Friday, June 11, 2010

The vegetable garden adventure begins

The vegetable garden adventure has begun once again, although this year, (I hope) I know what I'm doing.

I planted one afternoon, the week after the May long weekend (that's definitely one of the perks to being a stay-at-home mom) with 'help' from the kids. Our first step was to tame the raspberry bush which had completely taken over the garden.I had no idea when we planted it last spring that in a year's time it would do so well. In fact, at one point in March, as it sat limply in the corner, I was certain that I had killed it.

So, I pulled out the dozens of raspberry bush shoots, making plenty of room to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, strawberries and jalapeno peppers. That's right, that's it. I learned from my mistakes last year and did not over plant. I planted four tomato plants -- one being a grape tomato plant -- two cucumber plants (two different types of cucumber, although I did that by accident, picking up the wrong one at the garden centre but not realizing my mistake until I got home), one zucchini plant, one jalapeno pepper plant and one strawberry plant. (I moved the chives in the picture below to another garden in the backyard soon after taking this picture to give the zucchini plenty of room to grow.)We'll see how everything does. So far, so good -- thanks to the nothing-but-sunny-days-and-warm-temperatures of late May followed by a fair bit of rain in the last week. The strawberry plant has produced about four strawberries so far (but, like the raspberry bush last year, it's not supposed to do much in the first year) and one of my tomato plants already has a small green tomato on it.

The plants are all still small but already I'm excited to start cooking. I plan to stock my cupboard with relish and salsa (lots and lots of salsa) later this summer and maybe even bread and butter pickles.

Oh, and that raspberry bush that I thought I may have killed...there are so many raspberries on it (although not quite ripe yet) that I may even have to have jam in my future too.

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