Sunday, July 25, 2010

Our first fruit and vegetable garden

All excited about her success at college growing corn for an experiment in a plant science class, my daughter decided we should have a fruit and vegetable garden this summer.  Off to our favorite Grass Pad my daughter and I went to buy our plants and seeds.  As we stood there looking at all the plants and packages of seeds, I wished that I had paid attention to my grandparent's vegetable gardens.  

Thinking back on their house where they lived for close to 70 years in the northeast part of Kansas City, I remembered that Grandpa kept records of what he planted, when he planted and tracked the daily temperature and rainfall.  And, he relied on The Farmer's Almanac for help.  But, as a child, I really didn't care about what cucumbers he grew, I just loved the pickles Grandma made with the harvest.  Bread and Butter pickles were the best.  They always grew green beans and I got to snap the beans for Sunday supper.

For our garden, we got off to a slow start.  Here it was Memorial Day weekend and we were at the store selecting our plants and seeds.  We chose a package of Ferry Morse sugar enhanced sweet corn because the package claimed it was guaranteed to grow.  And, it is growing! 

And, so is the Burpee Hybrid Muskmelon.  It's growing all over the garden... 

I'm not sure what a muskmelon tastes like; it's something my daughter had to have.  Soon, though, we will have one ready to sample.  

Our tomato plants are also coming along.  Years ago I grew a tomato plant only because a friend gave me a plant and said I had to.  At that time, I didn't even like the taste of a fresh tomato.  The only thing I remember from that experience is that you really have to get them staked.  Unfortunately, my daughter has yet to learn that lesson for her garden.  This is a Jet Star tomato.  She chose it because the picture on the tag showed lots of bright red tomatoes.  

The ornamental pepper has done well.  Probably because it is in a container on the front porch.  The peppers we planted in the garden were promptly eaten.  We have yet to figure out what to do about all the critters in the garden.  We tried fencing.  But we didn't know there was a mole close by just waiting.  The raised trail went under the fence and right to the sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes were the first plants to disappear.  The green beans and peppers were next.  That was when the rabbits found a way through the fence. Red pepper sprinkled around the plants seems to do the best job of keeping the pests away. 

It looks like this is the first of many fruit and vegetable gardens in the my future.  My husband is excited about building a garden this fall complete with raised beds. In his mind it will be very utilitarian.  In my mind it will have a fence with an arbor at the entrance.  In the middle of the connecting paths there will be a large container with flowers and pretty herbs.  We'll see what compromises take place in the construction of our next garden. 

For now, I'm just glad my daughter came home from college wanting to plant a garden.

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