“Don’t place your mistakes on your head, their weight may crush you. Instead, place them under your feet and use them as a platform to view your horizons.” Unknown
I love the thought of putting my mistakes under my feet…maybe they would be a good fertilizer especially if the mistakes are in the garden. And mistakes for a perfectionist (reformed perfectionist these days) can be crushing. They cause fear and stifle creativity.
And I found fears were strongest when I was growing my first few veg gardens. They fell into 3 categories:
- Anxiety when crops failed….especially losing tomato crop after tomato crop to blight.
- Worry about the weather….too much rain, not enough rain, constant unseasonable freezes or even snow.
- Doubt that anything would actually grow….and grow so we could actually make a few meals out of the harvest.
Failure is hard when you are putting in time and attention with a vegetable garden….expecting a red
radish, or a tomato, maybe even a few beans. Many folks give up, and I can see why. But for me, the challenge of making it a success kept me going. And the mystery of that seed producing a fresh pepper or eggplant, was too enticing not to keep trying until I could figure it out.
I read many books and websites for advice. Trying something new to give my veggies a push this way or that. Covering them with row covers to keep out pests and cold, or switching to an organic fertilizer for better yields. It really is like a science experiment….trial and error, and learning. Always learning! Of course you must have patience and tenacity too.
So after 7 years, I actually have a bit of confidence, and I don’t get too hung up on the failures….or maybe they pass easier than they used to.
We completed the first few garden projects, that were a must to get the veg garden going this year. Far upper right is the bed we reclaimed. It was successfully dug out, screening and landscape fabric placed at the bottom and then refilled. Lettuces, arugula, endive, mustard and kale were just planted before the rain fell. It had been more than a week without rain, and not much fell before the sun came out for many more days. Unusual for April.
Then my wonderful garden helper assembled the 3 tiered fruit bed…see it in the center. We emptied the tomato bed soil in it, as we had to empty the tomato bed anyway. It is being lined with landscape fabric and screening and refilled. We should finish that this week.
You can see the process of how this new bed went together. Strawberries and blueberries are in the first tier. Blueberry and Nigella in the second tier and one raspberry in the top tier.
I decided to plant only onions, and no potatoes this year. Potatoes grown in the bags require new soil, every year, for a small yield. So instead, I decided to grow red and yellow onions. And with starts (small seedlings) instead of onion sets (small bulbs). I am hopeful the starts will grow quickly and produce a great yield much like the sets do. Another experiment!
I started early veggies over the past 10 days. Besides lettuces, radishes, spinach and peas, I also planted beets, carrots and parsnips. And I used my Seeding Square. I really do like how fast and easy it has made my planting.
While I have an overall plan for each bed, I also carefully draw each bed in a notebook, noting what is planted and when, and when it germinates. I also draw each tray of seeds I start indoors to keep track of which seeds are viable.
Seeds are growing along in the basement under the grow lights.
Plenty of hot and sweet peppers have been transplanted, and are getting bigger. I will need more containers if I decide to grow all these seedlings.
Celery and tomatillos are looking great as they continue to grow. These will be planted out in later May once all chance of frost is past.
These tomatoes were growing for 2 weeks, and were just finally moved to larger, deeper containers so they can develop more roots.
There are several herbs planted too. Five different basil, 4 different Italian parsley, 4 kinds of dill, marjoram and winter and summer savory. The only seeds that did not germinate were the tarragon. I will look for new seed next year.
And I started many flowers from seed too. Tagetes, Zinnia, Alyssum, Amaranthus, Tithonia, Cleome, Nicotiana, Antirrhinum and Nasturtium. I am also growing coleus cuttings and begonias.
Right now, the veg garden doesn’t take much time to monitor. The rhubarb is up, and needs to be fertilized and weeded. And we are finally getting our first asparagus after 2 years. They are skinny, and small, but we will definitely let them grow more and then harvest for a yummy treat.
In another month, there will be many more veggies out in the veg garden. As the veg garden beds become full, I will be monitoring them one and two times a day. It is a labor of love…and one that pays off with sweet dividends.
Are you growing a vegetable garden this year? What is your favorite vegetable to grow?
In A Vase On Monday
The Corydalis solida (shown at the top of the post), and many early flowers, are beginning to fade as spring native wildflowers show up with other spring perennials. So I thought I had better show case a few of the early flowers, before they faded more.
Daffodils, wine colored hellebores and deep bluish-purple hyacinths were placed in the pitcher to condition them. But I liked the look so much I left them, and did not transfer them into another vase.
I have many later blooming daffodils that I think will be lovely in another vase next week. But we will see what the garden brings, and what catches my eye.
I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare this vase: Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles 2016 and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.
Next up on the blog:
Monday, I’ll show you the spring flowers that were brave enough to bloom during this crazy April.
I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her blog, Rambling Woods. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Monday.
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