There might be snow on the ground here in Maryland but we are just weeks away from putting things into the ground, like peas and potatoes. If you start plants inside, this is fast approaching also. I call my mom the boss gardener, she has been maintaining a rather large garden since well before I was alive. I have seen her have a garden now at 4 houses. Seeing her work in her massive gardens throughout my life has inspired me and my two sisters to also become a gardener. A tradition I hope to pass down to my kids. Growing your own food is not some trendy new aged agenda. The first humans on earth gardened as a means to survival. Gardening allows me to cut my grocery bill down, and know where my food is coming from and if it was treated. It is an adult play ground that involves blood sweat and tears. Literally, the roller coaster of gardening is more than I can take sometimes. You can spend months preparing the garden only to lose the battle to drought or bugs or animals. I am a beginner and I have been gardening for about 7 years. Not sure if I will ever not call myself a beginner, it always seems there is more to learn.
Starting off this year I met with my mom (the boss) and my sister Amanda who has been at this a little longer than me. I showed them my list of things I want to grow this year which includes:
- Flowers: nasturtium, sunflower, marigold, calendula, zinnia, candytuft, forget me not
- Herbs: rosemary (my last bush was left behind when we moved), cilantro, oregano, parsley, basil, dill, lavender, sage, peppers to make my own paprika
- Roots: beet, carrot, sweet potato, golden potato, onion
- Greens: collard, spinach, lettuce, cabbage
- Squash: pumpkin, butternut zucchini, yellow squash, spaghetti, and maybe acorn
- Other: eggplant, sweet pepper, peas, green beans, okra, jalapeno, tomato (lots of variety)
This year I am also going to create a strawberry patch and try to grow all my winter squash on the outside of my garden. We have fox, bunnies, deer, birds, and other small varmints here but I think winter squash will be okay with a raised bed and no fence. Fingers crossed.
I will post about my garden progress as I go. Last year I lost my entire green bean crop to beetles and my corn only made it to thumb size (not edible). My garden over flowed with cherry tomatoes and okra, so much more than we could eat. Successful new crops last year were onions and collards. Though I had so many bugs on the collards I just left them in the ground until Thanksgiving and picked it then, all the bugs were dead and the collards were gorgeous.
So far I have several drawings of where I will plant everything. Though our next step is a controlled burn and tilling the old dead garden. Then laying out compost and getting my peas in. Stay tuned. This summer I hope to do a few garden posts and maybe a recipe or two from things I pick.