little discouraged, a little envious of other organizations’ websites, whatever, I decided June 12 seemed like a perfect time to plant my early spring vegetables. You know, I just went for it. Who cares if it’s not radish season anymore according to some packet? It’s always radish season in my heart. So I got Jordan to drill some holes in some buckets, and we planted. Radishes. Lettuce. Zucchini. Cucumbers. Carrots. Just like that.

And I felt connected to Ceres, goddess of grain and harvest, as predicted in my cost benefit analysis of vegetable gardening. And I went inside feeling calm–respite gleaned by burying treasures and digging in dirt.

A Few Updates from April & May

Ok, I know we haven’t posted in forever, but we are making lots of progress. It’s just now I have less time to write about the plants because I am too busy looking at them from inside my kitchen. Nevertheless, here are a few highlights from the past month & some:

  • I have officially turned Jordan into a lean, mean, watering-plant machine. He can water plants all by himself and without reminders! Go Jordan, you deserve chocolate chip cookies for your effort!
  • Our tomato plant grows like a foot a day or something. I like to peek out the kitchen window where it’s safe from bugs and heat and to make sure there aren’t any squirrels threatening our plants and seriously, every time I look, the tomato plant is taller!
  • Even though the seed packet said we were supposed start jalapeno seeds indoors, we decided to pull a Hail Mary and scatter some more seeds in our jalapeno pot. The squirrels attacked the poor jalapeno constantly for the first few weeks of it’s life outdoors and we’re hoping new plants will survive and thrive despite our breaking the rules listed on the back of the seed packet.

Now for the bad and shameful news: we are so behind in our planting. No lettuce started, no radishes started (missed that boat), also nothing else. Forget this planning stuff, we’re in panic mode and we’re just going to throw some seeds in some pots and see what happens.

We are also growing herbs but not nearly as many as I wish. I think if we started a garden in the ground instead of in pots,  I would make it a giant herb garden! We have oregano, basil, thyme, spearmint, lavender, and lemon verbena to start. I think my original wish list included garlic, chives, anise, mustard, elderflower, dill, french tarragon, borage, caraway, coriander, lemon grass, jasmine, sweet bay, sage, peppermint, sweet marjoram, nasturtium, parsley, rosemary, and scented geranium. And that’s only a partial list…

One of these days, I’ll have something like this, give or take a few herbs:

Landscape Plan: Herb Garden from HGTV.com

1. Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides)
2. Dwarf Mexican sage (Salvia leucantha ‘Santa Barbara’)
3. Curly parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
4. Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), a lavender variety
5. Purple basil (Ocimum basilicum ‘Purple Osmin’)
6. Anise sage (Salvia guaranitica)
7. Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
8. Golden oregano (Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’)
9. Thread-leaf tickseed (Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’)
10. Purple parsnip (Angelica gigas)
11. Purple sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’)
12. Bee balm (Monarda didyma ‘Cerise Queen’ or ‘Blue Stocking’)
13. Dwarf Joe-pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum ‘Galaxy’)
14. Purple basil (Ocimum basilicum ‘Red Rubin’)
15. Goldenrod (Solidago ‘Fireworks’)
16. Variegated lemon balm (Melissa officinalis ‘Aurea’)
17. English thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
18. Hardy rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Arp’)
19. Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)
20. Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus)
21. Tricolored sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Tricolor’)
22. Korean mint, Mexican mint (Agastache urticifolia ‘Honey Bee Blue’)
23. Toothache plant (Spilanthes oleracea)

Here’s to dreaming!