Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

Edible garden status

It struck me today that this is the first year I seem to be more interested in other plantings in my yard than in my square foot garden box.  I don’t know why exactly – some of it is because I’d been working on a big project in the front yard (gravel path and surrounding beds) and in back (digging and establishing new beds around the new deck) and also some of it may be because all of the perennials I’ve planted in front are in their 2nd and 3rd years so they have really filled out and started looking wonderful so I’m occupied with maintaining those.

As for my veggies, I’ve been pretty lame.  I actually got the garden ready to go and cool season vegetables planted earlier than I’ve ever done so, but I can’t seem to decide on growing anything else.  I have peas with edible pods for the boys  which they’ve really been scarfing up, so I’ll probably plant another batch because I’d like them to have them around for more of the Summer.  I have some mixed leaf lettuce which is doing pretty well, and my chard is sort of sitting there doing nothing.  I bought some cabbage starts and put those in, but that’s IT!  There’s a huge garlic plant from last year, some self-sown cilantro from last year, and a couple of rogue potatoes that somehow hid themselves since 2007 and decided to come back.  I don’t have space for any squashes, the kids don’t really like green beans enough to grow many more than the ones in their box (and Chad won’t eat them), I moved all tomato operations to the side of the house near the berries so the kids could forage more easily, so… yeah.  I have space not being used.  I do have a big flat of basil seedlings in my kitchen window that seem to be stuck at 2″ tall which I sort of planned to move out to the garden, so maybe that will take up a row.  It is just so funny to me that I’m feeling ambivalent about veggies this year when several of my friends (and other cool people) are just getting started with theirs.

june15_09veggarden

I did make a smaller box for the boys this year and theirs is doing pretty well.  Evan wanted cucumbers  (only a few of his sprouted seeds survived the bugs), Justin wanted green beans (which he likes to eat raw but not cooked, so we’ll see how that turns out) and the third row was planted with zinnias – fast-growing, huge flowers, and they can pick as many as they want and don’t have to ask me first.  The pots in the foreground are “extra” cherry tomatoes I grew from seed which didn’t fit next to their flatmates now living by the raspberry bushes;  I couldn’t bear to toss them so I’ll try to give them away.

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My herbs are in their own space behind the veg garden and they’re doing well.  I added several more mints to the family last year and they are in big pots at the edge of the herb garden.

Apple mint and orange mint

Apple mint and orange mint

The bright point of all this edible news is that the strawberries are doing GREAT and we’ve gotten a small harvest!  The raspberry bushes are loaded with green berries and a handful of them are starting to get pink.

Strawberry Patch (that big rock props my gate open)

Strawberry Patch (that big rock props my gate open)

june15_09strawberries

The kids’ pizza garden is looking good, the pic is after one month of growth (scroll down to a previous entry for pics of it when it was started).  The tomato is very happy, the chives and oregano are, too, but I’m not sure if the pepper is going to do anything.

june15_09pizzagarden

It is quite early yet to assume I’m “done” with veggie planting – I may just get inspired in a month or so and go crazy, but for now it will be minimal, and I’m okay with that.

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Kid Project: Pizza Garden

The kids have always helped me with my gardening and loved it, but this year I decided to give them their own spaces. One of these spaces is in a huge pot I placed  in one sunny corner for them to have as some sort of theme garden.  Out of the ideas I suggested and other ones we discussed, they decided they wanted to do a Pizza Garden.

The pot had some soil in it from a prior use but we dumped out half of it and put in a bunch of compost.  They had fun stirring up the “dirt stew.”   I had gotten starts for a cherry tomato, greek oregano, and a sweet yellow pepper, and those went into the pot.  I have a ton of basil seedlings growing in my windowsill which aren’t big enough to go outside yet, so while basil would be yummy for a pizza garden, the boys planted garlic chives seeds in their pizza garden instead.

The day before, the boys painted a little sign for their pizza garden.  The flat rock was painted white for the crust, red “tomato sauce” was painted on top of that, and then Justin painted “PIZZA” onto the sauce.

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Hey, look, I’m blogging

I’ve been tempted over the years to start a blog, but always stopped myself thinking I could never have enough words of interest to post on a regular basis.  Sure, I have passions, interests, and living subject matter I could yak about, but why would anyone else care?  Well I decided to get over myself and do it anyway, and to focus on a subject in which I am currently enmeshed:  gardening.  I still consider myself a novice gardener, though I’ve been in my current home and garden space for seven years, and I “gardened vicariously” though my mother throughout my childhood.

Our yard was pretty bare when we moved in – a few shrubs and trees, and some dorky-looking primroses which were placed under a big sycamore tree clearly to attract home buyers, which I promptly removed despite being 8+ months pregnant.   I have done a lot since we’ve lived here, yet when I look outside I see so much more that I want to do – such is the nature of gardening.  In general what I have to work with right now is a couple of mixed perennial beds in the front yard and a small patch of lawn, an edible/kids strip along one side of the house (raspberries, strawberries, and this year cherry tomatoes; all flanked by stepping stones we made together),  a 6′ x 6′ raised bed in which I grow vegetables in the square foot gardening manner,  a new-this-year 3′ x 3′ bed for the boys right next to mine, a little herb garden I made a couple years ago, a small shade garden next to our shed, a perennial bed where our late kitty was laid to rest called “Rambo’s Garden”, and a new deck (okay, new last Summer) around which I’ve just dug and started planting several new beds which will be filled primarily with annuals this year.  Oh, and my back yard also contains a wooden swing/playset thing on an island of wood chips and a really ugly big trampoline.