Wednesday, September 28, 2011

garden lessons

what i have learned in this summer of gardening:

- gardening is supremely frustrating. i have harvested exactly two tiny zucchinis and had to replant my indeterminate tomatoes twice before giving up and buying transplants that (finally) actually grew.
- one square of basil from seed (last year) is too little. four squares from transplants is an overabundance. next year: two squares, from transplants.
- also, four squares of lettuce is an overabundance. this fall: two.
- but there's nothing like fresh arugula.
- peas don't like heat. or something. mine all died.
- strawberries send out a lot of runners and take over. i think i'm going to build this.
- on that note, cucumbers also grow a.ton. next year, this.
- don't forget to label your garden, lest you forget what you planted. what i assumed was broccoli i discovered (too late) was actually cabbage.
- two squares of swiss chard is WAY too much. pulling up the second square was totally worth it.
- no need for two kinds of parsley. definite need for marjoram and tarragon.
- beans need to be trellised like crazy. WOW those suckers can grow. also, "pole" beans is a misnomer.
- corn was pretty much a waste of time.
- onions were totally worth it. so much so that they may get a (new) dedicated bed.
- tomato hornworms are pretty much the.most.vile.bug.ever. like, ever. (fortunately, they can be organically controlled with Btk. ON MY SHOPPING LIST.)
- sage pesto? amazing.
- also amazing: fresh tomatoes macerated in fresh chopped basil, chopped garlic, a spinkle of salt, and a dizzle of olive oil.
- best memories ever: working in the garden with my daughter, teaching her about plants, hunting for strawberries with her, and watching her savor a tomato fresh off the vine while juice and seeds run down her chin.

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