Sunday, January 27, 2013

Getting Warmed Up

Today I'm sitting in front of a warm and toasty fire, watching the sun began its late-afternoon walk down the walls of my dining room.  The window in this room offers the only southern exposure on the main floor of the house.  I've often thought that it's the the abundant sunshine in hues of orange and gold that keeps me from succumbing to the winter doldrums.  I look for any reason to spend an afternoon there.  If we had a cat I'm sure he would do the same!

It comes as no surprise that the plants in that window do well too.  Thank goodness they are hearty.  I am a terrible indoor gardener.  (Truth be told, I'm only a marginally better outdoor gardener!)

I forget all about the poor window plants, but they thrive thanks to a bit of water and attention from my husband.  I've often thought this would be a good spot to keep those kitchen herbs growing all winter.  Maybe next year.  Of course, I'd rather grow herbs indoors like this.  Surely this must be foolproof!

Back to last years adventures in growing food crops.  We learned a lot!  For example,

  • Cucumbers Should Be Staked.  Now it seems obvious, but it didn't last year!
  • Label What You Plant.  If you think you will remember what is planted in which row, trust me.  You will not.  Many a parsely plant were lost due to forgetting where the carrots were.  (Are these carrots?  Yes, they must be!  Wait.  Oh no!  I pulled out all of the parsley!)
  • You Can Never Have Enough Green Beans.  We ate them as fast as we picked them.
  • Never Underestimate A Hungry Gopher.  Underground sound, though, does seem to keep them away.
  • Tomato Plants Needs A Lot of Full Sun.  Of course, but I didn't really get what "a lot of full sun" meant so we would up with tremendous tomato plants with no fruit!  We cut the offending shade-producing branches out of the way, but too late in the season for the fruit to mature on the vine.  
  • Make Do With What You Have.   Rather than lose out on  the promise of beautiful tomatoes, we picked the fruit when it was still green, but before it got too cold and kept them in paper bags on the counter in the kitchen.  They ripened slowly in the bags, but the result was garden-fresh tomatoes through October!  
So on to our 2013 plans.  First up is recognizing the need to organize my garden early this year.  

This year we're planting more green beans and tomatoes and adding red peppers, potatoes, and more kitchen herbs.  Who knows, we may even try carrots again.  I've also added two climbing rose bushes outside of the garden gate that I bought on the cheap at the end of the season last year.  The plan is to add an arbor for climbing that serves as the entrance to a small winding path, bringing you to the current garden gate.  Lots of work ahead for us.

We're also going to garden for the chickens!

We've gone chicken-crazy over here.  Well, at least the kids and I have.  Not so sure about my husband.  We're expecting our first chicks in May, but more on that later.

Perhaps the chickens might help with the weeding.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "What is a weed?  A plant whose virtues have never been discovered."


No comments:

Post a Comment