I’m fairly certain that my gardening “technique” mirrors my life “technique”. And by that, I mean it’s largely organized chaos with far too much going on, and a general “roll with it as you go” mentality.
Every year I have spent in Maryland, I try to improve and get a little better at gardening. Unlike many in my family, I was not blessed with a green thumb, or at very least, I can say it hasn’t come naturally. Living in Maryland, I have come to realize the importance of light direction and strongly believe that every apartment I lived in in New York City had small windows that always faced the “death” direction- no matter what direction they were in. I never had any success with any plants in the city.
While I like reading, I don’t like reading directions, be it blasted Ikea furniture assembly, or researching tips on the best ways to deter pests. Instead, I see, I do, I ask around, maybe research solutions and then I react. This same principle applies to my gardening as well. If I had simply sat down and fully researched gardening techniques and tricks I’d probably be a lot further along than I am now but as it is, I’m feeling pretty good about this year. I’ve learned a lot in trial and error over previous years and this year Mr. C and I decided to dive on in and successfully started dozens of vegetables and herbs from seed and now find ourselves with the delightful (?) problem of having too many plants.
Here’s a breakdown of what we have so far:
- Peas along the back wall trying everything in their power to not actually climb up the spokes I set for them
- Edamame in black plastic pots of questionable durability
- Rogue strawberries
- 3 types of sweet bell peppers
- 2 types of eggplants (for now-2 more Japanese varieties likely to come)
- Too many tomato varieties to count
- Enough squash to take over an acre of land
- Carrots in random pockets of the raised beds
- Bok Choy in surprisingly organized little rows
- Hot peppers in just about every level of spiciness available
- Cilantro popping out in ever corner at various stages of growth
- More mint than necessary
- Bagged potatoes
- Basil. Always basil.
- More thyme than necessary
- Leafy greens
- Dill (mainly for Monarch Caterpillars)
- Garlic from last fall that’s taking in blessed time in actually being ready to harvest
In the typical disorganized- chaos that I construct my life by, we found the need to make several additional raised beds. Additionally I’ve been making guerilla-style potato bags made from a roll of landscaping cloth that had been discovered in the back shed, probably left there from the previous owners.
I still have more seeds as well as seedlings to plant, however and have been regularly grabbing up large old plastic pots from work to them scatter around every conceivable surface of yard, driveway and porch that get acceptable sunlight.
As previously stated, organization is not my strong point and I’m curious to see how long it takes before I completely loose control of the garden.
This past Mother’s Day weekend I am excited to announce that we used some of our first home-grown greens in my Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad. The only change we made was adding some freshly minced cilantro.
I plan on continuing posts throughout the season about the garden and its successes, failures, as well as any delicious culinary creations but in the meantime, please share with me any gardening tips you might have!