I’ve never had a garden. The only thing I’ve been able to grow is children, and the jury is still out on how good a job I’ve done with that.
Back in 2009, my wife gave me a garden for my birthday present, whereby she and a friend would transform a hill behind our house into a small, flat plot that gets enough sun over the course of a day to make a viable garden. Due to some complexities of life, they didn’t actually build the garden until last fall, but it’s been ready for me this spring. We have a couple of rain barrels nearby, and I was ready to go. We tilled it twice, adding some nice horse manure to the soil, and I started planting seeds a few weeks ago.
I planted turnips, lettuce, beets, carrots, lettuce and cauliflower. Last Sunday, I planted 7 different heirloom tomato plants (thanks, Matt and Andrea!), a pepper plant, and from seeds, zucchini, cucumbers, watermelon and cantaloupe.
The first plants are doing remarkably well. I’m amazed at how bright and beautiful the beet leaves and stems are, and the lacy carrot tops are great. The turnips are thriving, as is the lettuce. The cauliflower is coming along slowly, but I’m thinking it will do fine.
The weeds are a royal pain, of course, but I really am loving this process. I check this garden in the morning. I check it when I come home for lunch and then when I get home at the end of the day, like there might have been a magical growth spurt in the few hours I was gone.
I’m not much of a turnip eater, but I’m almost counting down the days before those suckers will be ready to pull, as they’ll be the first crop to mature. I know I’ll get some greens before then for salad, when I thin out the crops, but I want the full vegetable.
I love this garden, and I can’t believe it’s taken me 47 years to get one.