I write this as we are waiting for a winter storm to hit our area in North Carolina. Last week though it was sunny and in the 70’s and while reading my new favorite site One Hundred Dollars a Month, I started to get the gardening itch. Mavis’ 2000 pounds of food that she grew last year got me inspired and I’m also completely in awe of her gardening skills.
Our first spring in North Carolina, 2008, I planted a vegetable garden in raised beds. It actually went really well, even though we had issues with little and big critters and apparently as luck would have it, I only had male zucchini plants and therefore not one summer squash was had. Overall it was something I enjoyed.
In 2009, I planted another garden in the same beds, but we had an insanely wet spring coupled with the ever-growing trees on the property next to our house which limited the amount of sun for the garden. That year was a bust.
In 2010, I planted nothing because I was so disheartened 2009.
In 2011, I found Smart Pots and bought a slew of them so I could do a container garden around our patio area, which received a lot of sun. The main issue of course was keeping the plants well watered during the really hot days of the spring and summer. For the most part things went really well and we produced quite a bit of veggies.
Last year, I reused the Smart Pots but only grew peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and eggplant as well as few different herbs. It wasn’t as bad because we put in an irrigation system earlier in the year and this helped keep everything watered, which I totally suck at. The last thing I really want to do is go outside when it’s 95 degrees and water 20 pots.
I’m feeling excited about gardening again this year. I have no lofty goal of producing a certain number or pounds of veggies, but I would like to be able to eat fresh veggies from the garden a few times a week. My biggest issue of course will be bug control. We get some wicked bugs here and I don’t want to use any pesticides. Organic or bust!
Getting back to last week…I went on a bit of a seed shopping spree over at Botanical Interests. All organic and really affordable.
Today a little package arrived….
Here’s my stash:
- Romaine Lettuce
- Sugar Snap Pea
- Sweet Pepper
- Sugar Pie Pumpkin
- Bush Beans – Gold Rush and Contender
Already planted is a large strawberry patch, which should produce two huge crops, one in early Spring and the other in late summer. And a few years ago I planted two blueberry bushes. One has survived and produced well last year. I expect it to be even better this year.
You might notice that the list does not include tomatoes. This is really for two reasons. First, I don’t eat tomatoes and one plant would produce more than Sean could eat. And second, by mid-season my most hated bug (second to ALL spiders except for the Daddy Long Legs, who aren’t really spiders anyway – how does that not blow your mind?) will invade and I lose them all anyway. So I’ve stopped growing tomatoes. We also get a ton in our CSA share, so we’re covered should we need them.
After looking over this list, I realize it’s a bit ambitious and I’m excited about it. I really can’t wait to get started. I’ll be starting a bunch of seeds today and tomorrow.
Do you plant any vegetables or herbs? What’s your biggest issue? I need to really look into better organic pest control if I plan on making this a success.