I came home from work Friday night and was extremely stressed out. During dinner, I was looking out at the vegetable garden and noticed the spinach and arugula were growing like weeds. They desperately needed harvested. So, after dinner, we bundled up The Munchkin (it was pretty cool outside) and headed outside. The Man planted some flowers we bought for one of our flower beds, and I went to pick greens from the vegetable garden. I did a little weeding as I went and also managed to plant the roma tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapenos I bought last weekend (my seeds didn't start). The Munchkin toodled back and forth in the yard between the two of us, picking blades of grass and gathering rocks for mommy and daddy. I brought The Munchkin back in the house before she got too cold, and I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. It seems gardening comes with a wonderful result: I manage to forget all the stress, and all the AD/HD "noise" goes away. It's an amazing feeling!
Saturday, I wandered back to the vegetable garden again to inspect the progress, and today I got some more seeds in the ground. Here's the update:
- The herbs (cilantro, basil, parsley) are all doing really well. The leaves are starting to become distinguishable, and I'm excited to have fresh herbs on hand!
- The spinach and arugula are going nuts, and I'm picking several handfuls every few days. Both plants loved the cooler weather and rain last week, and Friday, I picked enough of the two to fill a gallon storage bag. I'm anticipating similar growth this week. I also started another short row of spinach.
- The peas have shot up to about 6" tall, and I'm trying to decide how I want to go about stringing them so they can climb. I started another short row of snow peas and one more long row of snap peas.
- The second round of carrots has popped through, and I planted another round today. That makes 3 square feet of carrots so far.
- The parsnips have popped up, as well! I'll plant more this week.
- Both the green onions and the yellow onions have sprouted, too. I'll plant more of each this week.
I'm getting more excited each day, simply because I can look out the window and see more and more progress. And I'm learning a lot along the way.
I've realized that the long rows of peas are probably going to be a pain once they get taller. The reason for this is that I'm planting rows about 8" apart, so it might be a little difficult to get to the plants in the middle of the row. Oh well, live and learn, right?
I'll also probably track my progress a little differently next year. SmartGardener is great for the layout and to do list, but it doesn't help me track the positions of seeds I've succession planted. Because of this, I'm pretty much waiting for seeds to sprout before I plant another bunch. I'm afraid this will leave me with gaps in the harvest, but I guess time will tell.
I've also learned a bit about garden critters. Saturday, when I went out to check the progress, I noticed the leaves were gone from a few tomato plants, and two of my jalapeno plants were gone. One had simply been plucked out, roots and all, and the other was completely gone. So I'm looking into organic critter deterrents...can you offer any ideas?
How is your garden progressing? I hope you're enjoying the progress as much as I am! Happy growing season!