How Does Your Garden Grow

I come from farming people. Just a generation or so away were people who grew food for a living, and in between there are a slew of folks that grow food for personal and family sustenance. As a child I hated gardening chores – weeding, harvesting, “putting up.” My parents have always had large gardens, and my father tends the vegetables while my mother grows flowers. I was never excited about helping them, but now with some space of my own (and a bit of maturity) I am in my fourth garden season and have finally tried my hand at starting some seedlings. They seem to be successful so far, despite not having any additional lighting other than what comes in the window. I haven’t had any luck getting the hot peppers to germinate, but they can take a long time, so I’m not giving up on them.

Here, some tomatoes. I think they look like little dancers with their arms out to the side.

And then, some nasturtiums. They are extremely leggy right now so I’m wondering if they’re going to grow into themselves once they’re outside and not having to reach for the sun so much. Their leaves remind me of lily pads.

Outside, I planted a batch of radishes several weeks ago, and they’ve already made astonishing progress, despite the grey, wet Spring we’ve had. An early shot:

And a more recent one:

They’re probably double the size of the second photo now, and I can see some red bulbs pushing out of the soil. A few more weeks and they’ll be garnishing a salad. Yum.

Today I planted some beets, carrots, chard, and a second batch of radishes. I tried to let the girls out while I worked, because they have really been enjoying dining on the Spring insect life. But the RI Reds and the Polish Buffs just can’t stay out of my business, so they were underfoot and threatening to scratch up my seeds. I’m afraid the era of free-ranging chickens is temporarily over, unless we can motivate to fence in the oh-so-tempting garden with its ample annelid and tasty new shoot supply.

Make no mistake, I am but a clueless greenhorn. I’m trying to keep my expectations low and see what happens. I’m learning a lot from Barbara Damrosch’s Garden Primer and from the folks who used to put me through the garden paces: my family.

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This is an article that was posted on May 9, 11:22 PM.

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