Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I’m Back! Ready to share the summer with you!

Well, I apologize that I’ve been slacking on the posting lately, but when I get home from work I feel like my life is a whirlwind of things that need to get done or be tended to.

First, remember that gorgeous new puppy that joined our family in March. Well, let’s just say, he is a bit high maintenance. And, we discovered I’m not the most nurturing type, at least from the perspective of having to constantly watch and clean up after the little tiny thing. When he’s finally resting in his cage I end up taking the time for a much needed rest. He’s growing up fast and we’re all into more of a routine so I’m not feeling quite so frazzled. Can you imagine if I had kids? Scary to think... Bear looks all cute and sweet here but don't let him fool you!

Perennial and vegetable gardens have also been consuming my time. I really ramped it up this year to improve our harvest. I added a new garden that is about 20’ by 50’. We amended the soil well with mushroom compost and sand tilled into the ground.
In this new garden we planted jalapenos, japanese eggplant, butternut squash, yellow squash, zucchini, beets, green beans, dill, carrots, radishes, and snow peas. All the plants are growing great so I think the amended soil will prove to be well worth it.

Our fenced in garden has horrible soil and gets the harshest sun exposure. For this garden we brought in a mixture of mushroom compost, sand and mulch. I’m hoping the mulch addition will help this garden retain moisture therefore being gentler on my little plants. We have planted sun loving varieties of vegetables that really withstand the sun, such as, sweet corn, cayenne, habanero, poblano, and hot hungarian wax pepper along with tomatoes and cucumbers.

In another smaller garden that's up against the house I've planted a variety of herbs such as lemon thyme, thyme, lemon balm, sage, tarragon, and lemon verbena. This garden was planted on March 1st with many vegetables that can be started in the cooler season.

In this garden I've also planted beatuiful 'bright lights swiss chard', romain lettuce, fennel, beets, rhubarb, kohlarabi and glorious peas. I've never grown kohlarabi and fennel before so I'm pretty curious to see how these plants turn out.

The kohlarabi plants are gorgeous. I've heard they are great in salads or roasted.

Swiss Chard is one of my all time favorites along with peas. The swiss chard I planted is the 'Bright Lights' variety and is known for the brightly colored stems and veins that run through the plant.

Swiss chard and peas are so versatile, and beautiful while they are growing.

One can cook peas and chard in a variety of ways or simply saute them with a little butter, salt, and pepper for a little vegetable side. Both are prolific growers and the more you pick the more they will continue to grow.

I’ll continue to share my garden with you in future posts along with passing on ideas of ways to take advantage of a hopefully bountiful harvest.

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