|I've got Vegetable Gardening on the brain.|
"Why haven't you been blogging?" So asketh nearly everyone who telephones me.
Because ADD is getting the better of me? Well, sort of. I post something every day to Instagram and in my mind that means I'm blogging. Even though I'm not.
But, there's another reason. A bigger reason! An infinitely more exciting reason!
Call it the calm before the storm (I plan to do a whole lotta blogging once planting season begins.) Because this gardening season will be a grandiose attempt at defeating Jeannie.
Jeannie is the gal who bet me a hefty sum of money (20 bucks!) that I am not capable of growing ALL of the vegetables that I plan to eat for the ENTIRE summer.
She's convinced I shall fail. I'm pretty positive I'm gonna win. Wanna know why? I don't like vegetables. I could happily go a whole summer without eating them.
Loopholes. Gotta love 'em!
All kidding aside, I am planning to grow an astonishing amount of vegetables this summer. (That top photo is legit and I'm growing them all! From seed!) Because now I wanna see if I can do it. Want to join me? Here's some things I've learned along the way...
Tips & Tricks:
Time your garden differently.
* The heartache of a Memorial Day frost is pretty much guaranteed at altitudes of 6,000 feet or higher. Nurseries advise April/May planting for vegetables and that's why we feel left out.
* Plant veggies in the soil on June 15th, or raised beds on June 1st - cover on an exceptionally cold night. The very best time to plant your veggies is the day after I do. (I'm pretty convinced that Mother Nature is lurking behind me, no matter what day I decide to plant, scheduling a late season freeze in my honor.)
Raised Beds & Containers can improve your odds.
Soil in raised beds warms faster and stays warmer during our cool nights. This is particularly important for tomatoes as they need to stay above 50 degrees in order to produce great fruit.
- Bountiful Bush Bean - this easy-growing small vine bean reaches maturity in about 50 days. (Heirloom)
- Bull Nose Sweet Bell Pepper - a crisp, crunchy bell pepper bursting with delicious, earthy flavor. Matures in about 60 days. (Heirloom)
- Red Cored Chantenay Carrots - a sweet, tender variety, ready to harvest in 70 short days. (Heirloom)
- Four Seasons Head Lettuce - as beautiful as it is delicious, with colorful, reddish brown leaves. Matures in 45-55 days. (Heirloom)
- Brandywine Tomato - this yummy Amish heirloom has a neat habit of producing tomatoes that mature at different times, on the same vine, throughout the season. Matures in 80 days. (Heirloom)
- Cocozelle Bush Zucchini - has a fresh, nutty flavor that is particularly delicious when roasted on the grill. Matures in 55 days. (Heirloom)
Boring but Helpful:
- When shopping for seeds, look for vegetables that mature in 70 - 80 days. (You might be surprised how many options you see!)
- Check the 'days to maturity' on the seed packet or planting guide. Harvest days are measured from transplant time. Allow an extra 10-15 days, if planting outdoors, by seed.
- Heirlooms are available in most vegetable varieties, not just tomatoes. These goodies are easier to grow and infinitely more flavorful than grocery store 'fresh' produce.