Way back before I moved to Small Town Saskatchewan I lived in an apartment in the city. I container gardened, a little, and that was that. Then I moved to a spot where I had a yard, resources, time, and started in on the real garden. That’s part of my fairy tale. Victory gardens, of course, were what regular citizens (well, mostly women) were encouraged to plant during the world wars because there just wasn’t enough food to go around. With the pandemic happening there’s that same sort of flavour, even here where we aren’t doing too badly. People are much more interested in growing food.
I live in a Zone 3B which means… it’s cold in the winter. Tomatoes and peppers grow, if the frost doesn’t hit early. Melons and squash do okay if the droughts aren’t too bad or they’re babied. Root veggies are the biggies. So of course I started a pile of tomatoes and peppers from seeds.
Ro is a big fan of the plants. She’s examined each and sat on the seedling tray more than once while my back was turned. The remaining seedlings are pretty hardy.
I potted the tomato seedlings to harden them off a bit and started a few rows of faster stuff – zucchini and other squash, some romaine lettuce. The rest is waiting on the normal last frost date (mid May here) and for us to clean up the plot we share on a friend’s property.
While I’ve gardened in the past I’ve never really put up a lot of food. My potatoes get eyes early and my onions get a little squishy. I can some pickles and freeze some tomato sauce but I admit that this year I’m gonna be a little more diligent.
Anyone else concentrating on their gardening a bit extra this year?
I never thought I would like gardening as much as I do. I mean it’s full of dirt, bugs, too much sun, and a lot of labour. None of those are big pluses for me. Somewhere along the line though I realized it’s also simple, productive, occasionally a little magical, and peaceful. Life can always use more of that.
The bunny above is the neighbourhood rabbit and fairly tame. He’s as big as my cats, digs up whatever (garlic on this day, in one of my side plots), and is generally super cute. And well seasoned. Between the bunny and the slugs, I mostly container garden my annuals at the house. I also have pots of flowers at the shop because I have a ton of really boring concrete drive way and parking lot. And I have a few rows at a friends huge farm plot. I’m trying beets there this year along with the potatoes, onions, and carrots.
If I pay attention, my plants usually do well. Which is pretty much a whole life lesson.
When I moved from my city apartment to a house in a much smaller town some of the appeal was that I would be able to put out more than a few pots of flowers and containers of tomatoes. And I did, here and there.
This year I got a little more ambitious by working on the composition of the beds and planning a little better. Next year I will continue on with it. I have to say, gardening is like growing your business: lots of shoveling, watering, weeding, planning and hoping for sunshine.
I think it’s been one of those life lessons that snuck up on me while I wasn’t looking. Lots of small, consistent, moves to keep the foundation strong and growing. A little bit of luck. And continually trying new ideas as I go. Most of those fail but they fail early and fast before it stings too much.
In the garden that would be the patch of strawberries I started with early in the spring. I planted over that with hardier starters and voila, eating strawberries now!