Monday, May 11, 2009

Green Around the Hills

Though I managed to start planting this year's garden well over a month ago, I haven't been consistent in getting over to the garden to finish sowing seeds. And when I have made it there, I haven't been able to time the visit so as to have help from the Southern Belle and My Adorable Nephews.

Today, however, all the stars aligned, and we had our first foray into the garden together.

The lower garden on the hillside, where I had started the first rows of spring vegetables, looked nice and green, with the lettuce taking off, the radishes needing a first thinning, and even peas starting to reach their thin tendrils skyward. The plantings in the upper bed are making good progress, too!

I started everyone on the immediate task of weeding and clearing space: with a little instruction, the Southern Belle took to pulling the unwanted grasses and wildflowers, and both Nephews toted armfuls of discarded greenery to the compost pile.

Once we had more room, I handed out seeds for the next round of planting: green beans, summer savory, pac choi, more lettuce, zucchini, watermelon, nasturtiums, sunflowers, more carrots, basil, broccoli (regular and Chinese), and more flowers.

We also had to keep up with those items growing up quickly. The potatoes I had planted a couple of weeks ago have already leafed out beautifully, so I had the boys mound more dirt around the stems so that the spuds can continue to develop. (They enjoyed that.)

With the hard work done, we could see a marked difference in the garden beds -- though no one expects that to last long!

Finally, I went around and picked the first harvest from the garden: small handfuls of lettuce from last year, a scattering of baby spinach leaves, a few tiny radishes, a lone scallion from last year, sprinklings of dill and cilantro, and the usual nettles and lambs quarters. Aside from the wild edibles, I picked only a fraction of what was in the garden but pointed out to the Southern Belle where she could continue to harvest.

The Absent-Minded Professor has planted his own tomatoes and peppers this year, and he continues to talk excitedly about putting in yet another bed, so we may expand further in the next few weeks.

But at least until the next visit, I've got plenty of good greens to keep me going.

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