We started small with the existing flower beds. Tomatoes and peppers were our gateway
drugs veggies (yes, I know tomato is a fruit). And then the carrots—I never knew they could taste so good.
Then, one day my husband dug up a new garden that was 10 feet x 15 feet. Then, we expanded the areas along the back fence. Then, we began using the front flower beds. (Oh, yes, we did.)
A crazy thing happened in the last few years. (Yes, maybe more than one crazy thing happened.) Mostly, I discovered that growing food isn’t that hard to do. Just about everything can be planted and left alone until harvest.
We’re busy, so we spend a few hours to plant on a weekend or two for each season. After that, we do what we can:
- Water the plants. Most plants can survive and thrive if you don’t water everyday, but don’t let them dry out.
- Check for bugs. This one is annoying, especially during butterfly season. I don’t mind those as much as the squash bugs that can take kill all the squash and zucchini before you can harvest a single thing. The only solution is to squash the squash bugs. **SHIVER**
- Harvest before the plants bolt (go to seed). As soon as leafy veggies get too warm, they send up the flowers and get bitter. If any bolt before you get to them, let them flower and feed the bees.
Some plants need to be trained on the trellis so they don’t end up all over the yard (and destroyed by the lawn mower—some teenage boys aren’t very observant about what’s growing. Sigh.).
Right now, we have six kinds of tomato plants, three kinds of peppers, cucumbers, onions, spaghetti squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, Peter Pan squash (couldn’t resist the name), acorn squash, and a variety of herbs. We have plans to add potatoes, green beans, and okra. Did I forget anything?
Two of the three asparagus beds are producing, the cauliflower is almost ready for harvest, and the brussel sprouts are sprouting. 😀
Growing a garden isn’t as scary or as difficult as I thought it would be. The flavor of the homegrown food is so much better than stuff in the produce section at the grocery store. I’m glad I got over my worries and started digging.
Do you garden? If so, what kinds of food to you grow?