Garden Party

vegetable gardenTwo weeks ago I felt a cold coming on, so before it hit me hard I got very ambitious and planted a mess of starts in our backyard garden. And for once, I took notes on what we planted/what the plants need–because even if I put the little plastic markers in the dirt that contain all that information, I never go back and look at them again. We’ll see if this method works any better.

I’ve since been sick as all get out (perhaps because I did about 4 hours of hard garden work rather than resting that day?), so I never posted this.

vegetable garden

What we started with: some scrubby herbs hanging on for dear life, onions that we planted in the fall, and some weedy-looking things. Needed to dig all this up.

vegetable garden

Amended the existing soil with one bag of Miracle-Gro dirt for vegetables and one bag of compost. (Bought the pansies just because.) I don’t think growing our own vegetables is more economical. At least, not the ways in which we’re currently doing it. Baby steps.

vegetable garden

Was pleased to see so many of these guys when I started turning up the dirt. Refrained from making a worm-ring a la Ramona the Pest.

vegetable garden

Ah, so much better. Now ready for new plants.

 Planting Notes

Walla Walla sweet onions: 90-100 days from transplant (end of June/early July). Stop watering when bullying starts. Harvest when stalks begin to brown and fall off.

Oregon Sugar Pod peas: 64-70 days (mid June). Non-climbing. Water thoroughly, dry out between waterings.

Spinach: 45-50 days (mid-May). Water 2-3 times per week until established. Cold-tolerant.

Oak leaf Green Salanova Lettuce: 55 days (late May). Breakthrough lettuce (what is this?)

Romaine lettuce: 75-85 days: (mid-late June)

Broccoli: 50-80 days (check mid-late May).

vegetable garden

All in. Except for the pansies. (Cane planted those for me about a week later.)

vegetable garden

The spinach isn’t looking quite so lovely two weeks later. Some of the leaves are yellowing. Not sure if it’s getting too much water (from rain) or not enough. Will need to investigate now that I’m feeling better.


16 thoughts on “Garden Party

  1. Sarah says:

    Your comment about “I don’t think growing our own vegetables is more economical. At least, not the ways in which we’re currently doing it” is pretty interesting — for me that harkens back to the earlier discussion about the usefulness/utility of creative products and the kinds of creativity we allow ourselves to engage in. What if gardening is simply puttering in the dirt, and happens to yield some veggies as a happy byproduct?

    In a way, there’s so much emphasis these days on the economics of DIYing (as a means of stepping outside the buy-and-sell economy, radical homesteading, etc.) that we miss the spiritual point of actually doing the work. DIYing as a means to an end rather than and end in itself. Composting as soulcraft! 🙂
    Sarah recently posted…On Spring TransitionsMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      Oh, I like “composting as soul craft”! Yeah, I don’t see our gardening as a super-useful thing. I don’t think we’re saving money, and I don’t know nearly enough (or have enough patience/time/etc.) to be self-sufficient. I do like, though, that I know everything about where these particular vegetables are coming from, and there’s something really satisfying about eating food we’ve grown. And it tastes really good. That’s enough good reasons for me!

  2. Gretchen says:

    I saw the title of this post and then, before I even let myself read it, I went out and planted all the seeds I’ve been meaning to plant all week. You’re an inspiration :). Also a lot farther along in gardening than I am. I’m not sure I can do early season stuff effectively. It seems to be freezing cold then suddenly 90 here every spring. We’ll see.
    Gretchen recently posted…DIY Copper Shelves for the KitchenMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      Well, we’ll see here, too. This is the earliest I’ve planted. Usually I’m never even thinking about gardening yet, but I swear that spring started back in February here. Glad to hear that you got out there yourself. 🙂

  3. Jen says:

    I so wanted to plant a garden! But our attempt when I was working long hours was fairly disastrous (husband didn’t remember to water or weed). Plus, if we were going to do it, we should have done it at the beginning of March. *sigh* Hopefully next year – when we are in *our* house & I am here, we will plant a little garden that provides an outlet and some dinner.
    Jen recently posted…Weekly WanderingsMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      Cane is the reason our yard looks as nice as it does. I’m big on planning and planting. Follow-up? Not so much. I’m lucky we live in a mild and forgiving climate. (Well, most of the year it is. Forgetting to water in the summer = quick death.) I hope you’ll be in that house soon.

  4. Marian says:

    Hope you’re starting to feel better, Rita. It’s nice to see you gardening (it’s nice to see *anyone* gardening 🙂 ; we don’t plant until near the end of May, although there was a lot of prep work going on here this past weekend – lots of people outside, raking and cleaning up perennials). I’m with Sarah – there’s something very soul-satisfying about playing in the dirt and watching things grow. I’m not sure who said it, or if it can even be ascribed to one person, but I always think of the saying, “we take care of our gardens, and our gardens take care of us.”
    Marian recently posted…So a Meat-loving Omnivore Comes to Dinner at a Vegetarian’s House …My Profile

    • Rita says:

      Thanks for the good wishes, Marian. I did really like playing in the dirt that day. The worms were amazing. And it felt good to get sweaty and tired. Much better exercise than going to the gym!

  5. Lisa says:

    I would love to have a garden, but after a few less than successful attempts, I think what I really want is someone to garden for me and deposit a bounty of vegetables in my kitchen every so often. I love the idea of gardening, but in truth, do not enjoy the reality of gardening. I will cheer your efforts from the sidelines! Hope you are feeling better.
    Lisa recently posted…New house #12My Profile

    • Rita says:

      If I were just moving into my 12th new house, I don’t think I’d feel much motivated to garden either! And when you find the garden fairy who will deliver bounty to you, sign me up, too!

  6. Kate says:

    I’m sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well, but hope you’re around the bend. A doozy of a cold can be the WORST.

    I’m loving your garden. My daughter and I are trying our hands at it this year. The woman who owned the house before us made a beautiful 6×8 bed on the south side of our home but I’ve been busy settling in the house and have ignored the yard. This year we got out and turned the dirt. It’s still a little early for me to feel safe putting anything in the ground but I’m having fun talking about all the things we are going to try. I’ve only done herbs in containers before so it should be interesting!!
    Kate recently posted…Tuesday ThingsMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      Can’t wait to see what you put in there. We’ve done herbs in the bed before, but I think I’m going to do those mostly in containers on our deck. So much easier to snip them for cooking when they are just steps from the kitchen. This is our third year. I don’t think we ate anything the first year–it was all learning what not to do. Last year we got some peas and onions. I learned that carrots need a deeper bed than we had. We’ll see what works this time around.

  7. May says:

    I have never tried broccoli. Somehow it looks like it ought to take more skill than I have. Last year I discovered that potatoes are the easiest thing in the world to grow. I have a good crop growing well this year as well. Somehow they are immune to my ungreen thumb.
    May recently posted…HappyMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      Our broccoli turned out…OK. I loved the taste of it, but we didn’t have much of it. And I waited to long to pick some of it. It never got quite as bunchy as grocery store broccoli. I think I’ll definitely try it again next year, though.

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