Monday, April 20, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Sometimes there's a pony or a shiny bike under the Christmas tree, and sometimes you get socks instead. Expectations are like that and, as hard as I try to cultivate that "que sera sera" attitude, the fact that last year our tomato plants looked like survivors of a nuclear blast (and produced about as well) was, frankly, a big disappointment.

And knowing that even the pros, and I mean some large-scale farmers, here in the valley had an equally crappy season didn't make me feel any better. I mean, I wanted my heirloom tomato salad to be made from my heirloom tomatoes. Is that too much to ask? (The answer, apparently, was "Yes.")

But because home gardeners are an optimistic, some would say delusional, lot, this year, dang it, is going to be different. This last weekend we hopped in the truck and drove to our neighborhood garden center, picked up some seeds and soil amendments and got to work. Within a couple of hours Dave's most excellent raised beds (in their third year and sturdy as ever, thank you) were weeded, amended and planted with what, I hope, will be a productive and delicious crop of:
  • Carrots (Parmex) - an orange variety from Nichols Garden Nursery; 1 row
  • Carrots (Atomic Red) - red, Nichols Garden Nursery; 1 row
  • Carrots (Purple Haze) - purple (is that cool or what?), Nichols Garden Nursery; 1 row
  • Radishes (Crimson Ladyfinger) - New Dimension Seed; 2 rows
  • Mesclun Salad Mix - Seeds of Change; 3 rows
  • Arugula (Apollo) - Seed Savers Exchange; 2 rows
  • Snap peas (Sweet Xing) - New Dimension Seed; 2 rows
  • Chard - three volunteers from last year
  • Rhubarb - a cutting from my pal Lindsey
The rest of the story is that the hedge of arbor vitae (on right in photo at left) that has screened our back yard "dining room" is going to be torn out with plans to replace it with an espaliered black mission fig. And the ash tree in the parking strip that is buckling the sidewalk and, worst of all, shading the boxes for a few hours a day, is going to come out this year.

I'm hoping to do (mercifully short) weekly reports on the progress of all these grand schemes, and I'd love to know what you're up to in your gardens this year in your part of the world. So let's start talking!


Anonymous said...

My lack of tomatoes ( '08 growing season) was due to the "oh so cute doe" that learned to jump our yard fence. Not only did she eat my tomato plants, but munched on my young citrus trees. This year we are putting a tall fence around the raised beds and crossing our fingers.


Kathleen Bauer said...

I feel your pain, Glassylady. If you live in "deer country" it's hard to keep the buggers out from what I've heard. Let us know how it goes!