Sunday, April 25, 2010

All Growns Up

My garden is becoming a badge of honor. Two unassuming boxes of dirt absolutely teeming with greenery, tomato plants so big they lean weightily on the netting for support, mint the size of freaking Kansas. It's... it's working. Follow a few simple rules, stick things in the ground, water them, and stuff grows. Crazy! A few highlights:

Spearmint can kinda take over a garden so I've made a mint-heavy menu this week, starting with mojitos this afternoon. I'll post the recipe if it's good... I think we all know how that's gonna turn out. The mint had a couple weeks head start on the rest of Herbville, but the others are coming along nicely.

Gorgeous purple sage:

While crouched down taking this picture, my nose found itself smack dab in downtown Basilburg. I've planted three types: two genovese, one globe, and one Thai.

The smell of the Thai one takes me right back in time. I squealed out loud when I saw it at my nursery. Embarrassing.

Now we wander through Leafygreenopolis. Swiss chard:

And, the lettuce. We will definitely be having our first salads from the garden this week. Eeee!

The English peas have finally gotten tall enough to reach the netting, with a li'l help.

The sweet 100s are making moves. I've yet to see a budding brandywine, but I have unfounded faith they are coming.

As for new members of the community, the zucchini just grows right before your eyes, it's amazing.

The cucumbers are coming along swimmingly, too.

And lastly, the cutest little butternut squash sprout you've ever seen. Doesn't it look like it's singing?

My beans are still recovering, I started a bunch of sprouts inside to keep the bugs from them. I'll pop those into the garden tomorrow or Tuesday. I do think the chili garlic insecticide spray I used kept the bugs off, but for some it was too late. It's really simple:

Combine a halved head of garlic, a chopped onion, and a few of the hottest peppers you can find in a pot (I used Thai chilis). Pour a couple of cups of boiling water over them, let steep for a few minutes, then give them a whiz with your immersion blender (or any blender, but I love my stick blender) and let steep over a day (PUT IT OUTSIDE!). At the end of the day, strain the whole mess through a very fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth or paper towels or whatever and pour into a spray bottle. Keep it in the fridge. Give your plants a thorough spraying if it looks like they're getting eaten, and reapply after it rains.

Other than that, I really haven't had any bug problems yet (knock on wood).

My cantaloupe and watermelon never came up (I wonder if this was caused by the expansive shade from Potatoborough), so I'm going to start freshies of those inside today. Peppers and eggplants haven't made much of an appearance yet, either... I think I'll start a couple of those inside, too.

All in all, things are going very well. We should be consistently eating from it in another month or so but I'm going to start going to town on those lettuces this week. Exciting!

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