Friday, May 23, 2008

Container vegetable gardening

"Did you put plants in the dog pen?" The neighbor scratched his head. "Huh!"

In addition to all the flower beds, I have been doing container gardening for years. Some of my 16 pots are beautiful handmade Italian terracotta ones, but others are resin and yes, some are the plastic fake terracotta look-a-likes. Every fall I laboriously lug them into the garage to bring out again in May. On a perfect spring day, you can find me in the beds fussing at the weeds and separating perennials or at the various nurseries happily puttering among the rows of pastel annuals and bright perennials, browsing shrubs and stroking ornamental grasses. But this year my pocketbook decided to forego flowers and embrace vegetables. Yes, vegetables.

In the past, vegetable gardening has proved to be a challenge because of the deer and the groundhogs not to mention rocky soil and too many trees. Or rather not enough sun. But last fall some folks from the flatland came up and we took down many trees and hard-pruned the lilacs. This opened up the beds and - the dog pen - to more sun. Attached to my house is an unused dog pen. I have no dog. I considered tearing it down many times, but have never gotten around to it. Now the fence will keep the critters at bay, the stones will provide good drainage and I will have a kitchen garden. Hopefully.

I filled my pots with fresh container dirt (the kind that is lighter and has the water crystals in it.) And after giving some thought to my cooking habits (eclectic at best) and talking with a master gardener (my sister) I decided on tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, eggplant, beans, onions, lemon grass, squash, and a catnip plant for the kitties. My oregano and thyme come back every year and I have parsley volunteers that are taking over the gold mop cypress in the front of the house.

Now all I need is some heat and sun. Hopefully this time next month, I will be eating fresh mescun salad. Oh boy, Ratatouille here I come.


Sparverius said...

Nice use of the space. I've had my mind on a vegetable garden myself. Though I think that project will take effect next year.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing better than a fresh home-grown-picked-from-the-vine tomato. What kinds did you plant? Are they all in pots? It looks like it from the photo.


djbrown said...

I will bring the wine!

Anonymous said...

I love it!
I am here if you need.

Bevson said...

Hey Patti,

The tomatoes I planted are yellow pear, roma and better boy. 1 each. Everything is in pots except for 3 yellow squash, 2 dozen onions and a catnip plant. Those I planted out by the street in the blazing sun. The lima beans and yard-long beans I am going to plant so they grow on the arbor. Stay tuned. It could get interesting.