Alright, so we're done then. With the garden planting.
After half a year of mulling and hatching and wringing of hands over seed catalogs, the garden is planted - and with much less fanfare and drama than one would expect from my Second Most Anticipated Event of the Year.
The first being the ripening of the #1 tomato, you know.
So funny, that.
I can wear out my brain thinking about corn varieties and soil amendments and should I try to start my own tomato plants even though I know they're only going to die when I forget them outside for nearly six months and then, when the moment arrives, it's over in 10 minutes and the only thing to do is sit back and admire and then go take a nap on the lawn with the dog.
I see some saucy parallels in this scenario that I won't detail for you, but I think you know what I'm saying.
What I will detail for you, however, is the contents of the garden. An activity that I'm certain will take longer to type out than it did for me to actually complete.
One day, this picture should be more green than brown.
Bed 1 (left to right): Silver Queen Corn
Planted in blocks rather than rows according to direction from my corn-growing pal, Kris. Thank you, doll - I'll endeavor to not fuck up my first crop of corn, although I have heard horrible stories from people about the terrible fates that befall corn crops. And here I thought the big worry was keeping weird kids out of the vegetables. Hmph.
Bed 2: Lemon cucumbers (2), Kentucky Blue Lake beans (on the tepee) and 2 rows of Black Seeded Simpson lettuce (under the tepee for shade)
Bed 3: Better Boy tomatoes (2) and Sweet Basil (6)
Bed 4: For 1 more week, fava beans, but after this coming weekend, same as Bed 3: Better Boy tomatoes (2) and Sweet Basil (6)
Before I get ahead of myself, I should tell you that I planted tomato and basil seedlings rather than seeds because,
- I am not good at hardening off tomato plants. As you know.
- My basil seedlings aren't ready yet.
We're still awesome even if we haven't lived in the breakfast nook for two months already.
New this year is The Random Tomato Experiment where I turn under a whole crop of fava beans (sorry, no Hulk Hummus until the farmshare comes through) into one tomato bed and then pit it against its neighbor plants in the non-fava bed to see how boosty that nitrogen fix really is.
I've heard that if you turn under fava bean plants BEFORE they make beans, all the nitrogen they sucked into their roots will go into the soil and make it Super Boosty (scientific term, obv.) rather than waiting until after you've harvested the beans to turn the greens back into the soil.
We shall see.
Perhaps it will just make big bushy leafy plants that produce the same amount of tomatoes (an obvious theory), but since I just came upon this advice while trying to decide whether to pull the favas so I could plant tomatoes or just leave them there to make beans for me, I'm opting to call this an experiment so that I can get the tomatoes underway in a manner that makes me seem strategic rather than wasteful of beans and impulsive.
But really, when you even try to compare fava beans to tomatoes, those beans hardly stand a chance, so tomatoes it is. Plus, random experiment! Fun!
If you'd like to say your farewells, I won't judge you.
And while I was getting all experimenty with the plants, I decided to take it to the next dorky level and do something the Kitchen Gardeners International did last year, which was to track the cost and results of their home garden to see what kind of value they were getting from their crops.
What? Track things via spreadsheet AND grow vegetables at home? Together, at once in one fabulously A/R activity?
Yes. I will do this.
So, my goal at the end of the season is to be able to see what I've grown, how much it cost to grow it and how much I saved by growing my own rather than buying it elsewhere. Plus, I'll see where it all goes (canning, giveaways, composter, etc) and whether we really ate everything we thought we would so that when I sit down to do my six months of mind-grinding mulling over the seed catalogs, I'll have a little more information with which to make my decisions.
Also, I'll be able to tell Bubba in no uncertain terms that while cantaloupe sounds like a fabulous idea in springtime when he hasn't seen a melon (the fruit kind, you naughties!) in six months, growing them in the garden is a waste of space since someone never eats as many as he says he will.
Whatever. It's fine. I liked my melons. Hah.
So, let us begin the year when spreadsheets and gardening became one.