Monday, May 16, 2011

Watch It Grow

One of the big bonuses of moving out to the suburbs is having a yard, and (if spring/summer ever makes it to the Chicagoland) I am really looking forward to planting my first vegetable garden. But, as with most things that are new to me, the world of gardening initially seemed complicated and mysterious.

I started with a book called “Small Plot, High Yield Gardening,” which was helpful for some 101 information about growing seasons and vegetables that are typically easy to cultivate, but it quickly got into topics like raising rabbits so you can use their waste as fertilizer and that just seemed beyond the scope of what I was willing to put into this whole gardening thing--at least the first around.

No, really what I was looking for was low-risk, high-reward gardening--the type of gardening that requires me to plant some seeds and water them every so often. So, no rabbits for me this year, I just want to be able to walk outside and pick some tomatoes or peppers or whatever for a salad.

Feeling overwhelmed about the whole rabbit poop/fertilizer thing, I wasn’t really sure I’d get it together for a garden this year, but that’s one of the pluses (?) of living in an area where it’s still basically late winter--lots of extra time to plan your garden. Lucky for us, with that extra time we were able to wrangle the help we needed to push us to get started. When my family was in town a few weeks ago, my mom’s husband helped MM and I build raised beds for the backyard, and he bought us this cool growing kit from Burpee.

I’ll be honest, I was a little skeptical of this whole seed-starting growing kit business. It seemed maybe like something that wouldn’t actually work, but low and behold, two weeks after planting, I have seedlings for cilantro, oregono, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce. Sometimes I just stare at the plants for 10 minutes or so, amazed that they are not dead yet. The fact that these seedlings have grown and continue to grow, noticeably it seems, every day, is a real moral booster for my gardening efforts. It feels like something may actually come of this experiment.

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