Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Project Green Thumbs: It's not too late to start your veggie garden!

Confession: I gave serious consideration to planting only tomatoes and basil this year. Why waste time on the other stuff when all I really want is bruschetta, right? Well, when my schedule suddenly opened up last month, I thought I may as well make good use of my time and dirt.

But you know what I did? I planted 12 tomato and six basil plants in my front yard (more on that later), and a few obligatory cucumbers in the back garden. And that was about it. It wasn't until last week that I got any seeds sewn.

The good news? The seeds are sprouting and the veggies I planted just a couple weeks ago are growing like weeds. I write all this to say: It's NOT too late to start a veggie garden. Grab starter seedlings from a local nursery for plants like tomatoes, peppers, squash--produce that needs a good while to mature. But for beans, leafy greens, herbs, radishes, there's plenty of time to start from seed.

If nothing else, promise me you'll get a couple big pots and grow basil and tomato. They're the best thing about summer, I'm sure!

The smartest gardening thing I ever did: Planting herbs on my front porch. Walking from the kitchen to pinch cilantro, basil, thyme and oregano is easy even after dark.
Cucumbers a week or two after planting. This year I put marigolds in the garden box as opposed to keeping them in separate pots. Marigolds help ward off harmful bugs like aphids.
Since these little flowers kicked off, I may get some faux fleurs to adorn the pots.
Fingers crossed these heirlooms actually produce something this year. Last year's crop was abysmal. 
You want to know what true love is? That little plant in the far right corner of the box. Although I hate yellow squash, it's a Mr. T fave.
My first squash!
See how fast things grow? Just a few weeks between this photo and the ones above. Sadly, my backyard garden is heavily shaded during the afternoon which deters growth.
Itty bitty cherry tomatoes.
Cucumbers starting to creep.
A week later and the cucumbers are long enough to trellis.
Zucchini and beets from seed over here. We'll see if these survive. A neighborhood cat keeps digging up the box.
Baby cuc!
An incredible sight to my eyes: Bountiful tomatoes! This snap is from my front yard garden. More on my tomato secrets soon.
Sprouts in less than a week. Radishes grow super fast!
This is me being a grown up.
SPROUTS! (Pardon me, I still get really excited at the miracle of greenery emerging from little brown seeds.)
Do note that cucumbers will try to take over and hold on to everything with sticky curly runners.  I usually plant them near a trellis to maximize space.
Tomato, the first!
A few more days and I'll be bragging about my first tomato sandwich of the season.
If you plant squash, give it room!
Garden runts: Peppers.
T's first squash should be ready tomorrow.
Contemplating stuffing the blossoms with chevre and lightly frying. Anyone have a good recipe?
xoxo,
shawna

Other Green Thumbs posts:
Season Five to-dos
Aerobic gardening dos and don'ts
Garden pests and problems
Kick-off and sprouts!
The number one rule of gardening

2 comments:

  1. I absolutely advocate stuffed squash blossoms with goat cheese! I took this recipe and used it for the batter (perfect!) and then adapted the stuffing - http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-fried-squash-blossoms-57209
    For the stuffing, I did about 1/2 C. of goat cheese, some parmesan (I didn't measure), basil, oregano, and enough milk to smooth out the mixture so it was easily spreadable/stuffable. Enjoy! I'm jealous...I want more squash blossoms!

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