I have to say, it's really quite comical that I'm writing a post about gardening, let alone any kind of gardening advice. Because in reality this is my first grown up garden.
My gardening resume includes an impressive garden during my childhood, which as far as I can remember, I did little to help maintain–other than planting a few seeds and harvesting sweet corn in my socks. (I always went outside in socks. No shoes. But socks.) And I'm sure I put in my one hour of weeding here and there. My mom's classic rallying cry was always, "If we all put in one hour of (fill in the blank for some chore none of us wanted to do, ie. weeding) that's four man-hours of work!!!" My sisters and I especially loved when she'd use this proclamation to get us up and "motivated" on Saturday mornings.
I also had a piddly half row in my grandmother's garden while we lived on her farm, and threw some flower seeds in a patch of dirt in the middle of the yard, when we moved into this house in early Summer. Which to my surprise turned into a perky little plot of zinnas and cosmos with no help from me.
Are you impressed? Me either.
So this year marks my first grown-up garden. My first attempt at growing food (other than eggs) and possibly storing bits of it away for the winter months. Which I suppose depends on my initial success.
Our approach to gardening this year is Try it. See if it works. Learn from it.
We'll see what happens.
Over the weekend most of you know that our neighbor came by and plowed our plot. Just a word of advice (see I'm already spewing advice and I haven't even planted one seed), if you're having someone else plow or till your garden, you may want to give them a smaller proportioned garden than you are planning. Dan and I stood back and watched as each swipe with the tractor seemed to get longer and longer and longer. And we're now committed to quite a sizable plot of upturned earth.
Today, Mr. Dorsey came back with the discs on the back of his tractor and ran over it several times, breaking up the large clumps and shouting to me from his tractor that "My cookies were really good and he'll bring back the container soon!" But it still needs a good tilling and this weekend we'll put up a fence around it–an attempt to keep these curious hens from gobbling up innocent seedlings as they poke through the ground.
So what's going in this ambitious garden? Well, I'm glad you asked, because when I went to my order on the Park Seed website, I noticed that somehow half my order is missing. I must have deleted some of the order and now I need to go through it again and add more. But what we plan to plant are the following (with absolutely no reason for choosing them other than the three sentence description in the seed catalog which makes everything look perfect. And easy.) :
- Jersey Knight Hybrid Asparagus
- Kentucky Wonder Bush Beans
- Everlast Hybrid Cabbage
- Nantes Organic Carrots
- Temptation Hybrid Sweet Corn (we had this at a church picnic. It won Grand Champion at the MD State Fair. It was the best corn I've ever had. Not sure if that's attributed to the seed or the sower.)
- Eureka Cucumbers
- Speckled Swan Gourds (i LOVE these!)
- Sugar Snap Pea
- A Variety of Tomatoes including a purple tomato
- A blueberry bush or two.
- Blue Moon Lilliput Aster
- Cinderella Asclepias
- Dahlia Mix (Bishop's Children)
- Purple Majesty Ornamental Millet
- Maya Daisy Gloriosa
- Summer Berries Yarrow
- VanGogh Sunflower Mix
- Park's Pix Zinna Mix
We'll still probably add a few more things here and there from local sources. One of Dan's customers gave us nice tomato plants last year (oh! add that to my resume). And Dan put this R.H Shumways Illustrated Garden Guide in my hands last night, which is equal parts art and seed catalog. It is lovely. And now more things are catching my eye.
But I'm always ambitious at the start. And then the heat and humidity set in and I can barely gather enough energy to get dressed let alone weed a garden.
So there's my gardening plans and/or advice. Which in truth, probably isn't worth a hill of beans.
[images from the RH Shumway Illustrated Garden Guide]