Last week when I bought all my little plantlings, I got three containers of zucchini squash. They looked so large and leafy and lovely, I couldn’t resist them. I didn’t get a chance to plant them last weekend so I just set them aside.
When I called my relative mid-week to find out how the plants were doing, he asked, “Why’ja buy so many zucchini plants?
“What? I only bought three containers. That’s not too many.”
“Yes it is when each container has six plants! We’re gonna have a lot of zucchini to eat!”
I went over to the house this morning to finish putting out the squash and other plants and discovered that my beans are already sprouting. I just sowed them a week ago today and some of them are three inches tall already!
In my excitement, I came home this evening and I googled snap beans to find out the yield per plant. I expected just a modest amount — enough for a serving a week for a couple of months or so. I almost fell off my chair when I read the yield estimate is about four or five pounds of beans per plant. Um… I have 32 bean plants. You do the math.
We still have a little more soil to dig up and we’re trying to figure out what else to plant. (Certainly not beans or squash). So far, we’ve planted 32 snap bean plants, cantaloupe seeds in an unknown quantity, five tomato plants in several varieties, a watermelon plant, three sweet pepper plants, one jalapeno pepper plant, French thyme, cilantro, basil, rosemary, lavender, and, of course, eighteen zucchini plants.
I’ll have to stick bags of produce in unlocked parked cars just to get rid of it all.
Until next time.
Lori G. (c) 2009
I’ve heard a saying that one is supposed to plant rosemary by the garden gate and lavender for luck. Well, my rosemary isn’t right next to a garden gate but it is along the driveway to a garage. Does that count? And I did plant the lavender purely for good luck.
After three weekends of pulling devil weeds (aptly named) and slinging steer manure (no comment, please), I’ve started planting. I sowed a long row of Kentucky Wonder snap beans and bedded the beginnings of my Mediterranean herb garden: Tuscan rosemary, sweet basil, Spanish lavender, and coriander. I plan to add some thyme and parsley when I can find some plants at the nursery.
That was yesterday. Today I mulched the herb row and then started to break the ground for my tomatoes, peppers, squash and melons. I did not get very far with that. The patch of ground, which is adobe clay, has not been dug up for nearly twenty-five years and has had no water except for rain. Consequently, it is, excuse the cliche, hard as rock. First, I tried digging with a shovel, then with two different post-hole diggers. I finally resorted to watering the soil until it was mud and then using a huge pick to bust up the ground.
I swear those little plantlings, all lined up and waiting to be planted, were watching me and snickering. Anyway, I only got the tomatoes planted before I petered out. The rest will have to wait until next weekend.
Whose idea was this anyway? Oh, yeah, mine.
All kidding aside, it has been a learning experience for me and I won’t regret the hard work (and the nasty blister I have on my thumb) when I bite in my first beefsteak tomato.
Until next time………..
Lori G. (c) 2009
Quite unexpectedly, I now have the opportunity to plant my own garden. Living in an apartment for nearly two decades, I could not pass up this chance. I come from very long line of earth people — farmers and gardeners — ever since my first ancestors crawled out of the primeval forests of Europe and broke open the soil. So, I figure I’ve got to keep the tradition alive one more generation and try my hand at coaxing some goodness out of the earth.
Since this garden is in a relative’s backyard and about a twenty minute drive from my home, I won’t be able to work on this project every day, but I figure if I put in a couple hours each weekend, I will be able to start planting in a few weeks. Even though it is late in the growing season, there are not usually any frosts in this area so I should be able to have fresh produce all during the autumn and winter.
But, there is a lot to be done. Today, I spent an hour and a half clearing dead grass, trash and weeds from the plot. Next week, I’ll get rid of the pile of wood (in the picture below) and yank out the remaining weeds. In weeks to come, I will break up the ground and begin nourishing the soil. I hope to begin planting by the end of September (or sooner). I will be documenting this endeavor with notes and photos.
Things are looking pretty bleak at the moment. But I consider this little dust bowl like a blank canvas waiting for an artist. I just hope I live up to the challenge.
I had to stop for the day when I filled my green barrel with dead weeds. Thankfully, the trash man comes tomorrow just in time for next weekend’s fill-up.
Lori. G. (c) 2009