Friday, November 13, 2015

This Week in the Garden: Planting the New Vegetable Gardens

It has been a wild and windy but otherwise great week for getting work done in the garden. At long last, our new raised vegetable garden beds have been filled with lovely soil, mixed with compost, and planted with seedling peppers (capsicums), chilies, and tomatoes, with a smattering of companion plantings: red onions, spring onions, and a few marigolds to help with our pollinators and pests. Our dogs dislike the smell so they also help to keep curious noses out of the veggie patch. So far so good! It is a urban garden, so we have other insect deterrent companion plants nearby including lavender, peppermint, rosemary, nasturtium and hopefully they will help me with keeping the bad bugs at bay. We'll be spot seeding small quantities of snacking favourites like radish and carrot for ongoing availability and, while the plants are young and things are still cool enough in our sunny veggie patch, they are sharing space with an early harvest collection of salad greens. The rest of our plants (melons in particular) are still nestled in their indoor trays awaiting consistently warmer weather. 

Whether you have room for a self-sustaining garden or only a small planter for your high-value favourites, it is fantastic to grow some of your own edibles. If you have children, it's also a great way to get them involved in the family garden, and in doing so, learning about where food comes from and how things grow. I loved snacking from my parent's garden when I was young, even if it mean doing a few chores!  Recently, I was invited to read the new children's book "Show Me the Green!" by D.S. Venetta and was pleased to discover that it was a nice balance of being fun and relatable for a young audience, but also very educational. I even learned a few things and can't wait to sprout some sweet potato slips!  If you are planting your southern hemisphere spring garden, winter gardening up north, or planning for next year, this would be a fun family read or a good classroom book. You can find "Show Me the Green!" in print or e-book format from major retailers (including my personal favourite: The Book Depository) and I hope to have Dianne here on the blog sometime in the future as a virtual guest to share some gardening ideas with all of you.

While most of our edible garden is a long way from harvest, the herbs are fresh and delicious. I have been using the potted mint in all sorts of things including making homemade peppermint extract for the holidays and earlier this week, created a minty mini muffin recipe for the dogs (will share the link here when posted at Dalmatian DIY).  They have already demolished their rosemary biscuits. :) What's happening in and around your garden this week?  Whatever your garden/green news, we would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment or post us a message on the GiRL Facebook page I look forward to sharing our garden with you as it grows. 

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