The Greatest [Vegetable] Crop of All

June 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Posted in DC, food, gardening, vegetable, Washington | Leave a comment
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Every year my garden has proven to be an experiment, I wouldn’t call myself an expert in anything green-thumb related, though I love watching what pops up. I’ve typically stuck with standby veggies like tomatoes and greens. My eyes tend to be larger than my stomach and I will plant a ton of seeds in my limited city-yard; rather haphazardly too close together. Toward the end of the day that I’m sowing seeds, I sometimes get really lazy and just throw the seeds in fertile-ish soil, dust my hands off, and go back inside. This was the first year I attempted to grow carrots. For some reason I thought they were a tricky thing to nurture. Carrots seeds are microscopic and they were the seed that I indeed tossed in one of the few sunny spots in the yard. I’m amazed at how they’ve grown. I pulled a bunch from the ground and they — look like carrots — and even better, they taste like carrots too! All I did was water the seeds (sometimes not even that!) and they came up without so much as a touch of fertilizer. So in my notes of the most easy vegetables to grow in an urban garden, I’m adding two items: Carrots and Arugula. Both of which are Katie-tested as a crop that will come up if you fling the seeds in soil and water sporadically.

Remember when my garden started like this, and then grew to this?

Spring, Green and Tiny Things

May 20, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Posted in dirt, gardening | 1 Comment
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It’s the time of the season
When the love runs high
In this time give it to me easy
And let me try with pleasured hands
To take you in the sun to promised lands
To show you everyone
It’s the time of the season for loving…
~Zombies, “Time of the Season”

I think I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again…I love dirt. Instead of moving the 12×4 foot raised garden bed that is kind of totally under a humongous ash tree (yes, last year I built the bed under a shady tree and didn’t realize that the canopy would have a negative effect on growing things!!!), I’m going to plant right in the ground in the sunniest part of the yard. I dug about two feet down and removed tons of debris from the dirt—bricks, pieces of cement, rocks, quartz and filled it with organic dirt that I had delivered from a nearby farm. Within the next two weeks I will plant a variety of heirloom tomato plants and a couple of pepper plants that I’ve had growing since March. I also plan to include a bunch of beets and carrots because I believe they grow well with tomatoes (they’re friends).

As far as what is going in the raised bed under the ash tree—I researched edible plants that do not need direct sunlight and found that most herbs will thrive happily. What music to my ears; I have been planning a medicinal herb garden for some time. In the bed, I planted cilantro and sage (above) and beets and chamomile (below). I also planted basil, parsley, dill, echinacea, onions, leeks, rainbow swiss chard and green beans. I guess you could call that area a medicinal herb garden with a vegetable twist!

Get a load of the lettuce and spinach: Above, before I picked it and below before I devoured it! I heard lettuce and spinach are difficult to grow in the DC climate because our springs are typically brief and the leafy greens prefer a slow, cool and wet spring. Since we’ve had a bit of that mixed with a smattering of heat the greens turned out fabulous, healthy and bountiful. Next year I will plant the entire raised bed with spinach and lettuce to have a whole season of greens.

I am perhaps the most excited about the pea pods that have sprouted. I planted the pea seeds on St. Patrick’s Day, and here we are nearly 60 days on the nose with tons of pods ready to be picked. The plants couldn’t have been easier to grow. They loved the cool weather but also soldiered on during the humid days to produce magnificent pods. Hurray for a great start to a hopefully healthy and abundant season of edibles.

Garden Inspiration: My parent’s house

July 6, 2009 at 11:45 pm | Posted in dirt, gardening, life | Leave a comment
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Visiting my parents is kind of like staying at a B&B. It’s a place I go to get away from the city, enjoy delicious cuisine and relax at night by the outdoor firepit. My parents live in a charming, turn-of-the-century four-square in Gaitherburg, MD (about 20 miles from Washington, DC). The only downside is that I still have to do my dishes.



A woman once said to my mom “you can never have too many doodads in the garden” and we have never forgotten that.


Every year they have a gigantic vegetable garden from which I draw my inspiration. You can commonly find: heirloom tomatoes, onions, leeks, garlic, chives, radishes, swiss chard, carrots, zucchini, pumpkins, various herbs, peas, greenbeans, and peppers.

06_swiss chardAbove: Rainbow Swiss Chard, a hardy green—much like spinach except it grows happily for most of the year.
07_tomatoesTomatoes are beginning to grow. Marigolds are used to steer rabbits and deer away who dislike the scent.
Leeks are beginning to go to seed, but aren’t they beautiful. On the right, a gigantic golden zucchini plant.
Onions (I think) and carrots are sprouting up!
A radish plucked from the ground.

Southern California Vegetation

June 24, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Posted in gardening, travel | Leave a comment
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tropical plants in California

I took these photos while I was in Los Angeles in March. I wouldn’t mind having tropical plants in my front and backyard year round.

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