Spring has Sprung and the Bites of Bri Vegetable Garden has been planted!
I referenced our nice Spring-like weather in Monday’s post and I also promised some more details on the vegetable garden, so here goes!
The beginning of April is always super exciting for me because it means that the weather is turning and I get to plant my vegetable garden…something I absolutely love doing!
I normally plant seedlings just because I have had better success with them over the years. I always buy a couple packages of seeds since seeds are hard to find later in the season when I’m starting to think about a Fall crop. The heartier Fall veggies like kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts usually hold up in our climate as Summer comes to a close.
You probably figured out by now that I love to talk about gardening, especially the food producing kind so I’ll get back to the point.
I’m starting a small series to which I will be frequently posting what’s going on with the garden. I’ll be doing this in conjunction with seasonal farmer’s market posts. I hope you find it interesting. Gardening is very rewarding and with just a little love and care each week, you can be producing your own vegetables and/or herbs just steps away from your kitchen. It’s hard to beat that!
I’d been thinking about my vegetable garden for a few weeks now, but it’s been so cold here that I wasn’t sure our local garden center would have seedlings yet. Imagine my surprise when I logged onto their website last week and saw that their Veggie Event was in just a few days. I immediately cleared my schedule for Saturday morning and planned on working on my garden.
My heart went pitter patter when I was driving to garden center. Pure excitement. As you read this though, the weather has unexpectedly turned cold and my garden is covered to keep it safe from frost. These poor little veggies are shivering! I hope I’m not starting from scratch a few days from now. My grandfather, who is my gardening mentor, always kids that I start too early. I hope this isn’t the year that he is right, though he did tell me he had also planted so at least we are in the same boat.
Here’s the dirt (hehe, sorry I had to) on what I planted.
For the lettuces…Since we love salads, I plant tons of lettuce and lots of variety. This year I got some Red Bowl Lettuce, which is a leafy curly lettuce. I also got Arugula, a family favorite as well as Romaine lettuce for sandwiches and salads.
For the greens, I picked up some Lacinato Kale and some Rainbow Swiss Chard…both favorites for a quick sauté or omelets.
For tomatoes, I usually plant a bunch of small cherry tomato varieties. I’m the only tomato eater around here, so I pick what I like! I planted a Beefmaster variety and then I also planted 3 cherry tomato varieties, including the Supersweet 100s and a special variety from our garden center. I also am trying a Tomatillo plant for the first time. We will see how that goes! I love Salsa Verde, so I really hope it works out.
Peppers have long been something I’ve been dying to grow, but I’ve never had much luck with bell peppers. I’m too impatient. This year I planted a Serrano pepper plant as well as a jalapeno, both are easy to grab and easy to use in recipes like enchiladas and salsas.
I planted two green bean plants as well as two zucchini plants. These guys will undoubtedly be favorites come June and July. Hopefully, I’ll be pawning the zucchini off on all of our family and friends. Let me know if you want added to the short list.
New this year, I’m trying strawberries. Since strawberries are a perennial, I planted them in a container. They have a tendency to take over wherever they’re planted and since they come back year after year, I figured a container was best. The same approach applies for mint…. another wanderer.
Just look at the baby strawberries!
Now, I saved the best part for last… Herbs! Having fresh herbs steps from your doorway is not overrated. I planted thyme, mint, oregano, rosemary, Italian parsley, and I’ll plant some basil as soon as the temperatures are consistently warm. My chives surprisingly lasted through Winter. I know they’re a perennial, but our Winter was so brutal that I was shocked to see them back! Herbs, with the exception of basil, will usually last well into Fall. Even if you don’t have tons of room in your garden, I always recommend planting some herbs. Most do well in containers too, so you can plant them wherever you have an extra foot or two.
It took a lot of work to get this stuff planted. I cannot imagine what it would be like if my garden was larger! It looked great once I completed the installation.
I’ll keep you posted as we go. Hopefully it is a successful year for the garden. My definition of success over the years has been shaped not only by what grows (and how well), but how well I do fending off the deer!