June 24, 2010
Last year I was having a baby in March, so we never got around to planting anything in our raised bed gardens. It had been fun during the summer of 2008 when we created the beds to practice growing things for the first time with the kids. We figured this year we would try our hand at it again.
Tomatoes (a few different varieties)
I think that's it. And of course we have three different herbs growing... Chocolate Mint (which has taken over an entire flower bed - if you don't love mint: PLANT IN POTS), Lemon Basil (still in my kitchen window in a tiny pot) and Lemon Balm (the best thing since sliced bread - wish I had more of it).
This year, the basil didn't re-seed. I was kind of depressed about that because last year it was everywhere and I had fresh basil on hand whenever I needed it. I figured I might try to replace it with the lemon basil this year... but it's so tiny still, that I haven't even been able to use it in one dish yet.
Texas is hard on gardens... the heat is rough. The nice thing, though, is that we have at least three growing seasons. Our lettuce is bitter (heat) but beautiful, the radishes and spinach really look bleak (doubt we'll get even one bowl of either), and the corn.... OH, woe is the corn.
TWO tiny nibbler sized cobs have been harvested so far - from four huge stalks. The other two rows of corn never got tall enough before they started growing... so I am not sure what will come of them. At least the fire ants are getting fed.
The cilantro never was. It sprouted and immediately died in the summer sun. I've never been able to grow it, so I buy it at the grocery store; just like I have been my lettuce this year. It's rough watching the lettuce grow in your back yard and having to eat the boxed stuff - because yours tastes like it has aspirin sprinkled all over it.
I did get three or four banana peppers and used them in some Mexican pinto beans one night for dinner. There are two bell peppers looking shiny and green on the plants right now. I can't wait to pick them. They aren't big enough yet.
I only got 4 little onions from the big one I planted. Still not sure how I went wrong there. I'll be planting those again later this fall from seed.
Our tomatoes are pretty much the big winners in our garden. They seem hearty enough to stand on their own - despite our lack of gardening skills. I love picking them just when they are turning yellow-orange and watching them finish to red on my kitchen window sill. Tomatoes are so much better home grown! The baby says, 'Mato' when he sees them, so he usually is the recipient of the cherry tomatoes that we bring in. One day he sank his face into a Roma (before we even knew he liked tomatoes). He just leaned forward when Chickie was telling him what it was and took a huge bite! Now we feed him tomatoes all the time.
If anything, our garden is pretty. My husband loves to water and care for it. It's his "therapy". He likes to unwind after a long day at work by taking the baby out with him to fiddle for a little bit. Baby K now requests that "dada" takes him "ouside" (and he points excitedly) as soon as he walks in the door.
I guess if there isn't much edible out there, at least our garden is serving other purposes. We sure enjoy using the few foods we grow when we are able to harvest our tiny crops. Even if you stink at gardening, I'd still recommend it. Keep trying. Eventually, you are bound to grow something worthwhile!