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.

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