Monday, August 24, 2009

Digging my garden

I took advantage of the cooler weather yesterday to plant what I'm calling "Fall Garden #1" (to distinguish it from "Fall Garden #2", which will be planted later, in the spaces to eventually be vacated by the peppers and tomatoes). Now, clearly I'm no expert. This is, after all, only my second garden. And I'm a native of Zone 7, where we can grow things outdoors 10 months out of the year without trying. But I'm hopeful.

So I cleaned out just over half of my square foot garden - not fun, by the way. The fun part is always in the planting. In the spaces vacated by lettuce, spaghetti squash, and radicchio, I planted more lettuce (Romaine and buttercrunch), more radicchio, red Russian kale, Swiss chard, scallions, and some short stubby carrots (can't remember the variety now).  These were all seeds (as opposed to seedlings - I did go to my local nursery seeking spinach and beet seedlings, but they said they won't get them for another week to ten days).  I added organic fertilizer spikes and made copious notes in my Plant Some Seeds journal and even marked my calendar based on "days to emerge" and "days to harvest." Maybe, just maybe, my thumb is getting a little greener.

As to my "summer" garden . . . hmmm. Let's just say I learned a lot from it. First, in my attempt to be organic, I forgot to fertilize. Then I left the lettuce out too long and it got too tough. I accidentally took up my leeks, then desperately transplanted them and now they're as limp as wet noodles. The peppers have been slow to flower and fruit - I'm only just now starting to see any action. My tomatoes, however, Rock. Not only are they abundant, they're also beautiful, with hardly any blemishes at all and very little evidence of pest damage. The biggest surprise of all was my spaghetti squash. OMG! I only got 4 but they are so awesome!

What I can tell you about vegetable gardening is . . . I dig it!!! (Ha ha) When I'm out there planting something, or pulling weeds, or looking for caterpillars, or harvesting . . . it forces me to be in the moment. Being in the moment is not so easy for me. I'm an adult with ADHD, and I get paid for my ability to multitask, which I'm quite good at. But when I'm in my garden, I'm really there, and everything is right with the world. 

I'm already thinking about next Spring! :-)