Sunday, March 6, 2011

Vegetable gardens...

Happy Hope
 I couldn't hold back any longer. While in Rapid City, I bought plants at Jolly Lane and seeds at Menard's.
Plants? You ask, "Is that wise when a person still has 3 feet of snow in the yard?" Probably not, but how could I say no to an orange primrose? I've never seen an orange primrose. I have plenty of red and yellow primroses, but now I have an orange one. Hope I can keep it going for 3 more months.  I bought an African Violet in case the primrose died.  It seemed a logical thought at the time.

As for seeds, I will do a full blown veggie garden this year. A major challenge for me. I am not a vegetable gardener. Never have been. I've tried a few tomatoes with little success.  It just doesn't get that warm for that long. The photo below is an example of my tomato skills.  The parsley looks great.  I have no idea why I took that picture.  My mom is a vegetable gardener and a good one at that. She had to feed four kids, a husband, and numerous hired men. A vegetable garden was a necessity. Still she enjoyed it. She grew tomatoes, carrots, radishes, lettuce, onions, strawberries, rhubarb, peas, green beans, and tons of sweet corn. Her garden is always neatly laid out, weedless, and flourishing.

Sad Reality 
I can’t say as a kid I had much to do with the prosperity of my mom's garden. My job was to water and mulch with lawn clippings. I hated almost every moment of it. My only joy was that I always made toad houses while I watered. I buried my feet in mud mixed with straw from the strawberry bed and stayed still until it somewhat solidified. Then I carefully pulled my feet out leaving two mud shoes in the ground. The next day toads would peer out from the cool wet insides of the shoes. That was the only thing that kept me watering. I love toads.  I was not an avid vegetable gardener. The only thing I thought was worth growing was the peas. There was nothing better than fresh peas.

A Snap and Grow Greenhouse from Better Greenhouses
 Why the sudden desire to vegetable garden?  My loving husband bought me a greenhouse for Christmas! Wow!  That is a lot of pressure.  His only request... Pumpkins.  Big pumpkins.  Again no pressure there.  What do pumpkins have to do with a greenhouse?  We have a very short growing season here.  The end of May to September if I'm lucky. 

The grand plan:
My greenhouse is 6x8.  A 2x8 row on each side. 

The south side will be a 3 sisters garden: 
       Sweet corn, beans, 2 squash, 4 pumpkins and 2 zucchini.  So some cousins joined the 3 sisters garden. 
The north side will have quick crops on the bottom:
        Radishes, carrots, loose leaf lettuce, peas, spinach, and cucumbers.
There will be  a shelf above the north garden for containers: 
        Cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, green peppers, and maybe a big tomato.

Spring is around the corner?
 This will be quite an experiment and test of my gardening abilities.  I do have plans to add a drip watering system, as watering isn't high on my list of gardening tasks.  The tomatoes won't be started by me this year, as I'm sure we won't get the greenhouse up until the end of May.  I will keep you posted on the success of this new challenge.  To be honest the hardest part will just be getting the greenhouse set up.  Maybe when it is all said and done, I will find I have some of my Mom's vegetable growing talent in me.


  1. hi..thanks for stopping by my blog! i just love yours! and ella...what can i say? what a beauty!

  2. It's a great X-mas present! I love your story about toad houses. How cool! And an orange primrose is something new for me too. I have only parsley in my garden right now. They say it's one of the best plants - so good for our health! I also love your blog's header picture. We've been to the Black Hills - wonderful area!

  3. I am so envious of your greenhouse. You can definitely start some great seeds in there. We have a long growing season here in the PNW, but for some veggies, like tomatoes and peppers, the weather doesn't get hot enough. I had better success in Massachusetts with a shorter growing season, but hot summers.

    I think you'll bee surprised how much of your mom's gardening talent is buried somewhere inside you just itching to come out.

    Good luck with your pumpkins. Thanks for visiting my blog!


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