Saturday, August 10, 2013

Novice Gardening

This was my first year trying to garden in our new house. I got started late—there were several things distracting me during the time I should have been planning a layout, choosing things to plant, and starting some seeds. So when the Seattle Tilth plant sale came around in May, I realized I was way past time getting some stuff in the ground.

These strawberries are from plants I bought last year. I kept ‘em in pots over the winter and they’ve regenerated pretty well. I think next year I’ll give them more room, but they’ve been giving forth some decent berries as well as making new plants:

I’m freezing most of them—I’ll probably make some strawberry rhubarb tarts with them, and maybe a jam.

I bought some tomato plants at the Seattle Tilth sale. They’ve grown really well, although they’re being a little slow in the ripening process. Or maybe I’m just impatient. I’ve got a green zebra (one of my faves), a Japanese black and a chocolate cherry.

A few of the chocolate cherries are starting to ripen—I ate a couple yesterday and they were really good—very herbal in flavor as well as having a rich tomato taste. Here’s my minor harvest from this morning—I’m trying to pick ‘em off as they ripen so that the bugs don’t get them.

Part of the point of this blog is to see how I can do all this stuff and save money. Given what a novice I am it’s not going to be a net gain this year on the gardening front. But another factor to consider is not only of cash spent, but quality of the yield for the money and time and effort expended. We’ve eaten a lot of lettuce from the garden, and it’s some of the tastiest salad you can get. It’s bolting now, so I’m waiting for it to go to seed, see if I can plant them and get another crop out of the plants before it gets too cold. The basil is doing well. It's been an added boost to our salads, and has made some great pesto for sandwiches and pasta. I’m hopeful about the tomatoes—but only time will tell.

And there’s always next year. This season has familiarized me to the sunnier and shadier parts of my yard, which will inform my next round of efforts for a fall/winter garden, and for spring planting starting in February or March.

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