Nonetheless, it is of import to interject here ... this first time grower of vegetables is having the time of her life. All these years with a vegetable garden just a vision on my "want-to-do-it-someday list", I don't think I could have predicted how much gratification I would get from this type of gardening. The joy of watching over these plants and nurturing them along to harvest has greatly increased my passion for gardening. Just the principle alone of sowing a seed into the ground and provided it has some light, water, and nutrition it will grow into a plant has me in awe. But further that the plant produces fruit that produces its own seed and the cycle starts all over again is something that stirs my soul.
On to the Veggie Garden Update
Saturday I harvested my first (eightball variety) zucchini and (goldbar) summer squash. (Seeds from Pinetree Garden Seeds)
Even though he was very impressed ... hubby claims that stir-fry side-dish costed us $1,000. HA... he's a funny one. It was a bit of an exaggeration. If only I could have gotten by without having a tree removed a couple of weeks ago for the sake of better sun coverage. That's when hubby got involved weighing the cost. Alas, with that short discussion over with ----together we gladly savored the delicious flavors and freshness.
Note to Self: Pay Attention to the Seed Packages
(2) 8 x 4 raised beds - seed sown (except for tomatoes and peppers) March 10 and March 17.
When the seed packages include instructions (Pinetree Garden Seeds all do) they become a necessary tool especially for a first timer. For instance, "Plant 1" deep when soil warms 3-4 seeds per hill. Baseball size fruit grow on bushy plants. 55 days." Each seed variety with its respective instructions.
Next time I sow seed I'll know to pay attention to the instruction- they really do mean what they say. My little raised beds are over flowing with plants even after I've thinned a couple of times.
The lettuce was harvested for the fourth time this morning. Have to say this has been a big (but happy) surprise. The results have been more than I could have hoped and I'll be able to sow this same kind of seed again in late summer for a fall harvest. It is the Heatwave Blend of six different varieties from Burpee. Even though the description claims it can take some heat I had serious doubts it could take our Zone 10 heat. At the bottom of the package there's this little note... GARDEN HINTS: Lettuce grows best in cool weather.
We've had daytime temps in the upper 80's for a couple of weeks now so we shall see how long it lasts.
The first "Fresh Market" tomato is beginning to turn. I've been watching this one (above photo) like a mother hen. Each morning and night and sometimes in between if I'm already outside I take a look to be sure no little tomato-eating-critter has tampered with my first regular sized tomato. Even though I've harvested several of the smaller variety (patio) tomatoes and couldn't be prouder of them (they are very yummy)... I don't know why... but when this one is harvested it will somehow feel like I've grown a real tomato.
Saturday it was decided to remove a row of marigolds that were originally seed sown in front of my lone row of (bush crop) cucumber. It was my design plan to see the marigolds draping over the edge of the bed. Once again it was my fault for not leaving enough room for both rows to have their way. The marigolds did so well standing tall blocking the sun and air space from the cukes. They are now happily adapted to their new home... some in a container and some in the ground at the SW corner of the back garden where it is sunny and fairly dry.
I guess I have caught the seed-sowing bug... if there is such a thing. What seemed so risky and so daunting before I ever tried it now seems so fun ... so challenging in a good, healthy way... in the way that I just have to see if I can make it work. Do I have what it takes to help it grow? What does it take to help it grow? What and when to do what needs to be done. Just figuring it all out is half of the enjoyment. I've still got loads to learn. Every success is the reward that keeps the process going.