In which I grow veggies that actually thrive
June 27th, 2014
I do not have a good track record with plants. In my care, they die.
In fact, several years ago, my best friend took all of my houseplants into protective custody at her home because they were all on the brink of extinction. I’m allowed brief supervised visits, but that’s it and I admit the arrangement is in their best interest.
But, having moved to SmallTownUSA, I vowed to change all that. Last year, we participated in our first CSA and I proudly planted sugar snap peas, lettuce, bell peppers, and blueberries.
My snap peas sprouted…and then died. Ditto for the lettuce. The bell peppers never came up at all and the two blueberries twigs stayed stubbornly twig-like, until one died completely.
I learned later that I used the wrong kind of dirt. Apparently, when I bought bags of soil for my garden, I bought fill-dirt. Like, for filling holes. The bags actually said: “contains no nutrients” but I didn’t notice.
A moment of silence, please, for my poor plants who struggled so valiantly last year.
This year, I tried again. And SUCCEEDED.
It’s amazing what a different good dirt makes. We harvested many handfuls of snap peas before the heat Kentucky heat eventually overcame them. I made lots of things with kale (even though the leaves generally had holes in them because some sort of bug got their first). The remaining blueberry bush has doubled in size and is a lovely dark green color. And just tonight, we harvested a dozen rainbow carrots.
I didn’t actually manage to cook with many of my vegetables…they never made it to the stove. My kids munched the snap peas right off the vine each day when they got home from school and tonight we sat on the back porch eating carrots while Josh made dinner. And that is totally fine by me. As I’ve discovered before, my kids seem to prefer their vegetables as a pre-dinner snack!
Inspired by our success this year, I’m already planning for next year. I definitely need more space – my poor veggies were badly overcrowded in their box this year. I also want to add green beans, patty pan squash, and sweet corn to the list.