This spring, I am dreaming of delicious, beefy summer tomatoes. So I planted some; they're taking over my kitchen as we speak. I love fresh, homegrown tomatoes. And I just can't find delicious tomatoes in stores; even the local, organic market. Not to mention, I'm sick of paying for them! In fact, I'm tired of buying produce overall. Hence, my new vegetable garden.
I'm a little nervous; I haven't had a vegetable garden since I was small. Sure, I used to 'help' with the planting and harvest lettuce, asparagus, new pototoes and strawberries from the garden for dinner. But come on; I was seven. It was a desire for produce like we remember from when our parents had gardens that prompted my boyfriend and I to plant this garden. But we've been re-learning vegetable gardening as we go along.
So far, we have flats of seeds lined up in our kitchen under a grow light. We've been experimenting with 3 varieties of tomatoes (including some amazing organic, heirloom 'Brandywine' tomatoes donated by Samurai Sage, our own Editor in Chief KC Compton), corn, cucumbers, eggplants, carrots and basil.
Yesterday, I consulted Hank Will, editor of Grit magazine (follow him on Twitter), for some more vegetable gardening tips. And I found out some important stuff! Like, for instance, carrots and corn don't like to be transplanted. Oops? All is not lost.
Photo by verymissberry/courtesty Flickr
1) Rule Number One: Make it up as you go. Okay, so corn doesn't like to have it's roots disturbed. Planting in flats? Maybe we got a little ahead of ourselves. But the best part of this whole project has been watching the corn grow in the kitchen (it grows really fast). It may not transfer to the garden, and we may need to replant, but it's been fun to see the plants growing up close.
2) Rule Number Two: Peat moss disks are awesome. We picked up some peat moss disks and a greenhouse tray (kind of like this one) at the local hardware store. They suck water up while you watch and spring into columns of soil, ready for seeds. We put the greenhouses on the counter over the dishwasher, so that when it ran, the greenhouses got warm and steamy. The plants seemed to respond. It didn't take our plants long to grow large enough to move our plants, peat moss columns and all, into these peat moss pots (with a little soil added, of course).
3) Rule Number Three: Did I mention how much fun we're having? Our garden isn't ready to plant in yet, it snowed over the weekend, our entire kitchen is overwhelmed with garden supplies and there are no vegetables to eat yet. But it's already a great project. I'm getting to excercise the knowledge I've been steeped in over the last couple of years and learn from my colleagues; and my boyfriend is loving the dirt-factor. I'll keep you posted on the project! We'll be building our raised garden bed soon ...