Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I came back to my roots once I owned a home and had soil to call my own. I planted a vegetable patch each summer, and learned by trial and error since I hadn't paid attention as a child. It was hard as a single career woman. I laugh now when I think about the time I brought home two bales of straw in the tiny back seat of my Mustang convertible. I had to put the top down to even get them in the car! So you can imagine the new heights my gardening achieved when I married Scott. Our first summer garden together was one of the best I ever had. His know-how and work ethic, combined with the benefits of a truck and a big load of composted horse manure, resulted in an incredibly prolific garden.
I'm back to the trial-and-error method of gardening as I expand to cool weather vegetables and cold frames. I am definitely out of my comfort zone, but reading and experimenting help. Lessons learned: 1) Brussel sprouts and broccoli are too tall to put in a cold frame. I'm trying them in the exposed garden this year. 2) Swiss chard is delicious and hardy ... and very colorful. Grow alot of that. I like it fresh in a salad or wilted in a little bacon grease in the skillet. 3) The sun doesn't reach vegetables planted too close to the south side of the cold frame. 4) Don't forget to close the lid at night when freezing temps are expected and don't forget to open it when it is predicted to be an unseasonably warm day. 5) Fresh lettuce from your very own cold frame on Christmas day is reason enough to go to the trouble again next year.
In the newer cold frame, I have Romaine lettuce planted in September, parsley left over from the summer season, oregano and thyme. This is the first time I have planted perinneal herbs in the cold frame. (I wonder if extending their growing season and not giving them a winter's rest will effect them adversely. We'll see.) In the other cold frame is iceberg lettuce ... and space for something else. I'd better decide soon and get it planted.