I’m a little late this year in getting to my garden. Blame it on a colder spring (though really, the last few years were warmer than usual). Blame it on the rain, which has been over-abundant and wreaking havoc on outdoor activities. Or even my sinus infection, which is only just now winding down, nearly 2 weeks after it began. Regardless of the cause, my usual desire to make things grow was cut short and I had made very little progress, other than potting a tomato plant and a few herbs.
Since my husband will be away this week on yet another business trip, I insisted he help me get this garden growing. We were running out of time and I needed it done, if only to stop feeling guilty about the bareroot grapes growing out of their bags without a home to call their own. Equipped with our new-to-us more reliable (and larger storage capacity!) mode of transportation, I headed up to Home Depot to get some bags of dirt. And a few more supplies for the garden.
When we lived on the other side of town, I had a favorite nursery maybe 5 miles away. At some point, it disappeared, leaving no trace. Not far from it was, luckily, my 2nd favorite place, so we began frequenting them instead. Walking amongst the rows of herbs and vegetables in the greenhouses is a mood enhancer. I missed it this year. For some reason, though, I just haven’t made it out that way. And it was getting too late in the season to wait any longer.
My husband brought home a big fiberglass storage box many years ago when his employer was throwing it out. We have dealt with storing it, keeping it from getting tossed by our former landlord, and then moving it to our new house last year. I always intended to turn it into a sort of raised bed garden, but it was another one of those things I never got around to. Too large to take up precious real estate at our rental, it had to wait until we had our own land on which to place it. Finally, we had that opportunity this year.
It seemed far larger in theory than when we actually filled it with dirt–12 cubic feet of it, to be exact, though I could have used 1-2 more, probably. I had visions of many more varieties of fruits and vegetables than I could actually fit. Still, it’ll be a nice home to the two varieties of sweet peppers we’ve planted, as well as small watermelons, kale, mesclun mix, sugar snap peas, carrots, and Glass Gem corn, a native seed I obtained earlier this year and cannot wait to see it grow!
We added a quick border bed next to the patio that will need some finishing after my husband returns. In the meantime, our Niagara and Concord grapes have found a home there, as well as some new strawberries I couldn’t resist. The blueberry bushes we’ve been growing in containers for 2 years will eventually get transplanted nearby in our little fruit garden. From what I understand, we shouldn’t encourage the grapes to go to fruit this year–they need to focus on root growth first–but I can’t wait until we have our own grapes. This is a whole new adventure!
From the old container garden, we still have our chives, sage (going on 3 years in the pot!), smaller everbearing strawberries, the lemon tree my mom gave me that hates me (it keeps getting infested with various pests and now it’s only growing on one side), and a small portion of thyme I was able to save from last year. I expect it will spread and grow quite nicely, now that it’s not crowded out of the pot. In the meantime, I have to buy it from the store. There isn’t enough to spare.
As always, we have two varieties of mint: regular ole’ sweet mint and chocolate mint. There are rosemary, cinnamon basil, and cilantro. I could use some more herbs, but I’ll focus on them when the other plants are settled. We have Beefsteak tomatoes and some smaller patio ones. I also need a few more tomato plants–that’s woefully too few for a family of four! I’d like a pot of pickling cukes and I think we can be pretty happy with that. It’s not a crazy huge endeavor, but that’s fine with me. A little at a time as I start to learn the ropes in transitioning from strictly container gardening.