It’s Time to Plant!
My grandmother, I am told, can grow anything. Unfortunately, I did not inherit this characteristic from her. What is the opposite of a green thumb? Whatever it is, I have it! House plants shrink when I walk by them in the store, trying to hide behind other plants in hopes that I won’t pick them. Nevertheless, for the past few years we’ve grown a garden in our backyard. I have to say, it has been awesome and way easier than I thought! You pretty much just have to prepare your soil, plant your plants, and water them about once or twice a week. They magically grow and bear fruit. It’s amazing!
Here are a couple of tips if you’re thinking about trying out a vegetable garden:
1) Go to a nursery to get your plants. Their plants are usually in better condition than at the hardware store, plus they have a wider variety. Last year I planted a french variety of zuchinni that I’m in love with. It’s a lighter color and has a milder flavor with an almost creamy texture. It’s called “Magda Hybrid”
2) Choose a sunny spot – vegetables need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day
3) If you’re short on space, choose plants that grow well in containers (tomatoes – especially cherry tomatoes), or try a vertical garden (I’m trying a trellis for my zuchinni and cucumbers this year, so the vines grow up instead of out. Apparently, the vines grow stronger because they know they have to support heavier fruit – I don’t know how they know this, but word on the stree is that they do. You can even grow pumpkins this way!)
4) Tips for tomatoes (my favorite homegrown vegetables): you shouldn’t grow tomatoes in the same spot two years in a row. When you plant tomatoes, plant them really deep – planting about half the plant underground (leaves and all!) The lower leaves that are in the dirt become roots. Also, water them a bit at the beginning, but then don’t water them for a while – like several weeks – so they can establish deep roots which makes for stronger plants. My Dad’s friend who is a farmer said, “Tomatoes need to suffer so they can become strong.” (I guess tomatoes are kind of like people.) Anyway, keep an eye on them – if they look like they’re wilting, give them a drink, but otherwise let them struggle until they start bearing fruit. Then you’ll water them more often so the fruit gets nice and juicy.
Good luck! We planted a few weeks ago, and I’m dreaming about a crop like this again: