Thursday, May 29, 2008
As I'm sure I've mentioned many times, the Vermont planting season really doesn't start until Memorial Day. My giant head o' steam deflated to simmer when the cold air swept down from the Arctic (or that demon Canada or wherever)Tuesday. Brrrr. With the possibility of frost, I froze (like a deer in the corn) and stalled the planting. BUT... we will be under way this morning (cross those muddy fingers).
As you can see, Casou the wonder dog jumped into the picture -- or should I say he was laying down on the job? I call this picture "Still Life with Dog." We were mixing potting soil for the six hanging planters (filled with white and dusty rose wave petunias) that dangle from hooks on our veranda. Ha! I always wanted to call our long, wide mahogany porch a veranda. Next we'll be serving mint juleps and fanning ourselves.
We rented a roto tiller and churned the dirt which has been sitting under a pile of snow, compost, and dead veggies that we threw into the fenced-off garden all winter. We mixed in a lot of "Cock-a-Doodle-Do" which was highly recommended by my sister, Joanne-of-the-Magic-Green-Thumb. Yes, she syphoned off all the gardening genes from our grandmother, who could raise anything, even a ruckus. Grandma Jenny had an organic garden in LA, as far back as the 20's. She also raised hothouse orchids. Some day more on her. She was a pip!
As for the title of this T13, I wasn't sure I could list thirteen vegetables to be planted in the garden. I might be adding flowers, edible and not, to the list. Hence the word "things" which is NOT my favorite word (you can ask my writing students who are admonished to ban "thing" and all "thing family" words from their writing). I hope they don't find this blog and realize I'm breaking my own rule. Oy.
So....without further ado... here's what I'm planting:
1. Wave petunias • In hanging baskets. I heard these don't need pinching. Really? Cool.
2. Cherry tomatoes • In containers on the slate patio. One red. One yellow. Yum.
3. Tomatoes • Early Girl and two other varieties. We love tomatoes.
4. Zucchini • Need I say more? A good year means loads of zucchini. I'm ready with my trusty helpmate, "The Classic Zucchini Cookbook," by Nancy C. Ralston, Marynor Jordan, and Andrea Chesman. This wonderbook includes 225 recipes for all kinds of squash. Breads, muffins, casseroles, side dishes -- anything a glut of zucchini will provide.
5. Yellow Crookneck Squash • My first time.
6. Green beans • I'm partial to bush beans. No poles to plant. But the bending to harvest can cause a little ache in the lower back. Still, fresh beans are worth the teeny tiny pain. I planted two versions - one regular, one gourmet.
7. Corn • Haven't had a huge success with corn, but it's fun to watch. The deer and other critters have left my corn alone. Last year, when the season was almost over, some squirrels climbed the stalks. I didn't know it at the time and watching the stalks wildly swinging and crashing was a surprise. Let's hope they wait and we harvest some sweet corn before the games begin.
8. Red pepper • One plant. I've never had much success with peppers -- green or red, hot or sweet. I'm skeptical, but I keep trying.
9. Pumpkins • This is another one I keep trying. Since I moved to Vermont, my dream has been to raise pumpkins for autumn -- decorations and pies. Sounds perfect, huh? I get lots of flowers, no pumpkins. Are my bees on the fritz? Do tell -- if you have a secret for success with pumpkins. (as a hush-hush sidebar, I'm also planting watermelon 'cuz somebody gave me seeds)
10. Basil • Lots and lots of the sweet, large leaf basil. Gotta have it fresh for pasta!
11. Cilantro • My first try. For salsa.
12. Radishes • Again, I'm an optimist. Never had much luck with these. I know -- this is the first plant for kids. I'm hoping the enriched soil and rototilling has aided my quest for a delicious radish.
13. Nasturtiums, Sunflowers, and Morning Glories • Ran out of numbers, but I am planting flowers all over the place. Morning Glories always seem to take all summer before they bloom. Boo. I've had no luck with sunflowers. Last year I tried Nasturtiums from seed and had a few grow with minimal bloom. Oh well, I'm not giving up.
As you can see, I wasn't born with the green thumb. I like to think what I lack in genetic intuition, I can make up with tenacity. I'm planting lots of Hope with these seeds. Good luck with your gardening!