Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Life is Sprouting

Look at those baby cucumbers, reaching out from the soil and into the wild blue.

I promised you a veggie post. I mustn't keep you waiting.

On Earth Day, I took the short drive to the garden center and stocked up on leafy tomato and pepper plants, fragrant herbs, and bright flowers. This purchase, paired with the seed packets I bought as soon as the displays were out, signaled the new season.

Once the wind died down and the soil was worked, it was time. This year we added a fourth raised bed. Now they're all planted, waiting to grow. Here's my view from the back windows:

Greeeen acres is the place to be!

The homestead is looking pretty nice, isn't it? The best thing about living in front of a pasture is getting the rustic view without the rustic work.

First are the front beds (closest to the house). On the left, okra seedlings are popping up throughout and the soon-to-be trellised cucumbers are against the back. Next are the strawberries and bush beans. I put in strawberry plants about a month ago. Since then, Nathan and I have eaten four! You haven't seen a harvest photo because the berries don't stick around long enough. :) These beans were also seeded by Nathan. I'll have him out there picking before we know it.

A petite strawberry flower eager to become a tasty treat.

Directly behind those plots is a bed full of herbs (basil, oregano, and cilantro), marigolds, and seeded zinnias that are just starting to sprout. Although we may use herbs for cooking, this bed's job is to attract pollinators and deter pests. Isn't companion planting grand? To make the most of this we left the trellis in place from the failed spring experiment and planted pole beans. Green beans will surely get eaten around here!

One of the pepper plants still dwarfed by its cage. Hopefully not for long!

And in the very back are the tomatoes - my pride and joy. This year I have three Early Girls, three Arkansas Travelers and two from a pack labeled "Rainbow Blend." I'm anxious to see which colorful heirlooms weigh down those vines. So anxious that I saved a third plant and potted it. I love a surprise! Grouped with the tomatoes are my peppers. This year we're trying two Anaheim chili plants to add a little heat. We also have four tried and true bell peppers.

There you have it. Our "third time's a charm" vegetable garden. Over the years I have learned valuable lessons the hard way. Getting my hands dirty is the best method and I've not even scratched the surface. I plan to soak up this knowledge and use it for as long as I can.

Here's to an overflowing veggie basket with your name on it. Happy Wednesday!

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