I would not consider myself an artsy type of gal. I don’t like to draw and I stink at Pictionary.
However, when it comes to my garden, I will put my distaste for drawing aside. I find it very helpful to draw each of my garden beds and sketch where I’m going to plant everything. This helps me practice a little self constraint when I go to the garden store. If it’s not in my drawing or doesn’t have a place in a pot, it has no place in my cart.
I thought I’d share with you my drawings for garden 2010 and talk about what can be planted now.
One more plea – do not plant your tomatoes/peppers/basil, etc. yet. It’s too early here in MN. Better be safe and wait until May15th or even a bit later.
So here’s bed #1
Below is what I have already planted. If you plan on planting any of these, always start by reading the back of the package. It tells you everything you need to know. I, of course, will share my thoughts as well.
Radishes – these little babies grow fast! Once they are a little sturdy, be sure to thin them. This will give them room to grow. If they are all bunched together, you will get long, skinny, funny looking radishes.
Lettuce – Please grow lettuce. It couldn’t be easier. Once it looks big enough to make a salad out of, cut it off and make a salad! It will grow back. I let mine regrow about 3 times. After that, I find it tastes a little bitter. You can dig it out and plant again. We grow lettuce all summer long. It is significantly cheaper than the bagged salads you’ve been buying all winter.
Kale – I’m trying a new kale this year, Lacinto or Dinosaur Kale. I’ve done the standard kale the last two seasons and I love it, but thought it would be fun to try something new. Kale will also grow back as you cut it. It handles the cold well and will last well into the fall. I freeze a ton for the winter as it’s great in soups and stews. More on that when we get there.
Turnips – this is a first for us so I have no advice, but I’m guessing they’re similar to carrots in how to treat them.
Green Onions – These are so easy. If you don’t thin them, it’s not the end of the world, but I do anyway. I like my space and assume the onions do too.
Snap Peas – last year was our first year with these and they were so fun! These require a little more work, as you need to provide them something to climb. I attached a net to a few poles and away they went!
Arugula – crisp and peppery. Yum. This grows just like lettuce. I love it on a BLT.
Carrots – very important to thin these as they grow or you’ll have puny carrots. Let the tops get pretty big before pulling one. I always end up pulling the first one way to early. It’s so hard not to! They are best eaten straight out of the ground after brushing the dirt off in the grass.
Beets – I don’t plant many of these because Brette hates them, but I LOVE them. I’ve never tried the greens, but you can eat those too. These are another important one to thin so they have room.
Swiss Chard – I think of Chard as a kinder and gentler Kale. The greens are more tender and can be eaten raw in salads, but are super sauteed with onion and garlic. Growing chard is very easy but you do need to be careful about pests. I had some little worms eating my leaves last year. If you catch it early, you just remove that part of the leaf. I didn’t catch it early. Learn from me. Watch your chard.
Rapini (Broccoli Raab) – This is my first time planting Rapini, so it’ll be a learning experience. Anyone tried it?
Shelling Peas – also a first for me, but they grow like snap peas, so I’ll be putting up a net for them too.
So, that’s what’s in the ground so far. You may have noticed (if you looked at my drawings), that there are no tomatoes. Last year, Brette built the tomato annex, so they have a separate home just for them. I didn’t feel the need to draw that. I will also do a lot of my herbs in pots to place around the patio.
So, what’s growing in your garden? Are you trying anything new? Is everything new to you?