Going for a green thumb this year…


    Hope springs eternal, right? A certain beloved of mine has quite a love affair with strawberries (and blueberries, and blackberries). I've come to terms with this stealing of my affections. I've even come to the point that I will even encourage said love affair. Blueberries and blackberries are a bit beyond my ken, but strawberries? They seem easy enough. Of course, last year's bloomed beautifully and bright, began to fruit, and then one day, just withered. And I do mean withered. Like the story of Jonah's vine. Boom. Gone. Now that I know more, I think the tomato got a bit hoggy with the soil in the raised bed and sort of cut the poor gal off at the roots. So a new girl has been put in place- right now she's only sharing with sunflowers, clear on the other side of the box, and we're all crossing our fingers and shooing away the sweet little birdies whom we dearly love but who we do not want share such choice food with.
    The spring "crops" are in, as the boys have taken to calling them. (They share daddy's desire to move to a farm some day and "have big John Deere tractors!" I think they are more enamored with the shiny green tractors (or the thought of them) than the actual food.) Lettuce, spinach, and carrots. The rest have to wait for the last hard frost, and then we will have peppers (red and green, "like stoplights, mommy!"), tomatoes, one (!) zucchini plant, cucumbers, squash, bush beans, and sweet corn. I want to plant sweet peas (the flower, not the vegetable) around our front stoop- I think they'd do well in the funky shade/sun mix there. Oh, and we can't get forget the sunflowers. The boys declare that no garden is complete without them, and there is one for each child, and baby Bean too. We planted dwarf ones last year, which only grew about three feet, which was nice for our short little toddlers. But like the sunflowers, the two older boys have shot up about a foot since then, and they want "big tall ones! Taller than daddy! I'm drinking a lot of milk, mommy, so that I can get taller than daddy and taller than the sunflowers!"
    We plant our garden in raised beds, based on the square foot garden method. Our soil here is a harsh red clay that is really not useful for much of anything, especially since our home (built about four years ago) was built 'slash and burn' style- removing all of the topsoil and all of the trees and vegetation before grading and putting in the foundations. There's no soil to really work with or amend. It doesn't even grow grass very well. Oh wait, Lorelei says the clay makes good mud pies. She would be the expert on that. I've learned a lot between last year and this year about companion planting and other things, so we'll see. The next big thing is to learn how to can. Last year, I froze a bit here and there. (This was before we had a stand alone freezer, which my mom and dad blessed me with at Christmas, so I couldn't freeze much.) Which reminds me, I just found some blackberries from last summer as I was taking stock of my pantry and freezer. Just thinking about them is making my mouth water…I think some blackberry cobbler is in order. Guess his heart is going to get stolen a bit early this year.


One response to “Going for a green thumb this year…”

  1. i have been meaning to get here and leave a comment for a couple of days now. argh! computer time goes so quickly.
    i love your new dress. it’s really, really pretty and fresh. ๐Ÿ™‚
    we are doing SFG this year too. i have spent so many wasted years trying to amend soil and been so discouraged. i figure i’m due for some easier fruit. ๐Ÿ™‚
    i’m dreaming of some delicious tomatoes….happy sigh.

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