Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Year Two of Gardening

Until I was nine years old, we lived on the outskirts of a small town (technically a village - it's right on the sign) and had a huge backyard. My dad gardened ever since I could remember, until we moved to the city. I remember helping him plant onion sets and running in fear of the garden spiders I'd encounter walking through the rows.

My grandfather was an excellent gardener who could grow nearly anything that could be grown. His specialty was garlic, but he also built and operated a flower greenhouse for several years.

My dad followed in his footsteps. We ate well, thanks to his garden. There were many years that he was laid off from work, but we still had plenty of fresh vegetables because he had this humongous garden out back. He didn't have a lot of money to put into it, so he often became creative. Instead of Miracle Gro (which he couldn't afford), he made "manure tea." (I'll let you imagine what that involves.) It seemed as though there wasn't anything my dad couldn't grow.

So when we moved to our current house and someone offered me the use of their tiller to start a garden, I was ecstatic. I've always enjoyed watching things grow, even if it does make me nervous wondering if I'm doing everything right.

I didn't get to plant a garden last year because the kids were at difficult ages. This year, my son can't wait to help me and I think my daughter ought to be okay, too. (I distinctly remember planting onion sets as a child; maybe that's what I'll give them to do.)

So right now I'm in the process of planning my garden. I'm deciding what I want to plant and how to arrange everything so that I'm not wasting space.

It's supposed to be near 70 degrees here tomorrow, so I'm thinking about tilling up the plot tomorrow. An avid gardener from church tells me that I could already have in carrots, onions and beets. Within two weeks I can start planting lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli. So I need to get a move on!

So I'll probably be blogging about gardening for the next few days ...